Sunday, 9 January 2011

Taking the Rough with the Smooth

Sunday 9th January. South Ferriby, Lincolnshire, 9:10 - 10:40.

Whilst in the middle of my giant-killing celebrations, I was asked if I would like to join in a trip to Lincolnshire, to see the Rough-legged Buzzard at South Ferriby. Which I agreed, a good excuse not to consume too many celebratory alcoholic beverages.

I've also not seen a Rough-legged Buzzard for a very long time, so it would be nice to see one again. The only one I've seen before was at the end of 1994, at the Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire. We eventually arrived at that classic Rough-legged Buzzard habitat, the South Ferriby cement plant!

Not being flippant, there is a large area of waste ground, rough grass and reeds around the plant's perimeter fence. So an ideal hunting ground for birds of prey. Old Rough-leg took a bit of finding for a while, but was evenutally spotted, perched in a patch of conifers.

Throughout our visit, the bird was spending it's time perched in the trees and bushes, with occassional flights, where we could see features such as the broad tail-band and dark-brown belly. It also got more difficult to see due to the sun getting higher in the sky, and having to view to the south. So it was time to move on.

I hadn't realised that Hatfield Moors is on the way back to the M18. With an Arctic Redpoll and Lesser Scaup around, lets give it a try. It's a new place for me, and along with Thorne Moors, part of the "Humberhead Peatlands":

Well the first-winter female Lesser Scaup was a piece of bread. Er, I mean piece of cake, definitely cake! What's going on here then, are usually they his friendly? Although with most of the water frozen, why not make the most of feeding on bread being thrown out.

If only the Arctic Redpoll was as easy. There was about 100 Redpolls in a flock, but hardly ever kept still and impossible to pick out anything other than Lesser Redpolls. In fact, other birders had been trying to pin down the Arctic Redpoll all day, and were saying it was really difficult. The only other highlight here was a Woodcock.


Martyn Yapp said...

Tufted ducks like coming to bread, head shape doesn't look right to me!

Kay said...

You should have listened to Martyn's wise words of caution Richard ;-)

Glad you got yourself reaquainted with Rough-legged Buzzard. I have at last added them to my life list with two today over Burnham Overy Staithe.

Richard Powell said...

Kay, it was a classic case of not really concentrating and not taking much interest in a duck that was coming to bread. "Ooh that's it, very good, now where's the Arctic Redpoll".

There were plenty of others with long lenses taking photos of it though.

Glad you got yourself a lifer by the way.