So today I was volunteering at Tophill, like most Sundays. And unlike most Sundays I actually felt like I did some work. In terms of new birds, the only lifer of the day was the Merlin, and that was too distant to say much about. However after acquiring my scope (which for those interested, remains in my possession, thanks to whoever suggested leaving the box in my parents room as a decoy!), I feel my gull id'ing skills have definitely improved over the past few months, although I saw nothing of particular note today. Other birds on the D-res were some Goldeneye, and I got great views of the Males, along with Shovellers and Wigeon. There was also a good goose presence, and again I got to see some Y-fronts.
      But Tophill wasn't the only excursion of the week. Yesterday I spent my day in Filey with Hull Uni Zoological Society, for my second Shoresearch for the YWT. This time was much better than the first, as we had a guide from the YWT go along with us, and I'd had much more practice using the Quadrats. Unfortunately we were only surveying Limpets with the Quadrats so my newly acquired knowledge of Latin names of Algae was not useful, but I still made a mental list for personal purposes! We saw plenty of Starfish, Anenomes (both Beadlet, and Dahlia, the latter having much more interesting colouration). As well as this, four species of crab, although the Harbour crab was dead, but still interesting to see, as it was a first for me. This wasn't the only first for the trip either, I got a new lifer; Purple Sandpiper, of which there were quite a lot. As well as this other birds were Oystercatcher, Turnstone, and a lone Curlew, along with Black Headed, GBB, and Herring Gulls. Getting to Filey turned out slightly problematic, and we ended up on the 'Shoreline Suncruiser', which was hilariously ironic due to the cold weather, and my chips got blown away, but apart from that a really great day, and Weekend!

Unfortunately no snaps from Tophill today (I was too busy working hard!), but here are the ones which are decent enough from Filey, and a short video of a Hermit Crab!

Dog Whelks and their Eggs

Red Common Periwinkle (Littornia littorea)



Hermit Crab



Today I was at Tophill yet again, for volunteering! However yet again I failed to be of much help, but that did mean I got some birding done! The day started with me getting great views of a Male Goldeneye, followed by several females, which were showing well throughout the day. I did get a picture, of the perhaps less vividly coloured female, and it is more of a record shot than anything as I used digital zoom to the max. Like most of my visits, I got yet another lifer: Y fronts (In actual fact 25 of them). I did get a picture of these in flight too, but unfortunately it's not exactly the best again. On the topic of Geese, I saw the most talked about goose of the moment (despite being plastic), the supposed 'Blue Morph Ross's Goose' (Have I got that right?). Anyway, the pictures were crap compared to most other people's so I have not included those, but I have included some of Gulls and a Grey Squirrel instead! Finally, we ended the day by taking a walk up to South Marsh East in search of the Otter which had been seen the two previous Sundays. Unfortunately, we were unlucky from that point of view, but we did still see the incoming bird flocks, and it was quite a show, especially the sound made by their wings moving in unison as they change direction, which was awesome!

Female Goldeneye


Worse for wear 1st Winter? GBB

Everyone's favourite ;-)

Awesome spectacle, even if the Otters didn't make an appearance like we'd hoped!


Biro Bird of the Day: Bittern

Sooo, as promised, here is my first biro bird in a while, and I decided to go for Bittern since I said I would draw it the other week, as it is definitely one of my fave birds!

Crap photo, I know!