Saturday 30 October 2021

October Blues but a Rosy Ending

October trundles on, not my favourite month of the year (the clocks go back, it gets darker for longer, the garden dies back, butterflies disappear, Halloween, Christmas on its way, cold, wet and windy, the central heating goes on, etc.). but at least it is nearly over. I'm feeling quite lethargic and listless and generally fed up but hopefully I'll shake off this fugue sometime soon. 

A planned trip to the Avon Dam with Mavis was unfortunately cancelled but there have been very few Ring Ouzel sightings at this site so far this year along with reports of a poor Rowan berry crop and so it looks to be a Ring Ouzel-less year this year for me. However with a free day on Friday 22nd October David and I took a walk to the Avon Dam for a look around and while we had an enjoyable walk as always it was unfortunately Ring Ouzel-less as expected. In fact it was pretty birdless with just 3 Blackbirds, a Chaffinch, Woodpigeons, Carrion Crows, a Jay, a Kestrel, a Skylark and a few Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits seen.

Avon Dam

There were Rowan berries on the trees but maybe not so many as usual but in the past few days up to 14 Ring Ouzels have been seen at the Avon Dam so I guess we just got our timings wrong.

The weather is the usual October joy - cool, wet, windy, unsettled - and with few birds being reported I took a walk at Wembury on Wednesday 27th October on a blustery, cloudy morning. I wasnt expecting much but on arriving there were good numbers of Gannets swirling around offshore with quite a few close in around The Mewstone and so I set off along the muddy coast path towards The Point for a better look.

The Gannets were putting on quite a show, busily diving into the water and mostly adults but with juveniles and immatures amongst them. Also present were Kittiwakes including good numbers of juveniles with their smart black W upperwing markings being very noticeable along with the usual Herring, Black-headed and Great Black-backed Gulls.

Further offshore more Gannets and Kittiwakes were moving west but by around 12pm everything had moved through and the sky was empty save for a few Gulls. Right place, right time for a change.

Also seen along the walk were 3 Little Egret, 4 Curlew and 40 Oystercatcher roosting at The Point, 21 Mallard (13 male) around the Sewage Pipe, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at The Pines and 3 Buzzards overhead. A 1st winter Common Gull off the Main Beach and at least 3 Mediterranean Gulls amongst the feeding mellee added to the Gull species total for the day.

Mallards, Wembury


A planned Devonport Leat walk on Dartmoor on Thursday 28th October before a nights stay at The Two Bridges Hotel for our friend Julie's birthday was abandoned as the weather was so foul but the next morning the weather had improved and we managed a walk around Burrator Reservoir after our stay before heading home. Not much was seen in the way of birds but 5 Cormorant were drying their wings on the floating bridge while being watched by an adult Great Black-backed Gull and the resident White Goose was present at The Small Dam with a Canada Goose and Mallards. 

Burrator Reservoir Dam

I had Saturday 30th October to myself and was undecided as to where to go - Pendeen for a Brown Shrike, Slapton Ley for Snow Buntings or Berry Head for Pomarine Skuas and with gales and rain forecasted overnight on Friday 29th I chose Berry Head. However after an early start which saw me arriving at Berry Head at around 8:30am it was calm and still with an increasingly sunny sky and it seemed I had chosen unwisely with the forecasted weather not really delivering. 

Scanning offshore and there was a large feeding flock of Kittiwakes and Gannets spread across the Bay, I've never seen so many Kittiwakes together before and again there were quite a few juveniles amongst them. A few Mediterranean Gulls were picked out amongst the throng along with Herring, Black-headed, Common and Great Black-backed Gulls, Shag, Guillemot and Razorbill. 

A Great Skua was picked up in the mellee, it flew quite close in before heading back out to sea with a second bird also called but I was unable to get onto it. An Arctic Skua was also seen distantly harassing a Kittiwake before disappearing out of sight around the headland. Frustratingly I also found a probable Pomarine Skua as it headed in towards the shore but I moved slightly and then couldn't refind it, a rookie mistake indeed.

Overhead a brief Swallow was a nice surprise with 4 Skylark and 2 Siskin also noted and in the quarry 2 Coal Tit were seen with Blue and Great Tits but I decided to head back earlier than originally planned and revisit Foxhole in Paignton to have another look for the Rose-coloured Starling. 

No sooner had I stepped off the bus than I found the Rose-coloured Starling perched on wires nearby amongst a flock of noisey Starlings and over the next hour I had some lovely views of it although it was mobile and flighty around the rooftops and wires along with its common cousins.

Rose-coloured Starling

Rose-coloured Starling

Rose-coloured Starling

Rose-coloured Starling

Rose-coloured Starling
Rose-coloured Starling 

(And the Brown Shrike and the Snow Buntings showed beautifully that day!). 

Friday 22 October 2021

Rose-coloured Starling

The long range weather forecast for Thursday 21st October had been looking promising for a Berry Head Seawatch but as the day drew nearer the forecast kept changing and eventually a storm blew threw overnight on the 20th and the 21st was clear with a North West wind. I had considered heading down to St.Ives again but after working a night shift I didn't fancy a very early start and a long (and more expensive) train journey so headed to Berry Head anyway for a look around, more in hope than expectation.

It was a breezey morning with a cool North Westerly wind but the sun was shining and it was nice to finally get to Berry Head on what is my first and now probably my only visit of this year.

I arrived down in the quarry at around 09:30am and a lone birder was perched up on the rocks at the usual seawatching platform. It was too exposed and cold for me in the wind and so I hunkered down on the rocks below a nearby cliff. 

Trawler heading in to Brixham Harbour

I scanned around offshore with my scope and found a large and strung out mass of feeding birds consisting of Gannets, Kittiwakes and Herring Gulls with a few Mediterranean Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Common Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull amongst them. Guillemots were whizzing across the waves in small groups and pitching down on the sea and a few Shag were also picked up amongst the waves. 

The light was harsh and the birds distant but I did eventually pick up a pale phase Arctic Skua which flew in to attack a group of feeding Kittiwakes, scattering birds everywhere including the Kittiwakes resting on the sea, but it quickly disappeared around the headland and was lost from sight. I also picked up a Great Skua which came quite close in, it was chasing Kittiwakes as it moved closer to shore before seeming to change its mind and heading back out to sea. 

The only other birds of note offshore were a Swallow flying west and 5 Common Scoter (3 male flying east, 1 male flying east and a female flying west) while in the quarry itself a Raven, a pair of Stonechat and a few calling Chiffchaff were noted. 

I decided to call it a day on the seawatching front and walked back to Brixham to catch the bus back to Paignton but on arriving back in Paignton I decided to have a look for the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling being seen on a nearby Paignton housing estate. I had bought a day rider bus ticket anyway and there was a bus stop right at the spot where the bird was mostly being seen and so off I headed. 

Armed with Google Maps on my phone and the information gleaned from bird news on the internet I soon found the right place and immediately saw the Rose-coloured Starling perched on a roof with some Starlings. They were hanging out on the roof of a house near a garden with bird feeders full of fat balls and I was pleased at how quickly I had found it.

Rose-coloured Starling

I watched it for a few minutes and even got my scope out for a better look but a noisey car drove past and spooked all the birds and off it flew. I then spent the next hour and a half wandering around the area checking out all the small groups of Starlings that were flying around, perching up on wires and roofs or feeding on the fat balls but unfortunately I never refound the Rose-coloured Starling.

It was soon time to catch the bus back to the railway station but while waiting for the bus a small looking falcon flying high overhead caught my attention and on checking it out I  realised it was a female/juvenile Merlin, a very smart looking bird and a complete surprise as it headed off inland.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Semipalmated Sandpiper at Hayle

My 2 weeks of annual leave from work eventually had to come to an end but with a glorious day of warm sunshine on Monday 11th October I took a pre-night shift walk at Wembury before my return. It has been a lovely break from work, not particularly birdy but with some nice sightings anyway (a nice White-tailed Lapwing being the highlight!), and nice to feel a little more my normal self instead of the usual knackered, grumpy, impatient and fed up version that work brings out in me. Having a 2 week break has really felt like being let out of a cage and I really, really, really don't want to get back in it but there you are. 

Anyway, the walk at Wembury was glorious, it was a beautiful day and quite warm in the sunshine. There was little bird movement overhead but plenty of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were still feeding in the fields with Meadow Pipits also feeding along the beach.

Meadow Pipit

The tide was very high and at The Point only 10 Oystercatcher were roosting with 3 Curlew and 3 Little Egret while offshore a lone Gannet was seen in the flat calm conditions. An adult Mediterranean Gull flew past and later 2 adults and 6 1st winters were seen resting on the emerging rocky shore, numbers have certainly now dropped from earlier in the autumn.

I spent some time around the pine trees at The Point and was pleased to find around 20 Chiffchaff flitting about, they were very mobile with a few calls and some singing heard. At least 6 Blackcaps were also seen but they were much more skulky, at least 2 males and 4 females were present. The highlight though was a very tardy Garden Warbler which flew across the brambles before disappearing into cover. It eventually reappeared to investigate some blackberries before flying off again, a late date for one and only my second sighting of one at Wembury. 

A Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Coal Tit, a Song Thrush and Cirl Buntings were also seen around the pines along with Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Robin, Blackbird and Great Tit. 

A late Meadow Brown, 2 Small Copper, 2 Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Large and Small White were also seen and all were enjoying the warm weather along with Ivy Bees enjoying the Ivy flowers. 


Ivy Bee

The only other birds of note were a Ringed Plover flushed off the beach by the usual dog walkers and a Wheatear feeding in the horse field, presumably the same bird as seen here on last Saturday. 

And so a very enjoyable and successful mornings walk before my return to work.

Saturday 16th October and with the weather remaining warm and calm and settled and a Little Stint at Hayle being re-identified as a Semipalmated Sandpiper I decided to go and have a look for it. I set out on an early train in very foggy conditions but by the time I arrived at Hayle for the low tide at around 09:30 the fog had cleared.

I walked over to the Carnsew Pool first where the Semipalmated Sandpiper has mostly been seen and very easily found it feeding out on the mud with Dunlins, smaller and whiter underneath than the Dunlins and quite often heading off to feed on it's own. The small waders were all very twitchy though and regularly took to the air before eventually resettling on the mud, a female Sparrowhawk was briefly seen in hunting mode flying low along the side of the Pool but no other raptors were noted to cause such nervousness.

I had some great scope views of the bird out on the mud, at times it was relatively close as the waders moved around the exposed mud but it was still too distant for any half decent photos.

Semipalmated Sandpiper with Dunlins

Semipalmated Sandpiper - courtesy of Paul Taylor @Tay_PJT on Twitter

More birders were arriving to view the Sandpiper and it was beginning to feel a little too twitchy for my liking so I decided to head over to nearby Copperhouse Creek for a look around where the highlight was a Black-tailed Godwit seen feeding out on the mud.

I headed back to the Carnsew Pool but I couldn't relocate the Sandpiper, presumably it was tucked up asleep amongst the roosting Dunlins and out of sight and so I headed up to the Causeway Bridge for a scan about. The tide was beginning to head in and on the rapidly diminishing exposed mud I found the usual birds - Mediterranean Gull, Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck, Mallard, Canada Goose, Greenshank, Lapwing, Bar-tailed Godwit, etc. - with the highlight being 2 Ruff feeding close to the bridge.





Back to the Carnsew Pool and the Semipalmated Sandpiper was again easily found busily feeding with the Dunlins on the rapidly decreasing amount of mud but after a few minutes a low flying Black-headed Gull spooked all the waders and off they flew upriver before landing on the mud near the Causeway Bridge!

With the Sandpiper having flown off and the tide heading in it was time to head home on the train but it was good to catch up with the Semipalmated Sandpiper (my 3rd one ever and my 2nd at Hayle after last years September bird). And it turned out to be a 14 wader species day with 4 Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover and a Snipe also seen on the Carnsew Pool along with a flock of around 100 calling Golden Plover flying over.

Sunday 10 October 2021

A Return to Wembury

A look for the reported Grey Phalarope at Siblyback Reservoir on Friday 8th October drew a blank, not surprising in the calm conditions and after it being present for a few days now, but we had an enjoyable walk anyway and I saw Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Greylag Goose, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Saturday 9th October and I headed out to Wembury again on a warm and calm morning. In the sunny spells it was really warm indeed and there were 2 Long-tailed Coneheads, 8 Common Lizards, 2 Small Coppers, Speckled Woods, Red Admirals, a Large White and 3 Common Darters making the most of the unseasonally warm conditions. 

Small Copper

Red Admiral

The tide was heading out and at The Point 62 Oystercatcher were roosting with 7 Little Egret, 5 Curlew, a pair of Mallard and 5 Mediterranean Gulls (1 adult, 2 2nd winter and 2 1st winter). Offshore a few Gannets were milling around and 3 distant Auks were seen flying west (probably Guillemots).  A surprise sighting was a flock of 14 male Common Scoter flying west, presumably the same birds I saw last Tuesday.

Cirl Buntings and Stonechats were as showy as ever and also seen were a Song Thrush, a Greenfinch, a Linnet, a pair of Kestrel, 8 Long-tailed Tits and a Collared Dove. It was also nice to see 2 Wheatears and at least 4 Chiffchaffs along with 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers (1 at The Pines, 1 over the Valley to the Beach).

Cirl Bunting




I had the moth box out in the back yard again overnight on Friday 8th October and for my troubles I had just one moth in the trap in the morning, a late Double-striped Pug. More sadly I found the remains of a Barred Sallow in a nearby spiders web.

Barred Sallow

I decided to try something new overnight on Saturday 9th October and placed the moth box lights in the dining room window to see what if anything would happen and bizarrely had 6 moths around the window and surrounding walls the next morning - Common Marbled Carpet, Tachystola acroxantha, Light Emerald, Garden Carpet, Rusty Dot Pearl and Feathered Ranunculus! Hopefully with this setup I might get to see a December Moth in the back yard later this year! 

Common Marbled Carpet

Light Emerald

Rusty Dot Pearl

Feathered Ranunculus

Friday 8 October 2021

Wembury Sea Watch

Wednesday 6th October was the calm after the storm and so I headed out to Wembury for a walk in occasional sunny spells and a gentle breeze. I had packed my telescope into my rucksack and I'm very glad I did, Wembury isn't known as a good place to sea watch but I managed some good sightings albeit a little distant even with the scope

On arriving at the main beach at around 09:45hrs I noticed a feeding frenzy of Gulls near The Mewstone but on checking them out with my scope I could only find Herring, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls amongst the throng. Gannets were noticed further offshore moving west, a mix of adult and immature birds, but more noticeable were Meadow Pipits close to shore moving west in a steady trickle with around 400 birds noted in total in around 3 hours before the movement totally dried up. (Large counts were also reported further east along the coast). 

A few Meadow Pipits were also grounded in the fields and along the beach where they were getting short shrift from Rock Pipits and Pied Wagtails. 

Meadow Pipit

Skylarks were on the move too with around 40 passing west overhead and a few again feeding in the fields. A male Blackcap and 5 Chiffchaffs were also noted in the bushes with 5 Swallows moving west along the coast and the Great Spotted Woodpecker still present in the pines at The Point. Stonechats and Cirl Buntings were very noticeable along the coast path as usual. 

Cirl Bunting

The tide was ebbing and out on the rocks with the usual Oystercatchers were a Curlew, 3 Little Egret and 5 Mallard (2 males) and assorted Gulls including Mediterranean Gulls.

By the time I had walked to The Point the feeding frenzy of Gulls had dispersed somewhat but I set up my scope anyway to scan over the virtually flat calm sea. I picked up some Kittiwakes feeding offshore including a few juveniles and there were still small groups of Gannets further out moving west. Two male Common Scoter flew west and were shortly followed by another 2. A flock of 10 then flew west and not long after that a flock of 14 then flew east, presumably the 14 birds already logged. 

A Balearic Shearwater was picked up flying west and then 2 more were seen heading west before they settled on the sea and were lost from view. An Auk species was seen flying west too before settling on the sea, probably a Razorbill, and 2 more Auks were seen further out also flying west, probably Guillemots. 

A distant and dark, wader-like bird was picked up flying low over the water heading towards shore before it suddenly upped a gear and sped towards a feeding group of Kittiwakes, a dark phase Skua species, probably an Arctic as it was a very similar size to the Kittiwakes it had started to chase and harass. It eventually settled on the sea and was lost to view but later 2 dark phase Skuas were seen flying low over the water together before also settling on the sea. A final scan and a very dark looking Skua was picked up distantly harassing Kittiwakes, it was really giving chase to the Kittiwakes in an energetic and acrobatic aerial display before finally getting a regurgitated meal and settling on the sea. 

Long-winged Coneheads, Common Lizards and Ivy Bees were also seen along with a few butterflies flitting about. 

Ivy Bee

Walking back up the hill to the bus stop for the journey home and a Firecrest was picked up calling in the bushes, eventually it gave some brief and obscured views before flying off when a car passed by, my first sighting of a Firecrest this autumn. 

With some warm and humid weather forecasted overnight on 6th/7th October I had the moth box out in the back yard. Unfortunately it was also quite wet with unforecasted misty mizzle all night and in the morning the box was soaked but there were moths in it! - 2 Lesser Yellow Underwing, a Light Brown Apple Moth, a Garden Carpet and a Double-striped Pug were usual fare but I was pleased to find a Feathered Ranunculus, an unfortunately quite faded Large Ranunculus and an L-Album Wainscot with a nick in its left wing similar to the one I caught in the garden on 26th September. 

Feathered Ranunculus

Large Ranunculus - faded but you can still just make out the copper flecks

L-Album Wainscot - the same as 26th September? 

Wednesday 6 October 2021

St.Ives Seawatching

The weather forecast for Tuesday 5th October was looking dire although ideal for some sea watching but the forecast kept changing and I eventually switched plans and headed to St.Ives in North Cornwall instead of Berry Head in South Devon due to there being a strong North Westerly wind after a night of South Westerly gales. 

I arrived at the Coastguard Station at St.Ives at around 9:30am, later than I had originally planned, and a gaggle of birders were already present scanning the rough seas out of the wind in the lee of the Station.

St.Ives Sea Watching

The sun was shining and on a quick scan through my binoculars I found 2 Great Skuas, a Balearic Shearwater and a Manx Shearwater along with Gannets, Kittiwakes, Mediterranean Gulls and Auks. With so much going on I quickly assembled my telescope and began some proper searching.

I'm still a novice when it comes to sea watching and at times it was quite overwhelming with large numbers of birds swirling around everywhere. Finding something unusual, getting my scope on it and then trying to ID it while being buffeted by strong winds and fending off members of the public passing by who wanted to chit chat wasn't easy - but I had a great time and 4 hours just flew by! I missed all the reported scarce birds  (Leaches Storm Petrel, Grey Phalarope and Sooty Shearwater) but I think these were mostly seen before I arrived on site although I did have a very brief view of a Petrel species before it just disappeared in the wave troughs. 

I didn't attempt to count numbers as I got the distinct impression that most birds were moving in a circle around the bay especially the Shearwaters and Skuas. Both dark and pale phase Arctic Skuas were seen, probably at least 10 birds, along with probably at least 4 Great Skuas and they gave some excellent views as they passed by close to the headland.

Flocks of Auks were flying west with many ditching on the sea to dive for fish, mostly Razorbills but with a few Guillemots as well. Gannets were everywhere, adults and immature birds, and watching them dive was as impressive as always. Mediterranean Gulls and Kittiwakes of various ages were also flying around with the Kittiwakes regularly subjected to the attentions of the Skuas and Sandwich and Commic Terns were also noted too. 

A few Manx Shearwater were seen flying west but a pair of Balearic Shearwaters stole the show as they fished together close to shore, flying low over the water and diving into the wave peaks to catch small silver fish and then emerging the other side of the wave to do it again and again. They were definently moving around the bay as they would disappear around the headland as they flew west into the wind and swell before circling back into the bay to repeat the circuit again. A few other Balearics were seen moving west including one with a Manx Shearwater allowing for a good comparison between the two and they were certainly the best views of Balearics I've ever had. 

A Bar-tailed Godwit, a Swallow and 13 Common Scoter (all males in 3 flocks heading west totalling 2, 6 and 5) were also noted along with Shag, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull with a brief view of a Grey Seal close to the rocks. 

On the return trip to Plymouth I stopped off at the Hayle Estuary for a quick look around. The tide was low but 7 Dunlin, a Grey Plover, Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher, a Greenshank and 13 Bar-tailed Godwit were seen along with Wigeon, Teal, Little Egret, a Grey Heron and Mediterranean Gulls. 

A Whimbrel was feeding on Ryan's Field and a Grey Wagtail was feeding along The Quay but the best bird was a Great Crested Grebe on the Carnsew Pool, my first one at Hayle. 


Grey Wagtail

Sunday 3 October 2021

White-tailed Lapwing, Blacktoft Sands

It's Holiday-less Holiday time again, foreign travel is now allowed with the relaxing of COVID restrictions but with an ever changing maze of paperwork, rules and regulations and all the hassle and stress involved we decided to stay in the UK. We had looked at visiting Cornwall or Devon but the prices were absolutely ridiculous and so we headed off to York instead for a 4 night stay.

I visited York many years ago when I was around 10 years old, we travelled to York by train from Ipswich on a day trip so my Dad could see and travel on the then brand new Intercity 125 trains. It was a long day with most of it spent on the train journey there and back but I have always wanted to return for a proper visit.

We also travelled up to York by train for this visit, an enjoyable and hassle free journey via London. From the train a Great White Egret was seen feeding along a watery ditch somewhere in Somerset and just 3 Red Kites were seen flying overhead (2 near Reading and 1 near Peterborough). 

The weather in York wasn't great with wind and rain and cool temperatures but we managed to get out and about and do all the things we wanted to do.

Our first day was spent wandering around the city and walking the city walls. We visited a small park by the River Ouse where Tansy Beetles have been introduced, a rare beetle only found near York and in The Fens but despite finding some Tansy in flower there was no sign of any Beetles.

Tansy Beetle Mural, York

The next day was spent in the National Railway Museum which was very interesting and enjoyable and it was great to see the steam locomotive Mallard. The weather was foul but at least the museum was all under cover.


Friday 1st October and the plan had been to visit nearby RSPB Bempton Cliffs by train to look for the summering Black-browed Albatross but unfortunately it had moved on and so I visited RSPB Blacktoft Sands by train instead where a White-tailed Lapwing has been residing for a while now.

The journey to Goole via Doncaster by train was easy and straight forward but a 50 minute wait in Goole for the bus to Blacktoft Sands was more than enough to enjoy the "delights" of Goole. The bus journey was around 30 minutes and the bus very handily stopped right outside the entrance to the reserve. 

The White-tailed Lapwing (nicknamed Larry) had been seen that morning but on checking out the First Hide where it usually resides there was not a bird to be seen. 

I decided to check out the rest of the reserve and the other 5 hides before returning back to the First Hide for a Larry stake-out and I managed to see a good range of birds on my walkabout. 

A juvenile Gannet was a surprise sighting flying up the River Ouse, heading inland into the strong winds with 3 more already having been seen doing the same earlier in the morning.

Marsh Harrier were regularly seen quartering over the reed beds with a male and at least 2 juveniles seen. 

Marsh Harrier, Blacktoft Sands

Water Rails and Bearded Tits were heard amongst the reeds but I did eventually get good views of a Water Rail feeding along the edge of the reeds with a Bearded Tit feeding alongside it! 

Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Lapwing, a Grey Plover, at least 2 Snipe and 8 Ruff were all seen but were very mobile and flighty around the reserve along with Little Egrets, a Grey Heron, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and a pair of Shoveler. 



Chiffchaff and Cettis Warbler were heard and at least 2 Swallows were hawking about overhead. A male Kestrel was seen perched on a fence post out of the wind and Meadow Pipits flew around overhead calling. 

I returned to the First Hide and settled in on the upper floor amongst the assorted birders all hoping for a view of the elusive Lapwing. It had last been seen a while ago and had settled down in the grass in front of the hide but behind a bank where it was hidden from view although I did manage to get a few brief views of its head when it occasionally looked up. 

Eventually it started to feed along the waters edge and gave some great views, a very charismatic looking bird with amazingly long and yellow legs. It was quite wary at times, hunkering down when Marsh Harriers quartered nearby or Teals and Little Egrets flew in or out of the pools of water. 

White-tailed Lapwing 

White-tailed Lapwing

White-tailed Lapwing

White-tailed Lapwing

White-tailed Lapwing

Eventually it was time to leave to catch the bus back to Goole and while waiting at the reserve entrance for the bus to arrive I watched a small flock of around 20 Tree Sparrows feeding in a stubble field while a flock of around 20 Golden Plover flew overhead calling. 

From the top deck of the bus on the journey back to Goole I also saw a group of 6 Whooper Swans out on the River Ouse, I had seen them feeding in the fields on the journey out to Blacktoft Sands and it was a nice end to an interesting birding day out.