Friday, 11 May 2012

Don't Call Me Jonah!

This recent bout of rainy and showery weather has rather spoilt any opportunity to get out. Having spent most of the past week or so either at work or indoors, today I was determined to get out. Birdguides had been reporting a variety of migrants passing through, but one that seemed to have stuck in our area was the Atlas Flycatcher over at South Landing, Flamborough. I must admit to have felt a little hesitant about going to see a potential rarity; over the past months I have gone to find a number of specials only for them to have moved on before I arrived. However, Paul Hudson (our local TV meteorologist) had forecast light showers for most of the day, with a northerly breeze, so I reckoned that the bird had no real incentive to move on. On that basis South Landing was my chosen destination.

I arrived to find half a dozen others, but no sign of the bird. One of the locals reported that it had become more mobile over the past day or so, and had been seen at different points up and down the ravine alongside the car park. Despite this news my spirits remained buoyant; but at that point it started to rain. The shower lasted well over an hour, and I was drenched. The wind had picked up and things had turned decidedly chilly. I bumped into an old work colleague, and together we walked the circular path around the site.
There was no sign of the Atlas anywhere – probably driven into hiding because of the cold. After the rain there was plenty of other interest – a few Whitethroats, at least one pair of Spotted Flycatchers, a Lesser Whitethroat, and a pair Treecreepers passing grubs to each other.  All and others were looking for and finding things to eat - although none had found the mass of snails anchored on one tree. So why no Atlas Flycatcher? No-one around South Landing had seen it, so it seems that my bad luck continues. Next time perhaps I should not decide on a venue using Birdguides.

Even the Woodpigeons were cold

Song Thrush hunting worms

A cache of snails at least eight feet off the ground

Spotted Flycatcher

Treecreeper with a present for its mate



Lesser Whitethroat

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