9th-11th April. Filey

Not for lack of trying I have seen very few birds of late and the search for migrants has been somewhat frustrating. Having recently acquired a caravan we decided on a weekend at Filey in order to get used to it before strategically timed trips to Speyside, Northumberland and Cornwall though I'm told that only the former will be a birding trip! Once there I soon found myself reminiscing about 'rare' specimens from years gone by and all seen within just a few hundred yards of our caravan. Memories came flooding back, my first Bonelli's Warbler by the toilet block (just before the mad dash to Flamborough for a, at the time, ultra rare Paddyfield Warbler), Dusky Warbler, Little Auk, Shorelark, Bluethroat, Great Northern Diver all firsts for me at the time. Who could forget the Spectacled Warbler and with other rares such as Sardinian and Pallas's Warblers, Yellow-breasted and Little Buntings that at the time were new birds in Yorkshire. Sadly this was the Filey of old the Filey of today doesn't seem to do it anymore and I've no idea why. Perhaps the early to mid-nineties were it's purple patch, a flash in the pan if you like. Both Saturday and Sunday morning I was out at first light I saw very few birds and just two birders. I saw just one migrant in a couple of hours - a Yellow Wagtail. I suspect that it's a combination of factors, a lack of birds, some of the old regulars defecting to sites further south and perhaps the remaining regulars getting on a bit. Despite not seeing much at all I still got that buzz each time I caught a movement in the hedge bottom, even if it did turn out to just be a Chaffinch. I'm sure Filey as still got it and perhaps one year it will return to its glory days of the early Eighties - I do hope so.

The highlight of the weekend.

There's always the old favouries if all else fails.

A trip to Bempton for some Puffin stroking is a must.


James said...

There was a Great Grey Shrike on Long Hedge at Filey on Sunday, not sure if you connected?

Mark said...

Thanks James. I didn't know about that one until the Saturday morning - when it had gone!