14:00-16:00 hrs ( cold, strong westerly)
18 Tundra Bean Geese flew in at 14:10 hrs, spent 20 minutes or so on the water before flying off north. One bird in particular, has a distinctive white rim around the base of its bill.
1 Tundra Bean and 105 European White-fronted Geese in at 15:40 hrs before flying off south west. No white-wingers in the sizeable gull roost. 70 Barnacle Geese and a Little Egret in the cormorant trees were of note.
A watch from Kirkholme produced two flocks of Bean Geese. The first, a flock of 16, came in at 15:45hrs and appeared to land on the water, close to the Heslop reeds. They were followed 5 minutes later by a skein of 19 heading north. The only other thing of note was a flock of at least 60 Wigeon which came in from the east.
Around 70 Whitefronts off 1st field just after 10am, but only gave em a brief scan as the wind was vicious. A scan from some relatively more sheltered areas from 2nd field only produced 1 drk Pintail of note. A walk to the west end produced little, just Reed Bunts and the Barney flock. Nowt much doin so went for Fish n Chips. After a belly full, got back down Mere for the gull roost which in all respects i want looking forward to as the light was shite, and my old Kowa scope is basically fucked.
Fortuneately Tag Heuer/Brazzers.com East Riding sales rep turned up with his Kowa 883, 30wide/zoom combo. Now i’ve had a butchers thru one of these at the Birdfair with the zoom on and was well impressed, but with the 30wide its a proper sex case. Bright and a wide field of view and sharp as fuck. I’m in the market for a new scope and was looking at spending £1500 tops, but after a look thru that i’m gonna have to find another £700 and get the big Kowa.
The only thing of note tho in the gull roost was an Ad Med Gull (YL), 118 Whitefronts, 1 Tundra Bean late afternoon (SW).
Sightings included Drk Goosander off 1st field, the Long tailed duck still present bang slap in the middle of Mere, no sign of the Slav in the morning but was present late aft whilst i wa freezing me nuts off picking the bones out the gull roost. 114 White fronts dropped in late morning with 1 Tundra Bean Goose in with em. The same birds then dropped in around 15:30 with the 2nd flock of White fronts (70+) off 1st field, then the lot all went south at 15:50. Spent a couple of hours north of Mere (minor roads round Catfoss, Skipsea, Bewholme) trawling round like a kerb crawler (looking for geese and gulls officer) but no luck, only some decent numbers of winter thrushes noted, a juv Pegger and Common Buzzard showed well between Atwick and Bewholme. Marsh Harrier and Kingfisher also southside of Mere.
This past 2-3 weeks dropping on the Mere to bird has felt like birding Spurn in October during a spell of easterlies, expectations high and it delivering birds. Its done that on all counts, alright no major rares but an almost continual run and turnover of decent/good stuff. So it was no surprise when 19 Bean geese dropped on the Mere around mid morning settling in near the hide. The birds wa always distant but all seemed to fit the Tundra Bean features. I also had 90 Whitefronts that went north as the Beans dropped in, but Hornsea Mere stats and footpath guru G.Bennett assured me there wa 99. He also had 77 Whitefronts (2nd flock) giving at least 176 birds in the area. Back on the Mere the Slav, Red necked Grebe, Long tailed Duck and 2 Whoopers where all still present. Unable to get close views of the Beans i checked around Heslop’s for any other geese flocks but no joy. On the way back thru 2nd field the Beans had got up and appeared to drop into the fields around Honeysuckle Farm around 12ish. I know the area well so figured i’d pick em up easily. I obviously don’t know it that well cos in the next 2 hours i only picked em up once more (in flight around 2pm heading back ta Mere) Arse. Luckily Steve Webb had picked em up as they got back on the Mere and picked up on a much larger Bean in with them. The Beans showed well on Mere but wa always semi sillouetted hampering my id’ing. This particular Bean appeared larger than other 18, longer necked, larger billed, and showed extensive orange to the bill. The birds then again left the Mere to the north and again gave me the run around for the next 90 mins. I eventually picked em back up heading back to the Mere but couldnt relocate them by 16:00. As usual some pics were taken but in all honesty they are good for fuck all. 6 Whoopers where also present late afternoon on the Mere. So if your not doin out tomorrow get your arse down the Mere, theres some birds to be had or maybe a Taiga.
4th Dec – pretty much all day covered between (LI, MR, MJ, SW, YL)
Last years entry for the notebook dated 4th Dec 2010, simply read “Mere – No Birds, balls deep in snow”. Thankfully theres none of the white stuff yet and todays notes are pretty tasty reading (well for the Merebirders at least). The day started with a Long-tailed duck off Kirkholme point/1st field (another year tick) which showed till around 12ish at least. Slav Grebe off Swan island and Black necked Grebe off 1st field both still knocking around, a hunkered down Red necked Grebe was then found around late morning keeping tight to the east end reed fringe. Numerous Great crests and Little grebes off Heslop’s meant for the first time we can recall, a 5 grebe species haul could be had. 17 Pink feet cut out south late morning, Mike Jackson picked up 12 Adult Whoopers at the west end, with another 8 Whoopers with a single Bewick’s swan south mid afternoon. A Tundra Bean Goose was then picked up over the west end keeping company with 23 more Pink feet and appeared to head off in the direction of Bewholme. 5 Jay’s Decoy wood, Kngfisher west end and another 44 Pink feet over 2nd field, and a Peregrine again on the spit kept the day list going. Steve Webb also dropped down the Mere with counts of 121 Pink feet, 1 Bean goose, 20 Whoopers and a Bewick’s swan. The fanny magnet accolade tho goes to the mint Royal Blue V-12 Jag E-Type which i tailed on the way home, just fucking ace!!!
In an attempt to rival Marks crap full moon Ouzel pic here’s a really poor one of 3 Grebe species. There were actually 5 species present on the mere today!