Saturday began with a search for Firecrest around some local parks, starting where one had been reported at the back end of last year proved frustrating being next to a busy road and no access into the area it was reported then I couldn't find Clifton Park and Rowntree Park doesn't have the right habitat! Frustrating morning so I headed off to Hes East where there wasn't a lot around so got bored and took some photos of a known Snow x Barnacle hybrid!
Nothing of note on the lake, so over the other side of the A64 but still no
Brambling. A walk from here over the Tillmire produced a large flock of Tree Sparrow, displaying Kestrels and plenty of Goldcrest.
Someone was not phased by the cold weather!
By this time it was 2 o'clock so decided to go on a random drive a short way up the A64 to see if I could find a nice game cover strip with finches to try and find Brambling, found one spot but couldn't park anywhere near it! Feeling pretty frustrated I drove off only to notice a decent sized flock of finches flying round a field, pull over and most of the flock land in an alder tree
Redpolls, score! After about 10 minutes managed to pick out a Mealy, nice larger greyer bird but too distant for photos and dropped out of sight too quickly. A game shoot came through the field scattering the flock and so I headed home.
Sunday was spent around Hes East, Redshank was still on the main lake, 4 Tufted Duck and a new Little Owl sharply spotted by Jack!
After a report last night of a Bar-tailed Godwit at Wheldrake yesterday evening and it being a decent York area bird and one that might be tricky to catch up with for my year list I headed over there this morning.
Plenty of birds still about considering the lack of water there at the moment, but no Bar-tailed Godwits! Searching through the waterfowl for unusual head patterns and vertical stripes also drew a blank
Good numbers of waders included 80+ Dunlin, c15 Ruff, 30 Golden Plover and 26 Curlew as well as the usual couple hundred Lapwing and my first Oystercatcher in the area
In amongst the Greylags and Canadas was a single juvenile European White-fronted Goose.
Not a bad morning all round and always nice to get down to Wheldrake. Managed to read 2 Mute Swan rings which I presume are both from the valley but I'll double check. 195 and 351.
Finally a juv Grey Heron posed nicely in front of Swantail hide, still improving my digiscoping skills!
All in all Mealy Redpoll and Oystercatcher new for my York area year list taking me onto 104.