Monday, 9 July 2018

The Pentland Hills

I jumped on the train to Edinburgh on 1st July. I was to spend a few days with Kevin & Leanne, who are good friends from my time in Abu Dhabi. I hadn't seen them for quite a while as they have been living here for just over a year. Also visiting were Robin & Anne, who were in Edinburgh for their daughters graduation. So it was a bit of an Abu Dhabi reunion!

The walking paths 
are well marked.

Common Buzzard

One soon gains height.

Glencourse Reservoir.

Grey Heron



Grey Wagtail

Juvenile Common Stonechat

I went for a hike into the Pentland Hills on 3rd July. It was a magnificent day & I set off from the Flotterstone Information Centre. I walked up the valley, past both Glencourse & Loganiea Reservoirs onto the high moors to The Howe & then back. Saw plenty of Dipper & Grey Wagtail along the stream & Common Buzzard & Kestrel over the moors. 

Harry Ramsdon's.

The new road bridge.

The railway bridge,
 which is now a World Heritage Site.

Ten o clock at night!

The next day we all met up & went to Harry Ramsdon's Fish & Chip Restaurant in South Queensferry. It was a glorious evening & we sat outside looking over the Forth Road Bridge.

Grey Squirrel

An unwelcome visitor to the bird feeding station.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Blue Tit & Bullfinch

Great Tit

Coal Tit

European Robin

European Greenfinch

The week went all too quickly & I caught the train down to London on 7th July.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Spurn Point: Yorkshire

On 4th June I cycled from Ilkley to Hull, a total of 95 miles via the back roads. The first 55 miles were fine, but after Pocklington the undulating terrain of the Yorkshire Wolds took its toll on me! I arrived at Janet's house totally exhausted!

Still delivering in the old way in Tadcaster.

Janet & an exhausted me!

 It was nice to have a catch up & the very next morning I was off again cycling the 26 miles to Kilnsea, next to Spurn. There was a bit of a head wind, so the going was quite tough. I was staying the next few nights at Ian & Sharon's house. They made me feel very welcome & I had a wonderful stay.

Where I stayed: bit of a problem with
 the local YWT!

Me after my cycle in Ian & 
Sharon's garden.

Looking towards Beacon Ponds.

Brown Hare

Kilnsea Wetlands

The excellent hide overlooking the wetlands.

Little Egret

Up to 9 birds present on the wetlands.

Dark bellied Brent Goose, this one is
 over summering.

Peregrine over the wetlands.

Mute Swan with cygnet.

European Oystercatcher

Pied Avocet

At least six pairs breeding here.


Black headed Gull

Ringed Plover

Pied Wagtail


Yellow Wagtail

European Skylark

Male Reed Bunting


European Starling

Kilnesea Wetlands provided a few species throughout my stay:

Dark bellied Brent Goose; Peregrine; Common Buzzard; Marsh Harrier; up to 15 Pied Avocet; 4 Wigeon; 12 Gadwall; 8 Common Teal; 3 Curlew Sandpiper; 1 Little Stint; Little Gull & up to 57 Sandwich Terns.

Mick Turton, who helps warden the breeding
Little Terns.

Little Terns

Around 70 birds present, but only four nests so far.

Humber Estuary, looking from the Crown.

Places to see in Holderness.

And after you leave!

Saltmarsh on the Humber.

Roe Deer feeding on the saltmarsh.

Short eared Owl

Brilliant bird!

The Warren Cottage

Heliogoland Trap at The Warren

Ian & others at Numpties watch point.

Looking south along the point.

Did quite a bit of watching from Numpties, over the few days I was here. No visible migration as mainly northerly winds, enough passing over the sea to keep one interested. 
Best were:

Up to 10 Red throated Diver each day; 6 Manx Shearwater; 8 Fulmar; 1 Arctic Skua; 1 Great Skua most days; up to 25 Common Scoter each day; 3 red breasted Merganser; 100+ Gannet each day; 25+ Kittiwake; 100+ mix of Razorbill & Guillemot + a couple of Puffins.

Princess Quay in Hull.

Nicci, having a beer
 or needing a beer!

Nicci & Janet

Janet, me, Nicci & the kids.

I cycled back to Hull on Saturday 9th June & met up with Nicci; Janet & the grand kids for an evening on the town. I left for Ilkley the next afternoon.