Yorkshire east coast bird photography
The spring sunshine lured me out for some Yorkshire east coast bird photography today, although the sun was a bit later in showing than I had hoped for. The day began with a visit to the wintering Mediterranean gulls which I’d hoped would be in full summer plumage by now but they were not quite there. One of the adults had an almost full black head but was less photogenic due to the amount of rings on the legs including a large, red Darvic ring. There was also a first-winter Med gull there which was nice to see and easy enough to pick out from the first-winter black-headed gulls by the dark eye smudge and the much heavier beak. As the weather was not what had been forecast, I decided to move on to the harbour to see if there were any rarities around. The harbour turned out to be fairly quite, with just a long staying great northern diver showing briefly, so straight on to see the pergrines on the cliffs below Scarborough castle but not before photographing the obliging house sparrows amongst the fishing pots. Sure enough, the peregrines were showing well, though the steep shooting angle made photography difficult, and I didn’t fair much better on the long staying black redstart on Marine Drive which I saw but didn’t photograph.
Deciding I ought to check out the very long staying and seemingly obliging eastern black redstart that has overwintered on Skinningrove beach, I headed north to Whitby and beyond to Cleveland to the quiet fishing harbour of Skinningrove. Sure enough, the redstart was there amongst the rocks on the beach and he was not alone; a superb pair of stonechats were there and were equally obliging. The rocks were soon in the shade of a nearby hill but the real barrier to photgraphing the redstart was an aggressive robin which was also inhabiting the rocks and was not happy with other birds on his patch. Back on the sunny side of the harbour, a different pair of stonechats put in an appearance as well as a pair of wrens but the rock pipits were the star bird here. A great day out with a great number of images under the belt and I’m still sorting them out but here are a few for starters.