The long weekend started Friday. Good birds in Yorkshire on the pager... female Lesser Scaup, Ring-billed Gull and the odd Coues's Arctic Redpoll. It didn't take long to think maybe I'd give them all a miss.
The reasons why, other than wasting petrol...
1) I've bumped into a few Lesser Scaup much nearer home.
2) Have found Ring-billed Gull from my accomodation window once before - OK one was when I lived in Penzance viewed from my flat window on a roof and was hardly an ID challenge,
3) I've seen, and found, Coues's Arctic Redpolls in the past without having to walk anywhere.
I'm sure it made a great day out for a few folk who needed them, and the twitching fraternity! But more fun to find your own without someone's help, Lesser Scaup will be added to my self-found list at some point perhaps and I've saved my cash for something more worthwhile.
So it was a trip to Tophill Low NR. Peeing down, foggy and cold late-afternoon! 1000+ Herring Gulls the highlight and despite searching hard, that was as good as it was going to get.
Saturday, I was once again back at Tophill with Doug Fairweather. The fungi foray was rather quiet, just bit of Velvet Shank around (pictured), a little Yellow Brain and some Scarlet Elf Caps starting to come through. In a short while they should make for a nice spectacle across the woodland floor in D Wood.
Birdwise, the usual suspects appeared. A Bittern did a short tour over D Res, doing a better job of rearranging the assorted ducks than any numpty looking over the wall waving his arms could! It eventually appeared to land at the north end of North Marsh after causing chaos. A Willow Tit and up to 6 Brambling showed well in the car park, a Lesser Redpoll was in D Wood with a small gang of Siskin, and 4 Woodcock were flushed, a byproduct of searching for fungi.
The D Res gull roost once again held a good number of larger larids, albeit nothing special. A couple of redhead Smew roosted as did a couple of Goosander.