Filey's ringing week started this weekend so fingers were crossed, but Eurus the Greek God of the East wind just didn't want to play ball. To the degree where on Sunday they made the decision to postpone it for a few days. Not only were the westerlies not helping in the slightest, the wind was so strong the risk of the mist nets getting damaged was just too high. This handsome male Great Spotted Woodpecker was the bird of note during my time with the ringing team.
My thanks go to Chris the ringer, who's hand took a barrage of abuse whilst letting me take a photo! Apparently 'Pecker Rash' is the official term when a woodpecker's gone to town on your hand! Miss Piggy took some convincing though that I'd put a ring on a woodpecker's leg when I once got pecker rash on a stag do in Amsterdam?
Having enjoyed the previous Skua and Shearwater Cruise so much, mainly helped by a Sabine's Gull, I decided another trip, the last of the season, could easily be fitted in. It also looked like I wasn't going to miss much at Filey Country Park either? It was another superb trip. Three skua species were seen Arctic, Great and Pomarine with Little and Mediterranean being the pick of the gulls.
Gannets were never far away for the entire trip.
A mixture of Herring Gull and Great Backed Gull of all age groups hung around for the fish bits being thrown overboard, to try and lure in an opportunistic skua
This juvenile Great Black Backed Gull actually looks dead! The photo captured it shaking excess water off after it had dived in for scraps!
A Kittewake trying to get in on the action whilst avoiding the bigger gulls.
A number of Redwing were on the move, migrating over the North Sea, with one poor individual getting picked off by a Herring Gull a mile or so from land. Spare a thought for these two though. A male Chaffich and Meadow Pipit flying perilously close to the waves and spray, avoiding the gulls, into a strong headwind. Sunday was probably the fist time I've wanted to shout at a bird! A 'go on son...you're nearly there...keep going' was just what the moment needed. Having seen it first hand, miles from land in the wake of another bird being unfortunately killed, my admiration for these birds making the crossing has risen ten fold.