Both the Short-eared Owl (although there may actually be more than one) and the Desert Wheatear put on a fine show today. The Owl spent most of the day hunting over the field behind the visitor centre and the Wheatear was typically mobile. Check for it between Staple Newk and New Roll Up viewpoints, but if it's not there head back to the Grandstand area.
Peregrine, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were also seen today - most during the Winter Warmer guided walk (next one Friday 16th).
Pop along tomorrow and Santa will be there too!!
After disappearing for a few days in truly awful weather the cracking male Desert Wheatear is back. It was seen briefly on Monday but then was seen well today feeding on the empty Gannetry at Staple Newk. It's quite likely the Gannet nests are insect rich and also very sheltered so all in all an ideal winter retreat. It can be difficult to see but well worth the wait.
Also, the last week has seen Fulmars showing a little more interest in the cliffs and a few Guillemots are feeding offshore. A Peregrine or two regularly hunt the cliffs and a Kestrel is nearly always hovering over the cliff edge near to Staple Newk.
Both Brown Hare and Fox have been seen in the last few days and if you are scanning the fields for these, look out for small flocks of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks.
Check out the main blogg page for the latest sightings and news of the unexpected return of the Desert Wheatear.
Remarkably the Gannet nests at Staple Newk (as well as the fields, fences and footpaths!) are still proving popular with the Desert Wheatear. Not entirely sure whether or not the impending arrival of the first few Gannets will change things, but for the time being at least the Staple Newk nests are the place to find it.
Sure sign of spring too, is the fact that Tree Sparrows are showing more interest again in visitor centre roof and their favoured nesting spot of the slightly lifted tiles. Also counted 80 on the feeders visible form the back door of the centre, so the wintering flock is enjoying the milder times.
Come along on Sunday to brush up on your garden bird identification before doing your Big Garden Birdwatch 2012! We will have everything you need to take part, including help from those in the know who can help you sort out blue tits from great tits. You'll take home your very own survey leaflet so you can take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch .
Activities include watching and identifying birds in our bird feeding station, making a fat feeder to attract birds to your garden, and finding out more about how to feed your garden birds. Why not finish off your visit with a warm drink and a bit of retail therapy in the RSPB shop!
Get the date in your diary: Sunday 22nd January from 10.00am to 3.00pm.