Saturday 2 June 2012

EUROPEAN ROLLER in East Yorkshire

After all the excitement on Tuesday regarding the WESTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER in Cleveland, there was another bird that I was dying to see. Unfortunately the EUROPEAN ROLLER that was located on the very same day at Spurn had disappeared before we had chance to nail it. My fingers were crossed for the remainder of the week in hope that it would be relocated further along the east coast..... and on Thursday it was.

And so this morning whilst I lay in my slumber at 5.30am I received a text from Dan 'Public Enemy' Pointon to say the that the vibrant visitor from Southern Europe was still present. By 6.30am my partner in birding crime Snapper Richards was knocking on the door and after a quick breakfast he, myself and Nadia were heading north.  Just before 9.00am we were stood on a sunny, country lane on the Yorkshire coast admiring one of the most stunning species of bird out of nearly 600 to have ever grace the British Isles.

EUROPEAN ROLLER - Aldbrough, East Yorkshire
Photo by Adam Archer

My only other experience of ROLLER was way back in the year 2000 when John Scullard and I travelled up to Tyne and Wear to see one feeding distantly around a farm in East Bolden.  Ever since that occasion I had longed for better views and this particular individual duly obliged.  The bird performed exceptionally well around a couple of ploughed fields as it fed on various ground dwelling insects. After a feeding session it would then return to its favourite vantage point in order to scan the surroundings and cough up pellets of any indigestible beetle bits.

EUROPEAN ROLLER - Aldbrough, East Yorkshire
Photo by Adam Archer

With a bird of this stature around it was not too surprising that few other species were picked up during our visit to Aldbrough.  I can just about remember a brief, fly-by Lapwing, a few Common Whitethroat and a singing male Corn Bunting.

Aldbrough, East Yorkshire
Photo by Sam Viles

Me & Snapper Richards!

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