Birds of North East Lincolnshire - Past and Present


LATE on  the morning of January 29, 2020, a birder glimpsed an  unfamiliar species foraging for earthworms on the grassy campus at Grimsby Institute.

Moments later, the bird flew off in the direction of the town's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital - but not before he had managed to get a snapshot on his smartphone.

In poor light and from a difficult angle, it was not the best of the images, but it was sufficient to establish identification - a black throated thrush.

A black-throated thrush!

Once word got out, hundreds of birders came from far and wide to watch the bird which, conveniently, stayed until early April.

The story of the bird is told in Birds of North East Lincolnshire - Past and Present.

This new publication from the Lincolnshire Bird Club details many of  the best birds and habitats to be found around, Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Immingham -  a part of Britain not well known to most birders.

The three towns sit on the south bank of the Humber Estuary - one of the best parts of England for enjoying, in autumn and winter, close-up views of waders of many species.

The booklet also explores the significant contributions to ornithological research of the area's birders of yesteryear.

These included  John Cordeaux, a pioneer of migration who first identified the Spurn peninsula on the north side of the Humber as a rarities hotspot.

Another was George Caton Haigh who discovered Britain's first greenish warbler (September 5, 1896) and Radde's warbler (October 1, 1898).

The lanceolated warbler he found on November 18, 1909, would also have been a British 'first' had it not been pipped the previous year by one on Fair Isle.

Birds of North East Lincolnshire has been published with support from Heritage Lottery and North East Lincolnshire Council.

Copies are available in the UK, price £3.50 including postage (cheques payable to Lincolnshire Bird Club,) from Jim Wright, LBC, 27a Parker Street, Cleethorpes, N.E. Lincolnshire DN35 8TH.