Sunday, 8 February 2009

A few Surprises

I went up north today with Steve Holliday, D McKeown and Grahame Bowman, Sorry if I got your name wrong Grahame.
We took a quick diversion to Newton Links car park on the way up to check for the ring ouzel.
We soon found it flying around the dunes near the Dung pile along with other thrushes.
It flew around the fence posts and then into a tree at Newton links farm.
Not a Lifer I was expecting to get until around April but still it got the day off to a good start.
On the way up we quickly checked East Fleetham for Corn Buntings, but there were only 9 Yellowhammer, 18 Skylark and 1 Tree Sparrow in amongst the House Sparrow flock.
Monks House Pool had 5 Whooper Swans and 2 Hares in the field behind.
Next we went to Stag Rocks where in about 45 minutes there were 30+ Eider, 30+ Common Scoter, 1 RB Merganser, 30 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Kittiwake, 5 Fulmar, 18 Long Tailed Duck, 5 Red Throated Diver, 21 Slavonian Grebe and my second lifer of the day, a Great Northern Diver.

We got the tide times wrong today so the tide was well in as we got to Budle Bay, but a quick stop at Warren Mill Produced a Dipper.
From Harper’s Heugh lay-by the 400+ Pale Bellied Brent Geese, 100+ Greylay Geese, 20 pink Footed Geese and 60+ Barnacle Geese were forced onto the fields from the rising tide.

It was a similar story at Fenham Flats where the tide had cleared everything away. 50 Pintail did fly west towards the causeway and we had a possible Little Egret near the causeway but it was too far away and hazy to confirm.

An unsuccessful Bittern twitch at Cresswell Pond was our next stop. 80% of the Pond was frozen and all the Wildfowl was pushed to the southwest corner. 4 Pintail, 3 Scaup, 3 RB Merganser, 6 Tufted Duck, 50+ Wigeon, 30+ Teal and 4 Moorhen were there. A Buzzard flew across the back of the pond near 27 Canada Geese and two Water Rail ran in front of the hide.

Half an hour at Blyth Harbour gave us good views of 2 Iceland Gull which looked different from the one I saw last week but were to distant for a decent photo.
The Harbour also had 34 Eider, 97 Cormorant, 13 Shag, 1 Rock Pipit and another surprise bird of the day, a Kingfisher which flew up the river, under the pier and around the harbour before landing on the railing near the Harbour Master’s office before flying out of sight.

After today my county year list is on a canny 104.


Newton Stringer said...

You been seeing those waxwings again Crammy ?

Crammy Birder said...

I haven't seen any since last wednesday, when I had 16 in the blagdon beer garden. I should get down to horton burn where there are 26!