Yesterday on my way to do some work for my project on Woodhorn, we stopped at the Hawfinch site (thanks again for the directions LiverBirder).
I met GB and LR who had been scanning the tree tops for over an hour with no luck. No sign of any Marsh Tit but a Nuthatch flew over. We decided to check the first row of Hornbeams again and within minutes Graeme found a Hawfinch – Lifer, sitting in the top of the row less than half way along.
It stayed there for about ten minutes before flying off after a Sparrowhawk began hunting around the paddock. Since I first saw a picture of a Hawfinch in a book in first school I have always wanted to see one and it didn’t disappoint.
Today I went up north with SH and DMcK, first stop was Fenham flats. Brent Geese and Pintail were surprisingly distant but still impressive. Whilst walking along the shoreline right of the hide, 15 Grey Partridge flew from in front of us and landed amongst the rocks and seaweed, something you don’t see every day. A flock of 30+ Yellowhammer were working there way along the dead trees and bushes bordering the fields. As we were leaving and passing the hedges just before the railway line, 40+ Tree Sparrows took to the air before dropping back into the hedge.
Budle Bay was quiet as was Stag Rocks, well by its usual standards. We still managed to see 5 Slavonian Grebes, 3 Long Tailed Duck and a raft of Common Scoter. A few Razorbills and Red Throated Diver were also on the sea.
We stopped at Newton next. Amongst the 200+ Greylags and 30+ Pink Footed Geese in the flooded fields north of Newton Pool were 8 Eurasian White Fronted Geese. Whilst looking at the Geese Steve spotted a male Peregrine sitting on the fence post above the geese. It stayed for a few minutes, preening and watching the ground around the geese before, landing on the ground and running across the grass and jumping on something which we think was a Wood pigeon before flying off with it over the back fields. We think it must have winged the bird and dropped it amongst the geese before checking where it was from the fence post.
Through the scope these were my best ever views of a Peregrine.
At a quiet Newton Pool there was one Whooper Swan amongst the Mutes.
East Chevington and Creswell Pond both held good numbers of duck, mainly Wigeon at EC with 4 Pochard amongst them.
At Creswell the tide was rising so large amounts of Waders, were flying over and landing on the far spit. Whilst checking the waders which had landed in the field to the left of the hide a Ruff was spotted amongst them.
Last stop was Arcot Pond and as soon as I opened the car door I saw a Treecreeper low down in the trees to the left of the layby opposite the metal gate. As it flew off we could hear another calling a few trees along. 1 Siskin and 2 Bullfinch flew over as well and my first ducks on the patch this year were 1 Mallard and 15 Teal on the pond.
39 – Treecreeper
41 – Bullfinch
42 – Mallard
43 – Teal