Friday, 18 May 2012

Belated post number 2

Out with the family on Saturday so missed out on the excitement of the migrants along the coast. Although I did see a pair of Yellow Wagtail in a remote area near Aydon.

On Sunday I went with SH to a site tick for me, Allenbanks. I cant believe I have never been to this site before. Despite the crap weather I could still see what a great place Allenbanks is.

Four Grey Wagtails were active and feeding along the river. Two redhead Goosander flew upstream and a Dipper downstream. Up one of the pathways through the woods a Wood Warbler, a county tick was singing away. Whilst listening to the warbler it landed on a nearby branch and gave off its explosive song overhead for around five minutes.

With the cold wind and sporadic sunshine, not much else was singing so birds were hard to locate despite the relatively bare trees. A pair of Pied Flycatchers were briefly seen in the tree tops and a Spotted Flycatcher showed well over the metal entrance bridge.

On the way back we stopped at Whittle Dene Reservoirs. A pair of Great Crested Grebe were on the smaller part of the GN reservoir. Plenty of hurendaines were hawking over the water but not much else around apart from a couple of Yellow Wagtails on the grass verges.

On Wednesday I was out with Steve again this time up to Long Nanny. Around 1000 Arctic Terns were on the beach nest building. A few Little Terns were flying high over the burn mouth; later on we had a total of 22 on the beach.

We were told by the volunteers at the hut that the colony had been having problems with crows in the last week so it was good to see the terns chase away a Carrion Crow on mass. Even they stayed away from the two Common Buzzards circling high over the burn mouth. Unfortunately they were only common and not late Rough Legged or early Honeys. Amongst the 22 Curlew on the nanny were a few Whimbrel, a single Black Tailed Godwit and two Wheatear on the grass.

A few hours later whilst at home I got a text from JM and soon I was back out again up the Holy Island in search of Kentish Plover and White Rumped Sandpiper. Despite the row of birders searching the tide was too far out and the birds were nowhere to be seen.

We searched from the causeway, chare ends and a few pull ins overlooking the mud but nothing. 6 Whimbrel were nearby and plenty of nice summer plumage Grey Plover and a SEO. I was out with John again this afternoon to Newbiggin. Yet again the target bird, this time Red Backed Shrike, could not be located. Hopefully this weekend will provide more opportunities.

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