Saturday, 4 September 2010

Kittiwakes Galore

I set off this morning with three things in mind.

The first; to visit scrap yards to try and replace a rear windscreen wiper. If you own a quirky French people carrier, expect to struggle to avoid paying the manufacturer's high costs. Not an Espace wiper in sight!

Before tacking my third objective, to do the dreaded food shopping to keep the household going for a day or two, I headed for Snab Point at Cresswell to have a bit of a sea watch. The sea was dotted with white, most of it Kittiwakes, my favourite gull, so I enjoyed watching them for about half an hour, with regular interruptions from Gannets that were circulating around the bay off Druridge. About 60 Eiders were also in attendance.

I learned later that there had been a few thousand Kitties in the same spot around 07:30. There were no more than 600 by 11:00. I then headed for Cresswell Pond.

I met a nice guy who, by the end of a three hour stint, had a list of 46 and not an Oystercatcher in sight. Highlight of his day, which I missed by an hour, was a juv Peregrine. I was happy to make do with a Sprawk being chased by two Magpies. There is still only a small strip of mud near the hide. Three Greenshanks and at least four Ruff were dodging from the far end to the thin mud strip, with several Dunlins, about six Curlews and a solitary Knot. Snipe were resting in the cut reeds in front of the hide.

There was a noticeable absence of passerines around the pond, although a Sedge Warbler put in a brief appearance. There was an interesting range of ducks, including two Pintails and one female Pochard, shed loads of Teals and Tufties, a few Mallards three Goldeneyes and  a female Shoveller that remained stationary for two hours, before swimming away and disproving my theory that it had been tethered to a submerged log! A young Sandwich Tern seeking attention from three accompanying adults 'peeped' loudly with seldom a break for three quarters of an hour.

On leaving for the dreaded shop, this Wall Brown was flitting along the track from the hide.

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