Saturday, 13 November 2010

Sunny Saturday

I decided not to Squacco hunt today, but went up the coast instead.
My first stop was Snab Point to look (again) for my first UK Velvet Scoter. No Scoters in sight, but there were three Red Throated Divers and a few Guillemots.
Before settling for a session in Cresswell Pond hide, I drove up the coast to Druridge. A large flock of Lapwings along with a similar number of Starlings were feeding just north of the farm. I had a quick look for Twite, but there were very few tweets around.
The mud spit at Cresswell Pond carried a good number of Lapwing, Golden Plover and a few Dunlin, with the occasional smattering of Redshank.. Most of the ducks were on the open water and there were Mallard, Teal, Widgeon, Tufties, Scaup, Gadwall and Red Breasted Merganser. A family of two adult and one juvenile Whoopers were also present. But the star was a single Long Tailed Duck, which, along with a Goldeneye, spent time parading in front of the hide.   
Part way through the afternoon we were joined by Dougie and Steve from South Tyneside along with Vipers who was hoping to catch up with Liverbirder's year list by nabbing a Red Crested Pochard. Oh well! I haven't looked at Bird Forum yet, otherwise I may have been discouraged in posting my own pictures in this blog, because  a certain gentleman with a whopping lens will have some far superior shots.

The waders at the north end of the pond were constantly taking flight and we all strained to see what may be putting them up.

The first potential culprit soon came in to view over the farm. A Short Eared Owl drifted across the far field before disappearing behind the hedge, to be seen no more.

Then came the big excitement  and a more likely cause of the waders' jitters. A juvenile Peregrine high above the farm gradually drifted towards the pond. It eventually got within striking distance and made two unsuccessful stoops; one a spectacular assault upon a group of ducks on open water. It missed both times and drifted west. However, shortly afterwards, two Peregrines gave a brief aerobatic display high over the farm, before apparently agreeing to go their separate ways.

All the time I was in the hide, geese were flying too and fro; a few Greylag and lots of Pink Feet. No huge flocks this time, but some good views nevertheless. This winter so far I have not seen a Barnacle Goose although I think a very distant view from Snab Point of a lone goose was a Brent, my favorite.

Altogether a very good afternoon and, on balance, probably more exciting than an exotic tick.

One day I will master this blogging lark, so that it doesn't take hours to do and the format that appears on the final post will resemble the draft.
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1 comment:

  1. A nice account and a refreshing change not to see an image of Waxwing, Squacco or Great Egret.