Saturday, 23 April 2011


I decided to try and twitch the Black Scoter today - met two guys from the Welsh borders, who said that it had disappeared in to the fog on Wednesday and had not been seen since. So very little on view at Bamburgh, but a very tame Gropper made up for that.

The Gropper was calling from a small bush and I was able to sit right next to the bush and it just carried on reeling. Eventually it flew to the fence opposite and sang in full view. It did this several times. It amazes me how they can sustain such a long reel. They obviously breathe in and out during the performance, but even when in full view, it's difficult to detect any change in posture, throat movement or sound that may indicate a change in breathing pattern. There were at least five Groppers in the vicinity of Stag Rocks.

I decided to head for Hauxley. There were two stunning breeding plumage Black Tailed Godwits and 63 Pink Feet accompanied by 4 White Fronted Geese. Swallows and Sand Martins were present in large numbers and I noted Swallows throughout my journey, both north to Bamburgh and south again to Cresswell.

Cresswell Pond still has four Avocets and I had good views of two Sedge Warblers. The drake Bad Hair Day Merganser was minus his two ladies today. I only viewed from the roadside, so didn't see the full complement of birds present. A quick view from Snab Point revealed little more than three Fulmars and a few Gulls.

Whilst I have not searched for Wheatears, I normally see them on the roadside around Cresswell and Druridge, but have drawn a blank so far.

I plan to visit Ingram Valley with my better half on Monday, even though the forecast is poor. Let's hope it puts off the crowds but not the birds.

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