Friday, 29 April 2011

Wedding, Wet and Whimbrel

I left my better half glued to the Royal Wedding and headed for the coast. The weather was OK as I arrived at Cresswell Pond; lots of cars! Something unusual about? A good mixture of birds, including the two lingering Avocets - excited talk about them mating - will they, won't they? Nothing else of note, but interesting to see 82 to 85 (depending upon whose count you chose) Pink Feet still present. At least four singing Sedge Warblers. A single Black Tailed Godwit, showing good breeding colour, probed at the north end of the pond.

Then to Druridge and the Budge Screen, when it started to rain. A pair of Garganey skulking in the reeds and lots of Sand Martins, Lapwings getting very agitated by Crows and at least one Lapwing nesting in view of the screen.

My next port of call was one of the collection of what are surely Britain's noisiest hides, at East Chevington. One day I will perfect the art of shutting the door without sounding like a ten gun salute. A large number of Sandwich Terns were accompanied by lots of Great Black Backed Gulls, another good show of Sand Martins and a smattering of Swallows. On the south lake I counted 12 male Gadwall, there seem to be a lot more around this year.

Three pairs of Red Breasted Mergansers were actively feeding. They have an interesting technique; swimming with head submerged and diving, presumably when spotting prey.

In the meadow between the main pond and the road were at least eight Whimbrel. I took several shots, but they declined to come close enough for a decent shot and the weather made them very flat.

Having still not learned the lesson that I am the worlds least successful twitcher, I paid another trip to Bamburgh. Not only do Scoters disappear in the rain, but all the Groppers, that were in full song last week, were hiding too.

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