Since my last blog I have done very little bird watching, apart from a week's holiday in North Somerset, where an absence of small birds in the woodlands was balanced by very good views of a Hobby hunting around Selworthy Beacon (great for butterflies, including Grayling).
From early August until today, car problems and other priorities have meant that bird watching has taken a back seat. This week I am taking leave, so today it was a trip to Holy Island with my beloved to see if any migrants were on show.
A very strong wind dominated the day. It was mainly east south eastish and the only migrants seen in any number were Blackbirds, Fieldfares and Redwings. The field behind the coach park proved the best place to see Redwings, with up to 26 at a time feeding. There are loads of juicy haws, so the thrushes may well be sticking around for a while.
One Black Tailed Godwit shared the small ponds north of the castle track with a good mix of gulls and at least 30 Curlews, shed loads of Teals and a few Lapwings.
The small tweet list consisted of single Brambling, one Chaffinch, one Goldcrest, a few Blue and Coal Tits, several Robins, lots of House Sparrows and a small flock of Goldfinches (how do such dainty birds fly in a wind that blows a 14 stone person off his feet (OK, so I'm dodgy on my pins)?
In the bay we saw 8 Red Breasted Megansers, a few Widgeons and Eiders and lots of Gannets. At one stage, as we walked the coast beyond the castle, a Grey Plover was propelled north by the wind at about 100 mph. Large numbers of Pale Bellied Brent were joined on the inter tidal marsh by a few Dark Bellies.
Tomorrow the priority is to complete my lovely daughter's wardrobe. We plan to aim for the hills around Wooler on Wednesday. At some stage a trip to Saltholme is planned; so that should see off anything unusual!