Monday, 22 April 2013

Mr. and Mrs.

More about the 'couple' later.

A quick catch up on the last fortnight.

Saturday, 13th April at noon and a trip up the coast past Cresswell beckoned. I started at Druridge, where the main pool was very quiet, but I had very good views of a pair of Tufties feeding right in front of the hide. I was exited for a fleeting moment,when a large bird was spied, hidden in the reeds. Then it emerged - Cormorant. Oh well!

The marshy area held a good selection of ducks, with at least 10 male Shovellers and probably a similar number of females; but once a brown duck, viewed at distance, sticks its head under water, one brown duck looks much like another!

On to East Chevington and a scan for the celebrities, but they were not in view so I went to Britain's noisiest hide. At least four pairs of Mergansers were very active. Eventually a male Black Tailed Godwit, in its full breeding splendour, stood in full view for the twenty minutes before I left. I know that beak length can be variable; this one's beak was very impressive. At around half past two, Sand Martin numbers started to build and then a few Swallows came in to feed; but no sign of House Martins. No sign, either, of any terns.

On the return leg a quick roadside scan of Cresswell Pond revealed a single Avocet and the usual variety of ducks.

Saturday, 20th April. A quick trip with my beloved to Cresswell Pond, followed by Sunday roast at the very excellent Country Barn at Widdrington. Five Avocets at Cresswell along with two Long Tailed Ducks. There has been at least one LTD here since the autumn. A  single Common Tern paid a brief visit. A smattering of Sand Martins and a few Swallows, but again no sign of House Martins.

Ruth drew my attention to an interesting display by the Avocets. One bird would pick up and flick a piece of twig or reed, whilst the other sat and watched. They would then reverse the role. At first I wondered if they were flicking nesting material towards a chose spot, but no, they flicked stuff randomly in all directions.

Oh yes! Mr. and Mrs. On Saturday I noticed a male Blackcap in our neighbours Bird Cherry. It was using this as a staging post for quick raids into the nearby gardens. At one point it spent a good ten minutes doing battle with a large lump of bread that it kept hitting against the branch, a bit like a Kingfisher trying to kill a fish. I was still around on Sunday evening, when my beloved noticed a female in our Cherry tree. Probably a coincidence rather than a pair and not the first time that we have had Blackcaps in our garden.

 I hoped to pick up Wheatears on the roadside, but none was seen on either trip. If I am allowed out next weekend, I fancy a trip inland to pick up some Warblers and, hopefully, a Redstart or two in an area that proved productive last year.

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