Monday, 3 June 2013

Little and Large(r)

On Sunday we spent midday at Druridge Pools.

On arriving  at the main pool we were struck by the large number of Black Headed Gulls; I counted 61 before giving up; there were probably about 70. A single Common Gull rested whilst most of the BHG's were very active.

On the water a gull was catching flies and it suddenly dawned on me that this was an immature Little Gull. We saw four; at least my better half did. I missed out on the adult. They are very watchable birds, flitting back and forth like stumpy terns. When sitting on the water near to a Black Headed, their diminutive stature becomes even more obvious. Their presence alone made the trip worthwhile.

There were lots of Tufties, some sat right in front of the hide, and Mallards, with a smattering of Gadwalls and Shelducks. Two male Little Grebes alternated between feeding and exchanging calls. All three Hirundines were present, but no sign of Swifts. Mipits were very busy and a Whitethroat tweeted and grated in the background. A single Common Sandpiper bobbed its way along the far bank.

A quick look from the middle hide produced a few more ducks and Coots, busily feeding young.

Ipin of Druridge Pools blog fame tipped us off about five Black Tailed Godwits visible from the Budge Screen. A distant view, but always great birds to see. A Hare busily groomed its fur and Lapwings argued with Carrion Crows that were presumably intent on finding nests.

We then went to Cresswell Pond; three Avocets chased each other towards the sea and that was our last sighting.

Sedge Warblers, Reed Buntings and Tree Sparrows put on a good show in front of the hide. There were at least three Sedge Warblers in song. I think I caught a brief distant burst of Reed Warbler.

The water level was high and, apart from the common ducks, there was not a lot to see on the water. In the distance, over the woods towards Widdrington, a Common Buzzard dodged the attention of the local Rooks.

As we left for home, we had excellent views of Tree Sparrows that, in spite of their name, seem to be breeding in the roof of the barn.

And the sun shone, just for a change.

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