Sunday, 15 June 2014

Little Gulls Galore!

A mid day trip to Cresswell Pond and Druridge Pools proved very successful. OK; so no Black Collared Oriental Pratincole, but plenty of more usual birds on show.

At Cresswell my maximum count of Little Gulls was 15, including one with a very smart black head. There was a wide variation in the plumage on show. Some looked quite smart and others decidedly fluffy. They were all on the spit to the right of the hide along with Black Headed Gulls, two Sandwich Terns and a single Common Tern. It was an excellent opportunity to compare sizes and to appreciate that Little Gull is a very appropriate name.

To add to the spectacle there were eight Avocets. at least 12 Black Tailed Godwits in the field, along with a fewWigeons and five Pochards (four drakes). I could only find a single female Goldeneye. One of the Avocets seems to be sitting on a nest that's just in the water; another seems to be sitting in a much safer spot. One of the Blackwits put on a brief show in front of the hide.

There was a brood of seven small Shelducks, but the large number of Tufties were minus ducklings; presumably there are a few females still sitting. Mallards, Coots and Moorhens all had young in tow.

Apart from the Blackwits, a handful of Lapwings and three Oystercatchers, waders were in short supply. Several Swifts joined Swallows and Sand Martins hunting low over the pond. Reed Buntings and Sedge Warblers put on a good show right in front of the hide.

At Druridge a trip to the two main hides showed no sign of Spoonbills, however on walking back to the main track another visitor pointed us to a single bird that was hiding in the rushes on Budge Field. It was mainly sitting with its head hidden, but gave two brief views of its impressive spoon.

Tweets were in short supply at Druridge, with a Linnets and Goldfinches along the hide track, a single Whitethroat chattering in the undergrowth, Swallows and Sand Martins hawking over the pools and a few Reed Buntings.

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