Saturday, 21 March 2015

A cold start to Spring

An intended early start was delayed a little by a trip to the optometrist; I lost a lens from my specs.

I drove up the coast via Cresswell to East Chevington. The north lake held at least thirty Goldeneyes and twenty Tufties; both proving hard to count as they were very active, diving and flying. There were seventeen Mute Swans in view and six pairs of Gadwalls. But the star of the show was a drake Pintail. Quite a strong cold wind meant that the small birds were skulking in the vegetation. A few Curlews seen in several of the nearby fields.

The next stop was Druridge Pools. The Budge Field held a good mix of ducks – Teals, Mallards, Shovellers, Shelducks, Tufties, Widgeons, Gadwalls and a single female Pintail. Amongst the twenty or so Curlews was a single Black Tailed Godwit. Lapwings were very active. A solitary snipe hid in the long grass. 

The feeders near the Budge Hide were attracting Great and Blue Tits, along with Goldfinches and Chaffinches. Both finches were singing; the Goldfinch in full song and a Chaffinch that sounded weary. Several Herons stood around like soldiers on sentry duty.

The main pool held six pairs of Gadwalls, a smattering of Goldeneyes and Tufties, also a few Mallards and Teas. Several Cormorants flew in and out, with three settled on the island.

I viewed Cresswell Pond from the roadside and birds seemed rather sparse. The sea was quite rough with not much in view.

After a diversion to Cowell’s Garden Centre, I paid a quick visit to Prestwick Carr hoping to see Willow Tits. As I drove down the lane, twelve Golden Plovers flew overhead. I sat for about twenty minutes near a gate post bird table and was rewarded with a brief but very close view of a Willow. The table also attracted Reed Buntings, a Robin, a Blue Tit or three and eight Great Tits. When six Great Tits sat near the table at the same time, I expected fisticuffs, but it must be in neutral territory because there was not even an attempt at a peck.

Then back home to the rugby-recorded the first two and watched most of England v France live. Great games – pity about the final result.

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