Goodness me! It’s nearly three months since my last post!
A quick catch up starts with the garden. No sign of Siskins before the end of February, when a pair started to visit every day. Then, after a couple of weeks, we had only a male visiting; not a very strikingly marked bird, so I guess he may be in his first year.
Over this last week we have had up to six Siskins. They have been displaying over the garden and the males have been trying to outdo one another in the singing and calling stakes. Lovely lively song, interspersed with a twanging zing (or should that be ting?). As has happened everywhere, Greenfinch numbers have crashed with only singles visiting occasionally.
Blackbirds hung around in number until the end of March, which gave much cause for scrapping between males. We now seem to be down to the local pair, who guard their feeding ground with a fair degree of ferocity.
My first summer migrants were picked up around Druridge a month ago: Sand Martins and Chiffchaffs. Two weeks ago I saw my first Wheatear near Lynemouth and on the same day Swallows were hawking over Druridge Pools. On that same day I visited East Chevington and had good views of two male Mergansers displaying for all they were worth to a single female who seemed totally unimpressed.
Today there are still three Whoopers in a field just north west of Cresswell Pond and amongst a flock of about twenty Turnstones, I also picked up three Purple Sandpipers at Snab Point, remarkably my first for this year. A single Sandwich Tern was hunting the bay.
This morning I viewed Cresswell Pond from the roadside near the north pool and could see eight Avocets. There seems to be a larger than usual number of Linnets around at the moment, they have probably benefited from the mild winter.