Saturday, 31 March 2018

Spring? It's still like Winter!

Despite the dark sky that covered Cramlington this morning, I decided to set out for my usual coastal bird watch. It remained dull and wet all day, but there were a few interesting birds around. No sign of Pink Feet, I think they must have departed.

Snab Point, Cresswell – A low tide, rough sea and strong, cold wind, with no waders in evidence. There were two Fulmars flying around the cliff face, seemingly oblivious of the weather.

Druridge Pools –  A male Kestrel hovered over the entrance.

I avoided the Budge Screen. It looked as though thigh waders were needed. The Water Pipit has eluded me seven times this year and I will probably have to wait yet another year at least before I add this elusive bird to my list.

From the middle hide there were good views of around 20 Blackwits. No sign of the reported Garganey, but plenty of duck activity from Shovellers, Wigeons, Mallards, Teals and a smart pair of Pintails. Lots of Redshanks and Curlews around.

The main lake held lots of Tufties, a few Goldeneyes and Mallards, two pairs of Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers.

In the distance to the north, I could see 13 Whooper Swans grazing busily.

Widdrington Lake – No sign of divers today.

East Chevington – Two Swallows probably regretted the decision to move north as they quartered the north pool. The usual mixture of ducks on the north pool, with the addition of a drake Pochard and the long staying male Long-tailed Duck. Two Little Grebes on view.

There was a very large flock of Black-headed Gulls, I looked for Mediterranean Gull, but none present. There were plenty of Lesser and a few Great Black-backs.

Cresswell Pond – On my return trip I checked the north extension and scoped the main pond. Very little on view.

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