Saturday 29 September 2007

A patch tick!

I started the day with a seawatch down at Newbiggin, it was quieter than yesterday though, with only a couple of sooties, manxies and arctic skuas of note and the 'star' bird - a cracking blue fulmar about half way out, its a couple of years since I last saw one of these - I think they're great! Stef went off to look for passerines with Jimmy, predicting arctic warbler and a blyth's reed. At about 0920, I was packing up to go and see JF who I knew was ringing at Druridge when she called to say she had a red-breasted fly in the nets. I was off, made it to Dru in about 8 minutes, even though I knew Janet wouldn't release it til I got there. A cracking 1st winter, we checked the uppertail coverts to make sure it wasn't a 'taiga' (ta for the gen Tim!) but it wasn't. Still, a stunning patch tick, SS thought it may be the first record for Dru.

We also ringed coal tit, robin, blackbird, dunnock, goldcrest (4) and chaffinch (2). It was quieter than we expected and once the sun came out it died off so we packed up by 1300. Off to catch the second half of the Newcastle game (less said......) Still in the boozer, I get a text to say there's a Blyths reed warbler in THE HEDGE at Woodhorn, the magical Stef's early morning prediction was bang on. A large twitch had assembled when I got there, with most of the county listers in evidence. The bird showed incredibly well, for blyth's reed, I have twitched at least four of these and failed to connect with any, even travelling to darkest Whitley Bay twice! It showed well I even managed a record shot, the guys with the flash camera kit must have got some stunning shots as the bird perched out in the afternoon sunshine.

I headed back to the patch for a quick look on the sea, there was a large scoter flock in amongst the breakers, which included at least five velvets, a couple of bonxies (1 very close in), an arctic skua and 7 little gulls (3 adults, four juv all together) was all else of note. There was nothing on the beach as there wasn't one.
The ruff and juv black tern were still on the big pool. A long, but very satisfying day in the field.

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