Monday 23 March 2009

I'm back

I'm back, but the summer migrants aren't. at least at Druridge anyways. I went to Druridge yesterday after a short visit to Valencia, expecting to see sandwich terns maybe or sand martins, or maybe a singing chiffy...nowt! A chap there had seen a couple of sand martins before I arrived though. Highlights were 18 grey herons on the Budge fields, this maybe my record site count - I still reckon they are eating frogs.

I was in Valencia for what is touted as Europe's biggest party - 'Las Fallas' It's all quite mad, they construct a 40ft virgin Mary from flowers, cook MASSIVE paellas in the street, set off tonnes of explosives every lunchtime in the main square for a month, host Europe's biggest fireworks displays (attracting a crowd of 500,000) and most crazy construct dozens of 'monuments' like this one below, some as high as 4 storeys and costing 100's of thousands of euros and then burn them down. It's an amazing spectacle which you should go and see before the EU bans it ans Spain becomes as bland and boring as Sweden or Belgium. Needless to say I got no birding done, getting in form the pub at 8.15 in the morning is not conducive to birding!

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Still no summer visitors

I had a quick visit to the patch this morning before work, it was a nice morning, though cold, with a light ground frost. No summer visitors yet, I was hoping for a sand martin, chichaff or a sandwich tern ...but nothing.

The skylarks were in full chorus and there were at least three male reed buntings singing so at least it sounded like spring.

Could be my last visit for wee while with work commitments and a short trip to Spain.

Monday 9 March 2009

Sunday 8 March 2009

Too Windy

It was too windy for any meaningful birding at Druridge today, there were still 12 grey heron at the same place as Friday...that's it.

Saturday 7 March 2009

Cow twitch?

No birding today due to a monstrous hangover, I should learn from this!

Not only do mystery birds turn up at Druridge Pools, so do mystery cows

No twitch for this one..

Friday 6 March 2009

Frosty start

It was frosty start at Druridge this morning, but what a morning to be out and about. I had a quick visit to Druridge before work, no sign of any migrants yet, though winter visitors were still evident with 60 twite on the lines along the road and plenty of teal and waders on the mostly frozen Budge fields.

There was quit a bit of singing going on with meadow pipit, skylark, reed bunting, stonechat, wren, robin and chaffinch all giving it some.
On the way home a barn owl was sat on the fence by the roadside at Cresswell Pond, as I drove up and wound the window down it didn't move, as it didn't when I reached for the camera, but just as I pressed the button, it flew off, it would have been a frame-filler, but all I got was this....

Thursday 5 March 2009

Druridge Yesterday

Two visits to the patch yesterday, in the morning I was there with Janet and the loppers and bow saw, doing some management work to the net rides in preparation for the spring - She's a hard task-master so I got no birding done...
In the afternoon I went on my own... The Budge Fields are looking good and they were covered with lapwing, redshank and curlew, most of these will be gone soon. The grass height looks excellent so hopefully it will be a good breeding year for lapwings and snipe......maybe even redshank.
There were a 12 grey herons on the fields too, huddled together in small groups, it was an icy-cold wind (then it started to snow), but I reckon they feasting on frogs, there is a lot of mating and spawning going on in the frog-world this week.
A peregine came though and put everything up - a welcome year tick, it took me til December last year to get one.

NWT have been busy with management works too, installing a new Budge screen. It's a metal job and unlike the previous screen, the windows are at a good height. Th last one was OK if you were a giant or a dwarf (I know, before anyone leaves a comment - i'd be OK...)
This nice toad was on the track

62 peregine
63 reed bunting