Wednesday 25 November 2009

Twite appeal

Called by Druridge to chuck some twite food down on the way to work, in a hundred mile an hour gale (it felt like that anyhoo as I staggered about the paddock in my work strides lugging a bag of niger).

I've got a problem though, I reckon the black niger seed is being eaten, rather than being blown away, but as I got to work in the dark and come back in the dark and weekends are hectic with football and social functions, I can rarely get down to druridge to see if twite are coming down.

So, here's an appeal, to readers of this blog who frequent the bay, if you see twite feeding at Druridge, please let me know. The seed is being put out in the small dune paddock immediately south of the pine plantation by the entrance to the patch, some on the track and some on an area of tarmac between the track and the plantation.

So, please let me know if you see anything feeding here....Ta!

Monday 23 November 2009

WeBS Count

I didn't get my WeBS count done yesterday, so as I had today off to go an watch the toon thrash Preston NE tonight, I did the count this morning.

It was a nice, bright morning, with a 4-5 W and not too cold.

NWT have recently been installing some new sluice gates to help control water levels on the wet meadows and they appear to be working well. Both sides of the Budge fields are holding a good level of water for wildfowl. The numbers on the count therefore were quite good, teal numbered 522, wigeon 136 and shoveler 13.

new sluice - looks a bit heath robinson but is doing the job

Wet meadows looking....wet

On the big pool there were 22 whooper swan in the adjacent field, 3 little grebe and 2 coot (Now a massive scarcity at Druridge!) amongst others. A nice male sparrowhawk was sat in the bushes and female came through later pursued by an angry crow! A water rail flew out of the ditch on the track to the hides, hopefully the numbers are high this year and we might get to trap some.

grey heron and cormorant on the very unstable island

A mistle thrush flew in from the sea and plonked itself on a fencepost to rest.

Also the dog warden was on site, hopefully the dog-walking wazacks who let their hairy muts shit all over the dunes might get the message.....

Sunday 15 November 2009

packing up

Another Sunday, another huge hangover....

And not getting home til 4.30 meant no birding at Druridge today. We did go down to Druridge though, chucked some twite food down and packed the ringing site up, taking the poles away to stop them getting nicked, now that the leaves are gone from the trees, they are really obvious.

So, that's it, no more ringing til next May. Well, not quite, we are hoping the twite will find this food and we can whoosh net some of them. We might also try trapping some stonechats and thrushes and maybe even water rails over the winter.

Hopefully I might get some birding in this week, I've procured a little owl nest box, so will need to check out some sites for it.

Wednesday 11 November 2009


I am lacking a bit of it at the moment - Motivation. I did go down to Druridge on Sunday, walked along the beach looking for snow buntings, but there was way too many people there.

Walked back along the road, gave a woman with seven dogs (seven!! not one under what I would call 'close control') a bollocking for not picking up the shit, and went home after seeing very little.

I called in on Monday to chuck some twite food out for the crows and jackdaws to eat....

Off to the big smoke with work tomorrow and I gotta work Saturday, so little chance of birding this weekend.

How long is it til the spring?

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Westerlies grrrr

This morning was a lovely day to be out and about, crisp with clear blue skies after an overnight frost....Nee good for birdwatchers though!

Still my hour at Druridge this morning was better than being in the office, I started baiting up a potential new twite ringing site with some sunflower hearts and niger, it would be great to catch some of them and fathom out where our overwintering twite breed, my money is on Scandanavia, but until we can catch them and get some recoveries we will never know.

There were 4 goldcrests in the plantation but little else of note.