Renovating my old house seems to have taken over my life at the moment, I spend all my days stripping, scraping, sanding, filling or painting.
Today was no different, Janet was just about to put the roller into the paint when I got a text message from RBA "4 smew at Druridge Pools" - tools were downed we were off, smew are scarce birds nowadays, so I needed to see these. They were still there when we arrived, all redheads, all at the far seaward edge of the pool so no photographs.
The last smew I saw at Druridge Pools was a redhead that hung around for a month or so in February and March 2006. When I used to work at Druridge Bay Country Park in the mid 1990's, smew were still regular there - not so these days.
On the way home, we needed to buy onions, so went to the farm shop at Widdrington - thankfully! As we got just passed Druridge hamlet there was a mini-twitch (at least three birders!) at the double bends, Mike Hodgson was there, the tundra bean goose that Davey Elliott had at Hempscotthill yesterday was now in the first field with a load of pink-foots, in fact, there had been four tundra bean geese reported, we could only pick out two amongst the pinks though. There was also eight barnacles and 3 dark-bellied brents, all welcome year-ticks.
I had a good look through the pink-feets for a white-front with no joy, it was cold, damp, day so we didn't hang around too long and after all, there was DIY to finish!
I did escape the DIY yesterday to grab an hour at Druridge but there was nothing out of the ordinary there, other than ADMc - a year tick!
I've just checked RBA and someone had a merlin at Druridge this afternoon, hope I manage to catch up with it!
76 bean goose
77 barnacle goose
78 brent goose