This weekend has been taken up with showing my vegetables.... in public.... again.....the legendary 'Tute Show'. We did OK, two firsts and a few runners up prizes for veg and home produce. Stewart will be gutted to hear we only got second for our marmalade!
So, only one visit to the patch all weekend, this afternoon from 4.15, until I had to get back to the Tute. I concentrated on checking the bushes and open areas, hoping or a shrike or some Lapland buntings. It was very windy, gusting from the SE, making working the bushes difficult, I moved on to the north end.
A welcome year-tick in the form of a whinchat was perched on the fence beyond the Dunbar burn, a species I failed to see in 2009, a juvenile stonechat and flock of linnets were also up that way.
On my way to the 'Druridge Bushes' over an open area of dune-back, I flushed a snipe sp, it called once, flew straight out, no zig-zagging and off, strongly north in the strong SE wind, by the time I gained height, it had gone, somewhere into the dunebacks between my patch and Chibburn Mouth. I got nowt on it to be honest, there was white on it as it flew off, but I couldn't say for sure on which feather tract.....interestingly, a great snipe was reported from E. Yorks this morning. I've never, ever, flushed a snipe from the dunes at Druridge before.
It could have gone anywhere into 30+ hectares of duneback grassland, it would've taken ten or people to flush it out again, sod that, I thought, it's outside the patch now anyway!