Friday 26 November 2010

Service - Second to none

WOW - I am so impressed!

In this age of internet shopping and especially my recent dealings with courier firms, I thought the days of good, even bog-standard, customer service were over.

They're not, not if you buy from Swarovski.

A week or two ago, I caught my Swarovski's on the boot of the car, breaking the little plastic clip on the strap, not a disaster, but not good.

On Wednesday, I emailed Swaovski to ask for a new clip, I thought the strap was looking a bit shoddy (they are 10+ years old and have been most of the way around the world), but thought it cheeky to ask for a strap.

So today, while I was snowed in, the Postie arrived with a package from Swarovski, not just a clip but a whole new strap, in less than 48 hours since emailing them.....Amazing!

My Bins have been back to Austria twice, once my fault, once a design fault, both times they sent me another pair to use whilst mine were away.

I've not been to Druridge today, there was 6-8" of snow overnight and I thought it was unlikely the road to Druridge would have been treated. Should get down tomorrow, but as I write this the snow is beginning to fall again.

These pics were taken from our ringing site at Ellington

Monday 22 November 2010

heading for a cold snap

The long range forecast predicts a cold snap for the weekend, freezing cold northerlies from Thursday with a dump of snow for the east coast...could be interesting. The north wind will be particularly strong on Friday and I've got the day off.

Sunday 21 November 2010

White bird brightens grey day

I went to Druridge this afternoon, it was grey, wet and miserable. I saw a little egret flying over the Budge fields, it landed by the little hide, it brightened my day.

It rained, I went home.

Monday 15 November 2010

Well travelled sanderling

I recently received an update of one of the colour ringed sanderlings I saw at Druridge back in 2009 and again earlier this year. .

This individual is ring number 896110, here are a few key dates:

16/05/2009 Sandgerði, "first beach"   Iceland   64.02.35 N 22.42.54 W  Bob Loos

27/05/2009  Sandgerði, "second beach"    Iceland  64.02.39 N 22.42.54 W
16/08/2009  Druridge Links, Morpeth, Northumberland   55.16.34 N 01.34.05 W Iain Robson  Janet Fairclough
23/12/2009  Le Curnic, Guissény, Finistère   France    48.38.26 N 04.26.50 W Pierre Leon
28/12/2009  East Chevington, Northumberland   55.17.29 N 01.34.05 W David Elliott
03/01/2010  Druridge Links, Morpeth, Northumberland   55.16.34 N 01.34.05 W Iain Robson                               
28/03/2010   Low Newton-by-the-Sea, Northumberland  55.30.45 N 01.36.52 W Chris Redfern
16/05/2010   Sandgerði, "second beach"    Iceland      64.02.39 N 22.42.54 W  Jeroen Reneerkens    
18/05/2010   Sandgerði, "first beach"    Iceland     64.02.35 N 22.42.54 W     Jeroen Reneerkens   Bob Loos
25/10/2010  East Chevington, Northumberland   55.17.29 N 01.34.05 W David Elliott

Not bad eh? What made it travel from France to East Chevington in less than five days in December, maybe it was the weather, maybe just catching up with the family for Christmas?

Thanks to Dave Elliott for the update

Sunday 14 November 2010

End of another ringing year

As there are now no leaves left on any trees at Druridge, at all, it's time to pack-up the ringing site, which basically means taking away our bamboo net poles for winter storage.

I've not had time to work out how many birds we have done this season, but I will and post some figures on here soon.

The wind had moved some of the poles deep into the bushes, so I spent most of this morning crawling under and through blackthorn and hawthorn bushes to retrieve them (seemingly it's what trainee ringers are there for). I now look like a self-harmer.

Whilst retrieving the poles, I came across a mixed flock of finches, mostly siskins (about 20 of these) moving through, feeding on alder cones.

Today was also WeBS count day, the Budge fields and the big pool are both brim-full, a large sand bar was blocking the Dunbar Burn mouth, it's flowing a bit now, but is well backed-up. If you are heading to Druridge soon, take your wellies, you'll need them to get to the Oddie hide.

The cows have mysteriously disappeared from the Budge fields, have they been rustled? I thought they were supposed to be on the for the winter, there is certainly more work for them to do.

Lots of teal on the Budge fields (I notice the green-winger was at Cresswell today, it would be nice to see it at Druridge before the turn of the year!), the wigeon were all on the big pool and 35 curlew were on the adjacent fields.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Stormy Seas

No Druridge today unfortunately, the necessity that is work got in the way again.

I was out and about a bit though, this morning I was in Rothbury and on my drive there and back I saw flocks of thrushes, fieldfare and blackbirds mainly moving about, looking as though they had just arrived.

Boiling seas at Howick
This afternoon, I had to go out on site in Stewart's patch. Two days of near gale force easterlies have certainly whipped the North Sea into a frenzy, as we drove along the coast road, clods of foam were flying over the car, landing amongst the sheep in the filed next to us.

The sea was boiling and although the wind had eased a bit, was still blowing spray our way - it was quite exhilarating! In the small, stunted hawthorns by the Coast Path, we saw a few newly arrived goldcrests busily feeding and a couple of blackbirds. Goldcrests never cease to amaze me, such tiny creatures making it over the north sea in such horrendous conditions.

The boys from 202 Squadron at RAF Boulmer were using the bad weather to get some flying practice in.

202 Sea King over the Bathing House

202 Sea King over Rumbling Kern

Sunday 7 November 2010

Another Stonechat Picture

Yet another picture of a stonechat at Druridge...

Another stonechat at Druridge

I know, I always have photo's of stonechats but they are nice and they do ask to be photographed. And today, there was precious little else to take photographs of.

Druridge was just about devoid of any for of life other lots of people taking advantage of crisp sunny autumn day. despite a chilling NW wind, it was rather pleasant and a stroll on the beach in the sun, sheltered by the dunes, it was actually quite warm.

The wind is going to turn though, with strong easterlies and rain forecast for the next couple of days. It is getting a bit late for a big fall, but we might get a mega rare, hopefully at Druridge. I would be happy with a brown shrike.

Druridge hamlet in the autumn sunshine