Saturday 2 April 2011

could it be summer?

Three things make me think it might be summer.

1) I saw my first swallows at Druridge today
2) Racing pigeons - loads of them passing through
3) Some mental bloke was swimming in the sea

All signs of summer in my book, all that was missing was some charvas in a clapped out corsa burning fenceposts and swigging from 3ltr bottles of super-strength cider.

I managed five year ticks at Druridge this afternoon, not bad going if I say so myself. It got me over the disappointment of seeing a snow bunting less than 200m from the patch boundary :-(.

I hadn't even stopped the car when a swallow came over, not the earliest swallow I've seen but certainly close and a full eight days earlier than 2010. A chiffchaff was singing in the bushes. AG had tipped me off about a pochard on the Budge fields, right enough it was there. I was looking for garganey, I was sure I would get one today, sadly not. There were three pintail still on the Budge fields, a pair and female and 18 shoveler with lots of displaying, making eight species of duck on the pools (also three species offshore).

Little grebe - this fella was trilling like crazy!
A pair of sparrowhawks were chasing each other, even talon grappling at one stage, near the Budge screen, good sign they'll be breeding at Druridge this year.

Offshore I picked up my first sandwich tern of the year, flying north, just the one though. There were a few sand martins over the dunes and two more swallows, feeding in front of the dunes - an invasion!

So, still no wheatear or puffin on the list yet, but the year list now stands at respectable 92. I plan to a territory mapping visit tomorrow so hopefully I'll add a few more species?

88 swallow
89 chiffchaff
90 kestrel
91 pochard
92 sandwich tern


Warren Baker said...

Good going today Ipin. You'll be knee deep in ticks this time next week :-)

Ipin said...

Willow warbler reported nearby today and wheatear finally on the list! I think we are about two weeks behind you lot down there!