Tuesday 2 August 2011

Home to roost

A late evening visit to Druridge today, in fact it was nearly dark when I left but still 17 degrees C! It was muggy and misty and visibility was poor, meaning the gull roost couldn't be grilled.

I did see another roost though and it was way more spectacular. It started on the big pool, where I saw many wagtails around the edge of the pool, mostly pied juveniles but also a few yellow wags, including some adults.

As I watched them, I noticed some heading for the reedbed. I say reedbed, this is a small patch of Phragmites in the corner of the pool, maybe only 40m square. Many more wagtails were dancing about over the reed before going to roost, joined by the others from around the pool. I estimated that at least 60, quite possibly many more, went into roost. The yellow wagtail count was at least 20, maybe 25. This is remarkable for Druridge!

After they roosted I went up to the dune to check what I could of the gull roost, however, a big flock of agitated hirundines took my attention. They weren't agitated like they are when there is a hobby about, just 'busy'. I watched them fly around for a bit, estimating there to be about 600, mainly swallows, before they too flew down into the tiny patch of reeds to roost. Amazing!

I've seen smaller flocks roost in this reedbed, but never this many. I'll be checking it out again tomorrow. Tomorrow, I am walking deep into the 'Boulmer Birders' patch, as I am leading a guided walk from Warkworth to Craster, hope I find something tasty along the way!

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