Tuesday 9 August 2011


An evening visit to Druridge tonight started with a bit of a seawatch. It didn't look promising as I drove towards the patch, there was a fine mist coming of the surf and I feared poor visibility, but on closer inspection it was OK, if you looked straight out to sea. Much to the north and south was obscured.

Three very close manx shearwaters made up my mind that it was worth it. Shortly after that, two bonxies powered north in quick succession and then a few more manxies supported by one or two fulmars and roseate terns. 

Then, about half way out, low over the water, came a skua - different flight this time, deep wingbeats and looking purposeful, it had very pale underparts, almost white. It looked good for a pom. It frustratingly disappeared into the deep troughs, but when it re-emerged level with me it showed really well... Pom, in the bag.

After an hour or so, the visibility worsened considerably and I had only added a few more manxies, 70 odd oystercatchers and a roseate tern or two, so I packed up and headed for the Oddie hide.

Still lots of wagtails around the edge and in the reedbed including at least 20 yellow wags, mostly juveniles. There was also reed bunting, meadow pipits, reed, sedge, willow and grasshopper warbler around the edge of the pool. 

No sign of the oft reported spotshank again, only a single dunlin, 2 ruff and a greenshank on the wader list. It's spotted crake time of year so the edge is certainly worth checking.

Closer to home, I have heard a quail calling in the fields nest to my house since Thursday - I'm glad I live in the sticks sometimes, I might not have a bus service after 7pm but I've got quails and there's no hoodie-clad chavas nicking x-boxes!

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