Sunday 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to you all.

A quick festive stroll around the patch this morning. We got sand-blasted on the ebach by a force 6-7 westerly, a few sanderlings were the only birds of note.

On the Budge fields, we showed my father the wildfowl. By the time we left he identified teal, wigeon, mallard, shoveler and pintail there were three of the latter, all drakes.

Time for wine.......

Sunday 18 December 2011

A Yank! But not the one I wanted.

There was a Yank on Druridge Pools this afternoon, not quite the one I wanted though. It looks as though the greater yellowlegs has moved north (why?) so no chance of it now. So I had to make do with a green-winged teal. 

A good year-tick and WeBS bird though and my first at the Pools since 2008. It must be the same drake that has been hanging around at East Chevington for the last month or so. It was asleep on the far bank for most of the time I was there, so I only managed this very-poor record shot.

Can you spot him? green-winged teal
This Eurasian teal was a bit easier to photograph.
Eurasian teal
If only this had been a yellowlegs.

As I wandered up to the pools, I got onto a chiffchaff making its way along the bund. It wasn't a greyish bird as I might of expected and hoped for, it was very yellow-green-olive with quite pale legs. It flew off before I managed a better picture than this.
December Chiffchaff

There wasn't much else of note today. A few long-tailed tits moved through the bushes with lesser redpolls and other finches for company. Offshore, there were a few red-throated divers, shags and mergansers.

160 green-winged teal

Sunday 11 December 2011

What's wrong with Druridge Pools?

What is wrong with Druridge Pools?

Before you switch off, this isn't a rant about the lack of grazing.

Mr (or Mrs) Greater Yellowlegs mustn't like the look of something. It has been commuting between Hauxley, Druridge Bay Country Park, Chev and Cresswell Pond for the last three weeks, so it must be flying over Druridge Pools, why has it never landed?

I've just looked its movements up on the RBA website and it has never been reported from Druridge, so I am presuming it hasn't been seen there - unless somebody knows otherwise (do let me know). Today, it was a stones-throw away, on a small flash pool just north of Hemscotthill Farm. How frustrating! I could see the twitchers watching it from the little hide. Is this as close as I am going to get to it? The chances of seeing it fly over as it commutes along the bay are very, very slim.

The water level on the big pool is as low as it has been all year, so there is loads of 'edge'. Three redshanks thought it good enough this afternoon, so why not a yellowlegs. Maybe it's a snob, come from Boston or New England and doesn't like the look of down-trodden, rough-around-the-edges Druridge pools?

My mood was lightened by a year-tick, snow buntings at long last. Six of them flew off from the beach over the dunes towards the big pool. A patch-record was also broken today with a mahooosive count of 21 collared doves at High Chibburn Farm, easily smashing the previous total.

There was a huge flock of mixed finches on Hemscotthill links, including about 60 twite, certainly worth a scan through them if your passing.