Sunday 17 February 2013

Like a bank holiday...

You get two sunny days in a row and every man and their dog(s) head for Druridge. It was like a bank holiday Monday in August this afternoon, cars, people, dogs and kites everywhere.

A quick look on the sea produced a flurry of year ticks - guillemot, red-breasted merganser, eider, razorbill and kittiwake (the patch competition is very generous, awarding two-points to the latter three species!). There were also 11 red-throated divers offshore and 17 sanderling on the beach.

After nearly being attacked by a huge black shark (on the end of strings, held by a small child) we headed for the tranquility of the Budge screen.

The Budge fields still hold a lot of water and a lot of birds. The highlight were three pintail amongst the wildfowl. A visiting birder alerted us to a short-eared owl, perched on a fence to the south of the screen. It sat, perched on the same fence-post, for half an hour. It was too far away for photo's.

Two long-tailed ducks are still on the big pool. The female was being harassed by the first returning shelduck of the spring.

At the 'top-end' a mixed flock of goldfinch and linnet also contained a single greenfinch.

So the year-list stands at 73, giving me a score of 81 on the patch competition. The mini-league for the 'Coastal North' has been published for January and I am last - got some catching up to do.

65 moorhen (seen last week but missed)
66 kittiwake
67 eider
68 red-breasted merganser
69 guillemot
70 razorbill
71 short-eared owl
72 shelduck
73 greenfinch

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