Sunday 14 July 2013

My favourite - Hobby

The weekend began with an evening seawatch from the dunes. About 100 manx shearwaters/hour flew north, virtually a constant stream of them, there were also 3 arctic skuas in the bay and at least five drake velvet scoters in the scoter flock. An adult female cuckoo was int eh dunes, attended by several meadow pipits.

As I made my way back to the car, the common terns by the big pools went mental at something behind the trees, then the swallows joined in. The reason for the commotion soon became a apparent as an adult hobby glided over the top trees and over my head off over the dunes, other than a slight northerly change of direction in headed straight for the sea,, before disappearing over the dune ridge.

If only I had had my new lens (it arrives tomorrow or Tuesday) I could have had a great shot of it as it flew over my head. 

I now regard hobby as annual at Druridge. Last year there was a regular bird harassing the hirrundine flock for a few evenings in a row and they have been recorded on the patch every year for the last four years. Hopefully this one will stick around.

I tried a ringing session this morning. At 6.30am there was fine mizzly sea fret, which was quite wetting, so I did some birding for a while seeing Friday's cuckoo again and some warbler activity. The fret decreased a bit so I put a few nets up, but only caught eight birds:

Linnet 2 (both juvs)
Sedge warbler 3 (1ad, 2 juv)
Reed warbler 1 adult
Whitethroat 1 adult
Willow warbler 1 juv

Linnet - this years' young
After ringing we went to check on the barn owls at the farm. Sadly, they have failed this year, though an adult was still in the barn.

This evening, I took a leaf out of ADMc book and got out on my bike and headed down to Druridge. From the Oddie hide there were three adult scaup (two drakes and a duck), just in front of the hide (again no lens thus no camera). There were also three little gulls and a juvenile yellow wagtail.Seemingly I had just missed three otters playing and scaring away the ducks.

Offshore, the scoter flock had probably doubled in size since the morning and now held upwards of 1000 birds. They were just too distance to scan through evening heat -haze. There has to be a surfy out there somewhere.

Hobby 132
Scaup 133

Patch Competition Score 172 (bizarrely Scaup is worth two points whilst hobby brings in a measly one point!)  

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