I should have spent this weekend at a wedding do in London, so all three visits to the patch and a 'County-tick' at Alnmouth were all a bonus.
Saturday started with a ringing session at Druridge. With only half of the usual nets up, we didn't catch many birds. Warblers dominated the catch again with whitethroat
, reed warbler,
sedge warbler, chiffchaff and a family party of blackcaps, the amount of whitethroats we've caught this year is unprecedented and we are doing well for reed warblers to.
|juvenile reed warbler|
The female mandarin duck
is still on the big pools and two drake pochard
During the ringing session, news broke of a spotted sandpiper
at Foxton. So as soon as we packed the nets away we headed up there for a look. A fine 'spotted' adult gave the assembled twitch good views as it pottered about on the banks of the River Aln. A 'county-tick' for, taking my county (low) list to 309.
An brief evening visit to Druridge didn't produce much, the highlight was a dark-phase arctic skua
pursuing a common tern well inland over the big pool.
Sunday was a day of two-halves. The day began with strong winds and heavy rain, by tea-time it was warm and sunny but a bit breezy. So an afternoon visit to the patch. At long-last, I found a common sandpiper
on the edge of the big pool a very belated year-tick. There were still two little gulls
on the big pool and a family of yellow wagtails
were in front of the hide.
|two little gulls|
|For scale - little gull and black-headed gull|
|juvenile black-headed gull passes in front of the hide|
|common tern on their favourite spot|
I'm struggling for waders this year. What mud there is at Druridge has either vegetated over or is hidden behind massive clumps of rush. I am relying on the regular passage of marsh harriers to flush something up.
I think a lot of the warblers are second-brooding at the moment, hence our low ringing catch and general lack of activity. These sedge warblers
are certainly feeding a second brood.
|Sedge warbler feeding young|
138 common sandpiper
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