Wednesday 25 September 2013

Invasion of the yellow brows

The word unprecedented is a very overused word in my opinion, especially in the popular press, by politicians and corporate bollock-speak. So I tend not to use it, but today warrants the use of the word 'unprecedented'.

The massive arrival of yellow-browed warblers that occurred today in Northumberland has never been seen before on this scale. At least 51 have been recorded in the County today with an amazing 17 on Holy Island, ten at St. Mary's and nine on the Farne's. Druridge didn't miss out on the action either.

I had a quick pre-work bash of the bushes, but didn't find any yellow-browed warblers. There were a few chiffchaffs, a handful of redwings (first of the autumn), coal tit (first of the year) and other bits and bobs.

Working in Amble today meant I could have an extended late lunch-break and have another go. There was a heavy mizzle, verging on light-rain, when I arrived and I was downhearted. I read a tweet from young Jack at Whitley Bay which motivated me, it said that down at St. Mary's new birds were still arriving.

I came across a small tit flock, deep in the bushes. The flock had attracted not one, but two, yellow browed warblers, which moved along with the tits as they went roving north. I walked on and found another (or one of the previous birds) in one of our net-rides. It was three feet from me in alder, I had no camera because of the rain - gutted.

Later, I found another bird; right at the northern end of the bushes. So there were at least three, maybe four yellow-brows, just at Druridge (and I hadn't checked the whole patch)

If this little fall of eastern delights had happened over the weekend, when many more observers would be out, we might have topped a three-figure count I reckon.

On Monday evening I saw two little egrets on the Budge Fields.

149 little egret
150 coal tit
151 yellow browed warbler

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