Monday 14 July 2014

Ringing, WeBS and Scoters

I've been away with work, neglecting the patch somewhat.

When I have been to Druridge, I've been keeping any eye on the scoter flock that is loitering in the Bay. My theory is that there is a regular turn-over of birds, last weeks c450 birds might not be there today amongst the 600+. The presence/absence of velvet scoters shows this. There were two flocks tonight, about 450-500 off the patch and about another 200 well north off the T junction at Hadston.

The scoter flock today
I had a little seawatch on Thursday evening as the northerly wind felt good. About 40 manx shearwaters moved through, two arctic skuas, three roseate terns and an adult med gull where the highlights. Three spoonbill and a little egret were still on the Budge fields.

On Saturday I was ringing. It was quiet, I only caught 16 new birds and five retraps, mostly juveniles.

Ringing totals were (retraps in brackets)

wren 1 (3)
blackcap 5 (1)
willow warbler 1
dunnock 1
magpie 1 (juvenile)
great tit 1
blue tit 1 (1)
chiffchaff 1
reed warbler 1
coal tit 2
chaffinch 1

A single spoonbill loitered on the Budge fields and a family of stonechats were in the bushes in the dunes. A quick evening visit produced a little ringed plover on the Budge fields with two ringed plover, three whimbrel and a single spoonbill.

One of three juvenile stonechat in the dunes
Today was WeBS count day. It's difficult to count birds on the Budge fields when the rush and grass cover is so high, but I did my best. There were very few waders compared to recent days - a single common sandpiper on the big pool was all of note. What was interesting was two female/juvenile goldeneye, I've been through my records and I've never had a July (or August for that matter) goldeneye at Druridge. A great-crested grebe was also of note.

great crested grebe in silvery light
common tern on the big pool

Offshore, there was a single velvet scoter with the scoter flock and at least three roseate terns.

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