Sunday 28 September 2014

Westerly Woes

A settled high pressure with westerly winds has meant that this weekend has been a lot more sedate than last weekend was.

Sedate = boring. Bring back the easterlies please.

It felt like summer at Druridge yesterday morning. There were lots of butterflies out, mostly red admirals and speckled woods with a single dark-green fritillary which must have been off a second hatching?

Red admiral on whitebeam berries
Speckled wood

These drake gadwall thought it was spring - chasing a duck around for five minutes or more.
Birding was very quiet, robins, wrens, dunnocks and chiffs most notable in the bushes. Overhead, skylarks were moving south throughout the morning with a sprinkling of meadow pipits and swallows.

There was a hint of winter though, pink-footed geese are back.

Pink-foots, headed south
Today was even warmer, but more cloudy. I could only manage some evening birding, by which time, the wind had dropped to almost nothing. It was high tide, so I had a look on the sea, hoping for some fly-by waders, pushed off the rocks.

There was an incredible 71 divers in the bay, but all I could pick out was red-throats. In amongst them were five red-breasted mergansers and a great-crested grebe.

In common with elsewhere, Druridge has had an influx of little gulls, not an impressive count in comparison with other sites, but there were about 12-15 which is good for Druridge. Most of them were distant, with a feeding frenzy of bigger gulls, well offshore.

I had a really frustrating episode with a gull, when I picked it up in my scope, it was heading south and it didn't deviate from it's course, it didn't bank or turn once, just kept on going. What I saw, and its jizz, was good for a juvenile sabines, but I will never know.

At dusk, the two juvenile kestrels that have been hanging about were joined by a third. I got a couple of pics before it go too dark, after I abandoned photography due to bad light, they put on a great display over the dunes in front of me, tussling with each other.

juvenile kestrels at dusk

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