Sunday 29 March 2015

Old Sqauw

I've managed about an hour on the patch this weekend with a brief stop yesterday and a bit of wander today.

I've been checking the Budge fields for garganey but they're not back yet. Two or three chiffchaffs were back and singing today but no other new migrant passerines were added to the list. There are still 50-60 teal and wigeon on the fields - they'll be off soon.

Offshore, there were 22 red-breasted mergansers in the bay, I'll need to check my database but that could be a patch record count. Even more exciting than the mergs was a drake long-tailed duck, first picked up among some distant mergs then picked up flying north. It was a stunner, in full breeding nick.

Alongside the chiff and the 'old squaw' tree sparrow on Wednesday takes the patch list to 81 species for the year.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Belated WeBS

I'm still struggling to get down to the patch, too many household chores to be done and now I have car problems.

I popped out on Saturday morning to do a belated WeBS count, the early core-count date caught me out this month.

There are still a about 90 wigeon and 60 teal, mostly on the Budge fields, with about 12 shoveler. The curlew numbers are high with at least 75 on the Budge, so they haven't left for the hills yet.

There are still over 60 lapwing, however one or two of them were well away from the main flock and were looking territorial!A pair of oystercatchers were looking territorial on the floating island on the big pool - as were several Canada geese, I know who will win that!

I was hoping for a signing chiffchaff but was disappointed, There was a pair of goldcrests flitting through the bushes, now this is most unusual. Goldcrest are normally an autumn species at Druridge, rarely seen in winter or spring, but I have seen them on-an-off since January this year. This pair were every 'together',  I am haven't recorded goldcrest breeding on the patch, so if they do breed, it will be a new breeding species for the patch.

Greylag goose was my only addition to the patch list, which now stands at 77