I did my survey on Friday lunchtime (it has to be done three hours either side of low tide), it was bright and clear but cold. The first birds I saw were two mistle thrush, a welcome year tick. whilst I was looking at some twite and surveying the sea for waterbirds, the pink-footed goose flock that had been in the filed in front of the cottages, had been disturbed and flew overhead and out to sea before coming back over to return to the same field. I was a bit slow in getting me phone out to video them going overhead. There was a single barnacle goose amongst them.
Just beyond the big dune, I stopped to count some gulls and check the sea for birds. As I was scanning a diver flew through my scope - I immediately ruled out red-throated diver (it was close in and looked black and white and it's head was fled straight out and wasn't going 'up and down' as it flew) but it wasn't heavy enough for great-northern - it was a black-throated diver. A rare visitor to the patch and my first since 2014.
Two sanderlings were the only waders I recorded. This is telling of the numbers of dogs now using Druridge Bay I reckon - disturbance is one of things BTO ask us to record.
Today I was back on the patch to do my usual WeBS count for BTO. I stopped first at the edge of the patch to have scan through pink-footed geese flock that were still in the field.
|Pick a bean goose out of that lot
Some visiting birders from Teesside got onto a peregrine and there was at least three buzzards about. ADMc joined me for a bit, just as he was leaving I got onto a goose with thick, stocky, orange legs. It wasn't one of the WFGs and the bill looked for bean - but the flock was disturbed and moved together into a huddle and I lost 'my bird'. I'll go back tomorrow when I have more time.
Onto my WeBS. The Budge fields were completely frozen so only six black-headed gulls to record. A water pipit was showing well in front of the screen.
|Robin on the path to the Oddie hide
My year list stands at 76 species and my PWC score is 88 with the addition of a few 'two-pointers' in the last couple of days.