We had news of an interesting ringing recovery from the BTO this week.
Back in late October, just before I headed off to Fuerteventura, I caught a tree sparrow by the feeders near to the Budge hide. It had a ring on it which wasn't on of ours - this interesting things about the ring that it was a 'B' ring. 'B' rings are only put onto tree sparrows when they are pullis, adult birds take an 'A' ring - which meant this bird had been ringed in the nestbox - and more likely a nest box.
I presumed that it would not have travelled too far and I was right. It was ringed back in June this year out of a box of five chicks at Whinney Hill, near Longhorsley, by my friend Phil.
An easterly movement of 16km, which isn't bad for a tree sparrow.
I've been off work but have only managed one more visit to the patch - on Friday 20th, household chores have prevented any more birding...
As i arrived on the patch I spotted a small flock of 250 or so Pink-footed geese in the field in front of Druridge Farm, so I had a scan through them and found a single 'tundra' bean goose (soon to be regarded as a species in its own right when the BOU move to the IOC list) in amongst them. No sooner had I found this bird when they all got up - a pheasant shoot was going on in the shelterbelt to the west. I watched the hunters for a while blamming (or trying to - the chap I was watching wasn't a great shot) the pheasants as they were kicked out of the wood by the beaters - hardly sport I thought to myself. There was a pheasant walking around behind him, he could of walked up and shot that, would have been as much sport!
So I never found out if there were any more beans in amongst them.
It was cold, grey and damp again - the type of cold that get's to your bones! There was still plenty of wildfowl and waders on the Budge fields, no sign of the recently report pintail or ruff but two black-tailed godwits were new-in. A nice female sparrowhawk was sat out on the side of the shelterbelt. There were a few pheasant on the Budge fields looking a bit lost - I wonder where they had come from?
In the field to the north of the big pool where the usual flock of canada geese, a quick scan with my bins found a Eurasian white-fronted goose and a handful of pinks in with them.
Interestingly on our way back from twitching the pacific diver at Chevington on Saturday, we spun by Druridge and neither the white-front or the pinks were with a depleted canada flock. There were 2500+ PFGs in the front field at Druridge Farm but we couldn't pick up a bean goose - just goes to show that these geese are moving around a lot.
Off shore on Friday, a single great-crested grebe was an interesting patch record - they are rare in winter here. Dave Elliott's huge flock of 2500+ wigeon were still off Chibburn mouth.