Wednesday 12 December 2018


I've bit a bit of an absentee from the patch recently. With birding limited to weekends and weekends taken up with football and chores it doesn't leave any time for birding. That alongside a knackered computer has meant little activitiy on the blog I'm afraid.

In late November I spent a bit of time in the dunes north of the 'Druridge bushes' which themselves are looking more like twigs after the cattle destroyed them last March. These dunes are part of the farm and are used for over-wintering cattle and as such, are full of all sorts of seed-baring plants which I must try to identify when they are in flower next year ( I recognise mugwort and burdock). The patch boundary is the northern end of the first fenced and farmed dune. Technically these are 'Chibburn Links' rather than 'Druridge Links'.

One of these plants has a small, hard, round seed and the finches, reed buntings and tree sparrows love them - I had flocks of 50+ twite, 100 goldfinch, 40+ reed bunting, 50+ chaffinch and 50+ tree sparrows and a handful of linnet.


Some of the reed buntings with the small round seeds
Tree Sparrows and chaffinch
As well as the finches, buntings and tree sparrows, these dunes have attracted a lot of grey partridges - My top count was 54 in three coveys with a single covey numbering 28! There is something like in there. I still haven't seen a red-leg this year though...
Grey partridges

The only time I've been back on the patch since was last weekend when a White-billed Diver had been reported just off from the Dunbar Burn - being a full patch tick for me, I was there as soon as it was reported but had no luck. It was reproted again after we left but not by anyone that I know.

We did see a single drake velvet scoter, a dozen red-throated divers and a fly-by adult med gull.

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