Thursday 2 January 2020

Two things are guaranteed...

Two things are usually guaranteed on New Years Day on the patch:

1) I will see a species that I didn't see in the previous year. Over the years this list has included merlin, peregrine and slavonian grebe amongst others. This year it was pochard.

Two drake pochards heading south
I half-expected it to be long-tailed duck as one was reported on New Years Eve and it was LTD I was looking for when I saw the two drake pochards on the big pool.

2) Some mentalists will be in the sea

At least this girl kept her bikini top on, the two in 2018 didn't!

New Years Day was beautiful day and Janet and I had a good wander around the patch, taking in the big pool, Budge fields, bushes, sea and dunes to the north and saw 56 species - not a bad start to the year list. Other than the two pochards, other highlights were two velvet scoters flying south offshore, 60 twite in the dunes, a goldcrest (very rare in winter), a pair of pintail, a kestrel (first since July!), 250 golden plover and two of the four ruff from last week. We scanned through the pink-footed geese in the front field but couldn't find the white-fronts.

Busier than a summer day
By the time we headed home just before 2pm, the place was rammed, everyone and their dog(s) had descended on Druridge Bay. When we left, we had to queue to get out because people had parked on both sides of the road, leaving no room for cars to pass. It was like August Bank Holiday Monday!

Link to eBird list for NYD

Today was colder with a stiff breeze from the SW. I quickly checked through the geese (still no white-fronts) and the Budge fields where the four ruff had returned and had been joined by a dunlin. I also added blue tit and shelduck to the year list

List from today

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