Thursday 17 September 2020

Aborted Seawatch

After yesterday's northerly winds I though I would try a seawatch this morning -early reports from coastal watchpoints looked favourable. I arrived just after sunrise and headed for my spot in the dunes.

It was a beautiful morning - too beautiful for seawatching. 

Stunning morning but no good for seawatching

The bright early sun was low in the eastern sky, already lighting up the sea and there was a slight haziness. All the birds, even those close-in were just silhouettes, it was hopeless, my notes would've read Skua sp, Shearwater sp, even Gull sp. I did manage to ID three Red-throated Divers on their silhouettes before packing in and heading for the bushes. 

I headed south, picking up a couple of Chiffs, but not much else. A few Meadow Pipits headed south including a flock of about 20, 77 Pink-footed Geese went south in two groups and 11 Skylark went North!. This glakey Pheasant nearly flew into me before crash landing into a Swedish Whitebeam tree.


There are so many Pheasant around at the moment - 34 is my top count this week. A Chiffchaff was chiff-chaffing in the tree at the farmhouse. In the plantation, I picked up on a calling Pied Flycatcher  - my first of the Autumn but not a year-tick after the very unseasonable bird in late June

By the entrance,  a couple of Blackcaps and a Whitethroat fed on Elderberries and Goldcrest - a true Autumn bird at Druridge - flitted around. 

Heading north back to the car, I found a second Pied Flycatcher in the small wood. 

Pied Flycatcher - one of two

Pied Flycatchers aren't even annual birds at Druridge, averaging about every third year, so to see two made up for the lack of a seawatch. Full list here

I did try a brief seawatch this evening, but the wind had switched SE and it was quiet. About 120 Kittiwake fed distantly offshore and a handful of Manx Shearwaters went north with a similar number of Red-throated Divers headed South. 

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