A schoolboy error on Wednesday morning though. I got up early intending to my third territory mapping visit before work but when I arrived at Druridge the wind was strong, about 20mph from the North East and gusty - too windy for a survey so I abandoned and headed for the little hide where it would be sheltered.
The highlight was a male Ruff, coming into breeding plumage, strutting it's stuff in front of the hide.
|Ruff - getting it's ruff|
This Ruff was one of three, otherwise there was nothing new to report from the Budge fields. The light was nice and both Gadwall and Shoveler came close into hides.
|Chiffchaff in the morning sunshine|
I finally got my survey done before work on Friday. The map looked a bit busier with at least 13 singing Willow Warblers and both Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat were new for the year. Blackcaps were noted at three locations.
Also of note was Wheatear in the dunes and eight Twite including some in full song from the top of as tree. Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Reed Buntings were plentiful in the dunes and three Grasshopper Warblers were reeling there.
|Meadow Pipit in a dune bush|
Shelducks are numerous on the Budge fields and in the dunes, giving some nice 'fly-bys' - I estimated 24 in total.
|Tufted Duck between the turbines|
|Nesting Canada Goose with a stick through it's bill - wonder if this is a fashion statement?|
This morning Janet and I had wander around the hides. On the Budge fields, two Whimbrel, two male Yellow Wagtails, one White Wagtail, 14 Avocet, three Ruff and five Pintail were noteworthy. There wasn't much on the big pool but a Snipe was feeding just in front of the Oddie Hide.
A single Reed Warbler was singing in the reedbed which was new for the year and Sedge and Whitethroat were back in greater numbers. Janet went off horse-riding and I had a look on the sea, it was quiet though with no new terns, but plenty of Sandwich feeding just offshore. 13 Red-throated Divers were mostly in breeding plumage and a raft of 24 Guillemot were loafing on the sea. Twite are still around, 'commuting' along the dunes
I spent the rest of the morning trying to photograph hoverflies and bees on the path to the hides. They'll get their own post later when I've identified them. Meanwhile here's a 7-Spot Ladybird.