Sunday 23 May 2021

First patch Osprey in 25 years

After heavy rain and cold northeasterly winds on Friday/Saturday morning Janet and I went out to look for migrant passerines at Druridge on Saturday morning. We stopped at the Budge Screen first and finally caught up with some Little Gulls and the thunbergii (grey-headed) Yellow Wagtail. With two Wood Sandpipers, a pair of Garganey, a Knot, two bar-tailed and three Black-tailed Godwits among the supporting cast we would have been happy to leave it at that. 

We wandered north along the bushes and onto the haul road. It was there, where we were alerted to a large bird flying north pursued by five or six Lapwings. The Lapwings wouldn't have bothered going that high for a gull, so bins onto it and it showed it to be an Osprey! It was heading steadily north and soon lost to sight over East Chevington. 

Osprey heading north pursued by Lapwings (heavy crop)

This is my first patch Osprey since at least 1996 - it was so long ago, the record is in a long-gone paper notebook. 

We didn't find any noteworthy migrants passerines, not even a Wheatear. There were hundreds of hirrundines and the Swifts were flying very low.  The sun came out briefly later and brought out some insects.

Common Cardinal Beetle 

Male Andrena sp of bee

Large Red Damselfy (female)

22-Spot Laydybird

Cheilosia sp of Hoverfly  -STOP PRESS - Roger Morris thinks this is C. bergenstammi

Green NettleWeavil

Sphaerophoria sp of hoverfly - the females can't be identified to species by photographs

Red and Black Froghopper

Today was WeBS count day. Highlights were five Little Gulls, one Med Gull and a single Drake Garganey. Wood Sandpiper and Ruff had been reported but we didn't see them. The Grey-headed Wagtail was gone but there were two flavissima.

Drake Tufted Duck - without the orange eye, this could be monochrome photo

 We walked to Chibburn mouth to check on my fence and walked back along the beach seeing very little along the way - only a handful of Sandwich Terns.

One of the Sandwich Terns

Spoonbill looking miserable on the Budge fields earlier in the week

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