I was sat at my desk, in my loft-office at home, yesterday afternoon, the velux windows were open as it was mild and by 4pm I could hear redwings over the house, seeeeep, seeeep.
I popped my head out to see a flock of 80 flying just over our rooftop and then another 40 or so. I tried to work but by 4.30 I could concentrate no more and headed for the patch. When I arrived, redwings were coming over but quite high. I thought I would check the plantation and entrance bushes first for grounded migrants until I read a Whatsapp message from Shaun Robson - 81 little gull off Druridge Links. Surely a typo?
I asked him to confirm and he replied to say 'yes' he had counted 81 little gulls offshore. I headed for the Dune. Shaun and I must've passed as he wasn't there when I arrived (he'd gone to Cresswell) but the little gulls were still there, well at least 50-60 of them, it was hard to keep track as some moved off south, some loafed on the sea whilst others fed. I would guess that 95% were adults. Easily a patch record count for this species.
The thrushes kept coming but in smaller numbers, I was watching them coming ashore from a long way out, mostly redwings with a few blackbirds. At least four brambling also came in-off. No fieldfares yet. A great northern diver was on the sea.
I stayed until dark, by which time, thrush movement had stopped, but another brambling came over. As darkness fell, unknown numbers of pink-footed geese arrived on Budge fields.
I love to see this visible migration of winter thrushes arriving over the sea and always find it amazing that after such a long and perilous journey, that they don't make landfall at the first opportunity. I tracked a small group which just kept going towards Widdrington and probably beyond.
No visits to the patch today but yesterdays arrival was still evident in the Goswick and Beal areas with many grounded thrushes, bramblings and robins and a few reed buntings which I presume are incoming birds too?
There are a few waxcaps in the dunes, by the side of the paths, which I think are 'dune waxcap' - Hygrocybe conicoides