Well, I didn't expect to finish my WeBS count this morning by adding FOUR Temminck's Stints to it - but that's what happened!
John Day, an RSPB friend from Bedfordshire and his pal Darren joined us at Druridge this morning, they are up here for a weekends birding. When we joined them just after 7am they'd already seen more species than you can see in a month in Bedfordshire!
It was WeBS count day, so I counted the ducks whilst they enjoyed watching spoonbill, little stint, avocets, pintail, dunlins, lapwing chicks and other nice species. Little stint was new for the year so I was already happy with that. Count done and all three hides checked we headed back to the cars. They were off to the Harthope Valley whilst Janet and I opted for a look on the sea. Seeing very little, I checked my phone to see a missed call from Steve Holliday, and a text message - 'four Temminck's Stint in front of Budge Screen'. Seemingly they'd just dropped in.
We called John and Darren who were still faffing at their car and rushed to the hide, where, thankfully, the four birds could be seen on the edge of the pool. The four of them stuck pretty-close together and fed frantically along the muddy edge. I always think the 'gait' of Temminck's is quite diagnostic, they almost creep on their 'knees' as if their legs are set too far back on their bodies. They were chased by a redshank a couple of times, and then, without cause or warning, they were off, zig-zagging at first before flying off high and directly north. Steve and I thought that this might be a record count of this species for the County? These were my first patch Temminck's since two were on a pool by the coal haul road back in 2013.
|Record shot - just to prove there were four!
|And one flying off
A very pleasant end to a morning's birding. Big thanks to Steve H for the tip-off.
The Budge Fields are looking fab at the moment. Despite the relatively dry spring, the water levels remain very high, something has changed with the hydrology of the site this winter I think. Birds are dropping in all the time, not long after we left a wood sandpiper was reported. The 'Channel' wagtail that I found on Friday was seen again today.
Here are a few more pics from the last couple of days.
|Proud parent on guard
|And here's the reason why!
|You can see why barn swallows were called bluebirds!
|Spoonbills are now a common spring and summer species on the patch
|Pochard are increasingly uncommon - the four that are on site at the moment are most unusual nowadays
|The geese took a dislike to two roe deer who wandered through the pool. Roe deer are on the increase, almost plague-proportions these days.
My Druridge patch year-list is now on 130 and my 5km from home list is on 157.