Sunday, 1 February 2009

Third Time Lucky

Another necessary trip to Hartley meant that Stumpy and I were near the coast by 9.30am with an hour spare. An excellent opportunity to pick up some of the long staying winter visitors that I keep reporting here, but never seem to actually see.

First up was the St Mary's Water Pipit, could be a bit hitty missy and in a howling Easterly it might have moved for shelter. We arrived and noted Bob Dack looking into the North Bay and the words that often fill birders full of dread, "it was just here a few minutes ago".
A scan of the high tide debris revealed six Rock Pipit, a Pied Wagtail and a Turnstone.Further searching with bins and sure enough the WP appeared a little like Mr Benn used to, except it wasn't wearing a bowler hat.
image courtsey & copyright Sergey Yeliseev

Next up was the near mythical Iceland Gull at Blyth South Harbour. Hopefully it would be third time lucky. The East wind did its best to put us off as we walked but this time sure enough it was swimming around just below the Harbour Master's office as if butter wouldn't melt. An extra year tick in the form of a female Red-Breasted Merganser diving around the pontoon was gratefully received. The small party of Common Eider were a joy as some of the males began to call and display just a few feet away below the jetty.
image courtsey & copyright Omar Runolfsson

1 comment:

Blyth Birder said...

'hitty missy' were the exact words that came to my mind as I drove straight past a windy St Mary's on Saturday.

I'll give that Water Pipit a try one day this year, I'm sure.