Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Day After

As I always work Bank Holidays today was kind of my Easter Monday. I may have missed the best of the weather, it was decidedly grey and misty when we set off for Ingram and a little on the chilly side when we arrived but having a Bank Holiday one day late has its compensations.

Yesterday our chosen destination would have been heaving with families, dogs, barbecues et al. Some of the Barbecues remained having died and gone to barbecue heaven, other than the obligatory patch of left litter that was all that remained of the great British Public and their Bank Holiday.

As it was cold most of the small insect feeding birds were around the river (Breamish). You expect to find Dipper (two) and Grey Wagtail (four) and they duly obliged. The hods of Sand Martin were a year tick for me. This probably the first year since 1988 I have seen Swallow before Sand Martin, as I saw two separate individuals yesterday.

Willow Warblers were the other bird in evidence today, singing, flycatching, in Gorse, in Alder, seemingly under every bush. Several Chaffinch tumbled in the air, also flycatching and even a couple of Wrens got in on the act creeping around exposed tree roots in the bank.

With three kids dodgyscoping was always tricky so Grey Wagtails were pretty much all I could manage, thankfully they were reasonably obliging enough even for me.

One or two Common Buzzard floated around the nearby hillside, one attracting the attention of a pair of Herring Gull that got a tad tetchy with it and harassed it across the valley.

My favourite shot of the day, automatic light correction only, I like the way the Grey Wag blends in with the background other than the obscenely lemon breast, belly and undertail.

Sick yet, not many more now.

Hang on, if your thinking ha, he's slipped in a non Grey Wag, your right, well spotted. Apologies for the poor quality of this one but it was taken from the car window with just the camera. First time I've seen a Stonechat feeding in the middle of a river. It was catching insects by a combination of flycatching and dropping down onto low rocks and taking them from the water's edge.

1 comment:

Birding about Northumberland said...

Lovely photo's and lucky you to miss the bank holiday rush. Thanks for identifying my Chaffinch, it's quite apparent once you know what to look for and I will notice the wing bands next time.