Sunday, 6 September 2009

Wet Work With Whimbrel.

Reaching Church Point before seven I was surprised to find two birders already resident, two birders and one dog. I think one was Andy Cowell as I seem to recognise his face from pictures I've seen. It wasn't too long before JGS & SMc arrived and then two more birders, Dave Turner (?) and someone else I recognised but couldn't put a name too. Anyway enough name checks, Id missed the only Great Skua of the morning before I arrived, a further four skuas, all Arctic and all dark worked north over the next three hours. Highlight was a Red-necked Grebe quite close in (N) that JGS put me onto and six Pale Bellied Brents, both year ticks. News of a Dark Bellied Brent on the beach sent me looking on the way home but to no avail.
The crack as usual was good although Stef claiming to be a golfer smacks of a wind up. A call from Northumberland's 'Steffie Balasteros' tonight brought news of a late morning Greenish Warbler singing on the mound.
So to work, my working week at the moment being four hours on Alnmouth Common. Being outdoors is a joy although today was a tad damp when the rain rolled in and just stayed. Making it much quieter with less tourists and cars I noted three Song Thrush, three Dunnock & three Moorhen. A Merlin passed overhead and made a half hearted attempt at some flying Linnets but didn't look hungry enough and soon gave up.
I was accompanied all afternoon by a single Whimbrel that fed on the Golf Course. It was present from 1.00pm and got booted all over for three hours. Still there at four and with traffic drying up I grabbed the camera and snatched some shots in poor light.

A little motion blur in the flight shot a symptom of slow shutter speed to compensate for the poor light but maybe it adds to the action?
A quick roadside stop on the way home to sift through the large gulls on the Coquet produced nothing gull-wise (good numbers though worth a stop - SS)but a nice Grey Heron fished in the shallow margins of the high tide nearby.

Now I'm off to drool over pics of an apparent juvenile Baltic Gull from Lincolnshire courtesy of SMc and work out how I'm going to manage three kids on the Mound in the morning whilst trying to track a mobile warbler.

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