Friday, 23 April 2010

Big Wheatear Day

A few hours around some local sites this morning was fairly quiet, as can often be the case in April, but there were pockets of quality along the way and certainly enough to keep me interested. My first stop produced a splendid Ruff just within range of the camera, my first of the year and nice to have a spring bird.

At my second destination the harsh sound of young Rooks mingled with Willow Warbler song as I left the car. Three Gadwall flushed from a small flood in the dip of the meadow and a Little Grebe trilled on the nearby lake. Two Grey Partridge lifted ahead of me over the bank in the direction I was heading. Over the lines into a field reverting to scrub, a Wheatear flashed white as it moved away from me, then another, and another and by the time I had finished there were 15 in a 30m stretch at the back of the field. The first of 26 I had this morning with further counts of seven, three and one at other sites. A tidy little arrival.

Northern Wheatear

Two Sandwich Tern viewed distantly on a large post in the Blyth estuary have been a long time coming this year but I guess that is partly due to not spending any time sea-watching.  Four summer-plumaged Black-tailed Godwit at Druridge Pools at the back of the pond were smart but out of reach.
I rounded off the morning with a return to my starting point only to find two fisherman and an almost empty pond. Then from the east three Common Swift dipped down and did three or four circuits before departing high to the south. Were these the same three birds that had appeared on my phone from Killingworth Lake  (via Birdguides) 40 minutes earlier?
As the morning warmed the occasional fluttery thing emerged to add a splash of colour to the day, Peacock, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell all noted today.

1 comment:

Clare said...

Don't forget to send those Wheatear on to us up here Alan.