Monday, 28 June 2010

4-4-2.

Tempted as I am this isn't an analysis of a failed formation. The tale of my Sunday morning birding however fits neatly into those numbers and was far more enjoyable than the shambles of late afternoon.
We're at the end of June and the first of the waders are beginning to filter back, failed breeders, early breeders will start to appear on muddy edged pools, tidelines and seashore wader roosts near you.
So my first port of call was Castle Island looking for mud. The island looks perfect for return passage with a spit having appeared creating a lagoon around the northern bay. There were three Common Sandpiper and a single Black-tailed Godwit patrolling the muddy edges but best of all four 1st-summer Little Gull. Now I'm partial to a good gull and Little Gull is just such a perky, pretty thing that never fails to raise a smile. A couple had full-ish black heads and at least one, an almost clean white adult-like tail.

Little Gull

Whilst standing admiring the mini gulls the familiar buzzy three note call of a Willow Tit came from the Hawthorn to my left and a minute or so later it zipped across the gap in front of me, providing a self-found year tick. Further upriver a Lesser Whitethroat
was singing from a mixed stand of Hawthorn & Elderberry.

Low tide isn't ideal at Newbiggin and waders were in short supply but four Mediterranean Gull were pleasant enough, a couple of 1st-summer and 2 2nd-summer including a colour ringed bird.


Mediterranean Gull (1st-summer)

Later as middle son had a party at Amble I took the opportunity to go and spend an hour at Hauxley, hoping for a Roseate Tern dropping in. It didn't look promising when the only tern on site was a Common Tern that had obviously been excommunicated as it was trying to walk the plank.
Common Tern

Bonus time and self-found year tick two however, came in the form of a Curlew Sandpiper between the islands. There was a fair amount of heat haze and I presume it was a non-breeding adult as it seems a little early for a juvenile. A quick check with the Iphone revealed Birdguides showing only one report since 20 June and that was on Orkney!

Slightly shocking today was the news that the visitor centre at Hauxley caught fire during the night and burnt down completely. They appear to have lost many valuable records in the blaze. At the moment the cause of the blaze which started in the office is unknown.

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