Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Exodus

With normal service resumed and my fair lady sent back to the coal face today some fresh air was in order.  A grey morning with a hint of drizzle and a comfortable 17c we headed for the beach arriving about a half hour before high tide. The sea was calm with a gentle roll allowing reasonable visibility although I had no scope and one eye on the kids ever increasing courage in the face of the waves.

It looked quiet until four Sanderling dropped onto the tideline nearby before departing on south moments later, then another two and further up the beach a single. None stayed long although that could possibly have been as a consequence of the whirling pink and yellow display from the plastic spades. Gradually as the morning wore on it was obvious that there were large numbers of common waders on the move south, Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Curlew, groups of Knot tight together, an occasional Turnstone. A steady stream of visible migration. Heading in the opposite direction were regular small groups of Common Scoter though one larger group of c150 headed through north mid-morning. A single Common Sandpiper dithered on the rocks at one end of the beach.

Later as we passed Cresswell we added two Black-tailed Godwit to the collection before a party of 11 took off from our final destination at Druridge Pool disturbed by an unseen presence. 20+ Curlew and a lone Whimbrel joined them as they wheeled away, the occasional bird calling prompting skyward glances from the kids.

Terns were the other constant of our few hours out, Sandwich Tern almost all tracking south a few metres offshore at the beach
and a few Common Tern lazing in front of the hide at Druridge including a few youngsters.

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