Thursday, 17 March 2011

Redpoll Reprise, Wagtail Surprise

 Wednesday Completing an errand took us across the Ashington Northern Relief Road, to give it its Sunday name, this morning. In moving traffic the dark shapes of c.20 Waxwings were visible around the cotoneasters opposite Wansbeck Business Park. I was able to stop on the way back and subsequently counted 34 making quite a racket.
I also called into Ashwood Business Park in a vain attempt to find an early Wheatear in the gloom; I did stumble across a mixed finch flock that looked like it had several pale looking redpolls in it. Back after dropping the kids at nursery, this time with a scope and sure enough four obvious Mealy Redpoll along with c.15 Lesser Redpolls and probably a similar number of Siskin. One of the Mealies was blinged up on the left leg.
Mealy Through a Fence

A slow drive up the coast looking for early spring migrants was fruitless, two pairs of  Stonechat at Cresswell/Druridge and a quick glance at the Druridge Lane Little Owl as it seemed rude to drive past without making eye contact.

Thursday - Kids at school and nursery. I say nursery but I just love what my younger two are doing, 50% of their time outdoors, today for example was into the woods and sitting on logs around a lit camp fire resulting in them been keen to tell me about the nearby owl box and the woodpigeons they saw.
Anyway with the fog of the last two days clearing I took a quick look on the sea, little movement though the adult Lesser Black-backed Gull that moved north was a year tick. Joined by ADMc who on my right glanced over and picked up the patch bird of the morning a spanking Grey Wagtail on the edge of the point for a brief few seconds before moving off south; a tough one to get at the coast with no freshwater nearby.
A tour of the golf course produced little, though the Scandinavian Rock Pipits are still having a ball at the north end with at least six obvious birds present and c.10 in total. You can see more of my littoralis pictures here
Castle Island was quiet, Lesser Black-backed Gull here too, a female Eider c.1km upriver and a drake Red-breasted Merganser.
The post-school hour was spent at a local garden centre with a great outdoor play area for kids, great because it's free and quiet at this time of year. Even here there was birds to be found with Little Grebe trilling on the 'duckpond' and a single Pink-footed Goose grazing with the Mallards.

Pink-footed Goose on Manicured Turf


corey said...

I love how rarity is relative.

That offhand Pink-footed Goose at the end of your post would set off a stampede here in the states, and, in fact, one in New Jersey recently led to "birders behaving badly" in a cemetery.

Nice shot of a goose I would love to see again...

alan tilmouth said...

It is Corey (relative) I enjoy the rarity value created at a micro level at a particular site or patch which can sometimes see me elated at at what elsewhere would be fairly mundane.