Friday, 27 May 2011

27 May

Great minds think alike. Obviously so do some birders as ADMc and I arrived in Newbiggin car park at 06:00 prompt within 30 seconds of each other with no pre-arrangement at all. Wind not quite as we would have liked with too much of a westerly feature rather than the forecast northwesterly.
A group of 7-8 close Manx Shearwaters as we walked to the point were the vanguard of a further 84 over 06:00-08:00; many of these were feeding dropping onto the sea about 1km offshore. The other immediate notable feature was an impressive gathering of 2-300 Gannet south of Newbiggin off the Wansbeck Estuary, you can make out some of them in flight in the seascape below.

A dark phase Arctic Skua moved south at distance and a pale phase skua (sp) was probably a Pom but too distant to be certain. A Heron (sp) some 2-3km offshore moving north was interesting for a short while till we realised that it was almost certainly Grey. Two Red-throated Divers moved north together. As we left a Great Skua flew over the caravan site; had we been sat at Church Point it would have sneaked behind us and off north. The poor seawatching weather generally this month ensures these are the first skua species I've seen this year, a very poor spring return.

A jog up the coast turned up a 1st-summer Little Gull at Cresswell. Druridge Pools was quiet though the recently fledged family of four young Common Stonechat entertained for a short while.

Five Little Gulls were at East Chevington (again, also present 26th per ADMc); four 1st-summers and 2nd-summer. Here a male Marsh Harrier came in high from the north, spooking the north pool and harassed by Sandwich Terns moved off high to the south before dropping low over Chibburn.


Ipin said...

did you see any rings on the stonechats?

Jules said...

That brings back some memories - if only I'd get some Manxes over here like we (you) get at Newbiggin. Can't complain though, managed both LT and poms the last week or so over here.