Sunday, 8 May 2011

Are You Following Me?

It's ok it's a bird post, no need to worry, no creepy crawly moths in this one. For most the heavy rain will have been an uninspiring start to the day, a look out the window and a retreat back to bed for a little longer to shake off the self-induced hangover that you promised yourself you weren't going to have again last weekend (that's the same one you have been promising not to have every weekend since 1994).

For birders the opportunity to revel in grounded waders and wet migrants results in a semi-naked dance of celebration for the gentle rattle of rain on the window; this morning was no exception as I threw some of my finest moves whilst trying to pull on trousers without making the floor squeak.

Mentally turning over the destination choices as I hit the Jaffa Cakes (just 3) I headed for the coast. The rain was heavy by the time I pulled along Lynemouth Flash, a few 2CY Black-headed Gulls mooched, preened and occasionally stretched. At the north end a creamy eyebrow in the dock leaves gave away the location of a drake Garganey, perhaps freshly arrived as it was feeding ferociously. A couple of wet Meadow Pipits later I moved on to Cresswell. Pulling in at the north end two Avocets loafed north of the causeway and a small flock of summer plumaged Dunlin dug into the mud.
I climbed into the back of the car and retrieved the scope from the boot to have a closer look and was slightly surprised on looking back to see a drake Garganey out in the open on the small pool. A Greenshank  arrived noisily.
The Budge screen at Druridge and the South hide produced little, 2 Common Terns on the main pool and a Greenshank flew over north.

North again to East Chevington more terns with Common Terns and Sandwich Terns braving the rain. After a particularly heavy shower a drake Garganey dropped in over the hide into the corner of the pool. Hat trick! Probably the same individual moving north rather than three different drakes though.

Heading back south an immature male Marsh Harrier showed exceptionally well hunting a wheat field and a small flock of Numenius waders included 2 Whimbrels  and 3 Curlews.
I couldn't relocate Garganey at Cresswell or Lynemouth as I retraced my route home strongly suggesting that one individual was involved in all three locations following my route north.

1 comment:

Gunnar Engblom said...

Hi Alan

You need a few pics of birds on your blog - otherwise people may actually think it is a moth-blog only ;-)
Did you try to use creative commons pics - that you can find and use for free on Flickr?
Cool, the story of the stalking Garganey!