I seem to have misplaced my blogging mojo at the moment, 10 days without a post. The same can't be said about my birding as I've been putting in plenty of hours as things start to liven up. Some of the highlights from my notebook (that sounds vaguely familiar) as follows:
A walk along the Ash Lagoon Banks to search for the Greenish Warbler found by Tim Cleeves the previous evening. The bird was still present early morning and had even sang briefly. At least two other birders that I spoke to as I walked up flagged up that someone had been playing a tape. There was no sign of the bird when I arrived 20 minutes later, coincidence?
A Redstart and a Garden Warbler in the central scrub patch were patch year ticks.
The Garden Warbler still on the Ash Lagoon Bank as well as two Song Thrush that may well have been fresh arrivals. Waders in the high tide roost at Beacon Point were numerous, 305 Golden Plovers, exactly 100 Knot and 139 Oystercatchers.
Back at Beacon Point this time a juvenile Black Tern lingering offshore was the highlight of the day; two Ruff sheltered with the Golden Plovers in the wader roost.Four Wheatears on the beach were my first of the autumn as were two Rock Pipits.
An early morning seawatch from Church Point produced another (or more likely the same) juvenile Black Tern this time feeding a few hundred metres southeast with a couple of Arctic Terns. Birds moving through included 10 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Arctic Skuas and 2 Great Skuas.
Then a couple of days work break, the main talking point being a Yelkouan Shearwater past Cley that may well turn out to be the first accepted North Sea record judging by the calibre of the observers. Up here the return of the drake Black Scoter off Bamburgh was notable coming from an equally impeccable source.
A three hour post work seawatch proved to be the highlight of the year's seawatching so far. Decent numbers of Manx Shearwaters and a smattering of Sooty Shearwater meant there was always some movement. The gold star though went to three adult Long-tailed Skuas picked up by Tim Cleeves coming in toward the point before turning north and passing a mere 150m off providing an opportunity to use various superlatives and expletives intermingled amongst the silence of admiration. A Storm Petrel that I picked up briefly and Tim and I saw once more each as it moved north in a heavy swell was tame by comparison given that we were spoilt just a few weeks ago with this species. 7 Arctic Skuas, 5 Great Skuas and 7 Med Gulls were just bit part players.
A trip to the Metrocentre that I couldn't escape from prompted something different, I figured I was halfway to the south end of the county so we did the extra miles and ended up at Derwent Reservoir. A juvenile Little Ringed Plover, a single Pink-footed Goose, one Goosander and four-five Common Buzzards were all we could muster before heading home.
See you in September