Thursday, 4 August 2011

Taking the Mich

The car (predictably) failed the MOT so went back today to have the minor but expensive repairs to enable it to be called roadworthy. Despite the forecast of rain I decided to head back along the Wansbeck and continue till I got fed up.

The adult Spoonbill looking a little spiky in the rain was still loitering around the island, a single Ruff the only new wader. A Kingfisher flying downstream was a bit of a novelty here, despite the presence of breeding pairs further up the Wansbeck and its tributaries I've never done well with it this far down river with only a handful of previous sightings. More predictable was a Grey Wagtail with this species often appearing from August.

The mouth of the Wansbeck proved productive with a  tidy little tern roost at low tide including seven adult Roseate Terns and a little further along the beach a dark Arctic Skua harassing terns before landing.

I walked on north to Newbiggin, the very low tide had created some shallow lagoons at the south end of the beach that had trapped sand eels and there was a gull and tern feeding fest ongoing. I started by counting Newbiggin's famous Mediterranean Gulls arriving at 25 today including five juveniles. The gulls were being flushed by various people, dogs, kids etc but most were coming back to land and feed when the disturbances moved on. I started looking through the 2-300 large gulls that were present for michahellis or cachinnans both rare in Northumberland (last michahellis I think 2006). A Yellow-legged Gull had been reported by persons unknown yesterday as part of a seawatch, though I had no idea what age. After a few minutes bingo a smart looking juvenile michahellis Yellow-legged Gull feeding, preening and flying around.YLG is a much needed county and patch tick for me, so I allowed myself a celebratory jig on the beach.
Two Arctic Skuas barely got a cursory glance as did at least 3-4 Roseate Terns; I had left my camera at home to travel light and also avoid the rain so I was forced to resort to Iphone scoping the mich to try and get some record shots for submission. Whilst they are just record shots and don't fully do it justice I think they're enough to see it onto my county list.

1 comment:

The Liverbirder said...

You lucky blighter. Was there tonight to have a look. Would have been a Lifer for me. Too many people on the beach and too many gulls on the sea and too much rain combined to score a big fat zero. Well done you though.