An early evening report of an early afternoon Crane west of Cresswell Pond provided an excuse for an early morning wake-up call ahead of work. The year-list remains Crane-less (no surprise really) but a nice fresh pre-dawn start to the day.
Druridge Pools still holds a drake Pintail though other wildfowl numbers have dwindled. Four Lesser Redpolls buzzed around the willows behind the Budge Screen and a pair of Stonechat sat together in the dunes. A Common Buzzard attempting to slip through low raised nine Grey Herons from the back plantation and a single Red-legged Partridge flushed from in front of the hide in response to the squeak of my tripod leg as it staggered open.
Yesterday I headed inland to Fontburn to look for raptor movements on a warm afternoon. Up to eight Common Buzzards soared in scope view as well as a brief Goshawk. A Raven flew through after taking issue with a nearby Buzzard and 6 Oystercatchers fed in nearby fields. Two Fieldfares were still present.
I stopped to the east of Coldlaw Wood to look out over the Beacon Hill/Stanton area and had a further six Common Buzzards here. A male Crossbill sang from a larch behind me in Spring Wood.
Despite checking several sites both breeding colonies and feeding areas still no Sand Martins yet, they seem to be late generally this year with poor numbers everywhere, a late departure suggested, any thoughts?