Friday, 9 March 2012

Down to Earth

Post-work light nights combined with eager grandparents equals birding. A brief visit to Woodhorn for a change of scenery found the hallowed turf ripped asunder as the two fields either side of the railway line have been purchased by a local who is bringing them back into active agriculture.
You won't find me complaining if he carries on in the vein he has started, a huge clean-up exercise costing a five figure sum has removed a dozen years plus of waste from the surrounding hedgerows, new fencing is providing a few hundred additional posts for that special Wheatear to pop up on and a proper footbridge is a welcome addition to the north of the church pool.
With the plough still active yesterday, several hundred Black-headed Gulls were following and with a shout of 'Bony' earlier in the week the only decent thing to do was get amongst them. Whilst earth-encrusted bills produced the occasional raised eyebrow, I had to content myself with four of Newbiggin's most famous, with 1st-winter, 2nd-winter and two adult Mediterranean Gulls spread amongst the throng. Almost as good was a good-sized alba wagtail flock, 47 in all, all Pied, I could say I was disappointed but the males particularly were a joy to behold resplendent in their spring best and it would do them a huge disservice just because there wasn't a foreigner amongst them.
 Med Gull & Friends

Out on the church pool a Grey Wagtail mooched around the rocks holding up the railway line, eight White-fronted Geese and two Barnacle Geese on the muddy (yes mud!) edges along with a small selection of local wildfowl including a couple of Shoveler.
Heading back to the car two Mistle Thrushes were a 'patch year tick'

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