Friday, 13 April 2012

The New

A week since my last post and I have barely seemed to have a minute to spare. I worked over Easter weekend so did little birding. Easter Monday we took the kids to see an animated feature about Pirates & Scientists featuring Charles Darwin and a plot centred around the last Dodo. I nodded off early on but caught the last half hour, the kids seemed to enjoy it and there were a few jokes for the grown ups.

This week with the kids on holiday has flown by with a few new birds for the year thrown into the mix. A couple of hours updating NTBC posters in various hides on Wednesday produced a single Little Ringed Plover that remained still long enough to be Iphonescoped and produce at least a recognisable image. Two White Wagtails were at the same site.

Yesterday with rain entrenched at the coast and an inland forecast that looked drier I nipped over to Kielder to look for Ospreys and Mandarin. Success on both fronts with six of the latter on the river around Ridley Stokoe along with a couple of pairs of Goosanders and a singing Willow Warbler. I find these very skittish and they don't hang around long if you start crashing through the undergrowth along the riverbank.

The weather forecast was hopelessly inaccurate and it moved between gentle drizzle to full on cats and dogs on a recurring ten minute cycle for much of the afternoon. Bakethin still has 2 Whooper Swans and 10 Sand Martins charged about though I failed to find any other hirundines. Kielder's Ospreys or at least one of them showed, albeit as a brown and white topped smudge through the grey rain standing on (it could have been tied to) the post beside the nest. No display so an underwhelming year tick.
Not one to be disheartened I headed elsewhere and found another Osprey at a site that could well be a future breeding site in the county. Given that the weather had improved and I was substantially closer I managed some record shots. After watching it perched a while from the car to avoid disturbing it, two Common Buzzards appeared and it seemed to get a little nervous and took off, keeping an eye on the neighbours all the while.

 A couple of miles to the east I stumbled on a tidy flock of Golden Plovers, 98 in total some well into summer plumage and looking stunning. some of these were well marked and may have been altifrons or 'Northern' individuals.

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