Tuesday, 18 September 2012


I've had a poor year patch-wise, not helped by some neglect on my part in favour of getting out and about around the county. September is all about promise though and there aren't too many better places to be.

I checked on yesterday's Grey Plover on floods just west of Ashington on the way to find it was still present. A few Meadow Pipits on the golf course then over to the Ash Lagoon scrub. Not exactly lifting with birds, the highlight a patch year-tick male Bullfinch. Two Chiffchaffs and a male Blackcap the only warblers, a single Coal Tit and four Blackbirds devouring berries.

A single Wheatear on the golf course and a further three at Beacon Point the only other migrants. A further six Wheatears were in the field behind Lynemouth Sewage Works as I drove past on my way north. Brief stops at Lynemouth Flash and Druridge Pools added little except a Ruff. 

Final stop of the day was the new lake/reservoir at Widdrington Moor where a large number of geese have already begun to gather. Four species present today with over 90 Pink-feet, a single Barnacle Goose, Greylags and a huge gathering of Canada Geese. In fact the flock was by far the largest I have ever seen at a coastal location, I counted 775 this afternoon. It'll be interesting to see whether numbers at previously favoured sites in the county at this time of the year such as Haughton Strother and Hallington reservoir in the west have been vacated or still hold large numbers as they have done in recent years. Typically there was also a couple of 'rogues' amongst them including at least one very grey looking leucistic -type and at least one Greylag x Canada hybrid. There were also two Great Crested Grebes on the lake.

(Distance walked 2.54 miles; 353 calories)


Pete Woodruff said...

Bit of a worry to regard high numbers of a bird species (Canada Geese) as a 'pest problem' Alan. They tried to get the necessary permit to cull them not so long ago on/around Lake Windermere in the Lake District but if my memory serves me well were - rightly in this case - refused.

Alan Tilmouth said...

Sorry Pete, I didn't refer to them as a 'pest problem' so I'm not sure what your point is.

Pete Woodruff said...

My turn to be sorry Alan as I wasn't supposed to sound like I suggested you did refer to the CG as a 'pest. I just reacted to the fact you called 775 the largest coastal count you had ever seen, thus my comment re the cull called for in the Lake District, presumably brought about by high numbers. I don't subscribe to the fact that because a bird species reaches good numbers they should be subject to a death sentence, though I suppose there might be cases where they do become a problem but I'm not prepared to think of any just now.