Friday, 12 October 2012

Twelfth Day, Tenth Month

After leaving the bird club AGM around 10:30 last night in lashing rain and a bit of a sou'easterly there was only one place for me this morning post-school run. Suitably wellied and waterproofed I started with the willows and sea buckthorn beside the housing estate. First bird grubbing around on the ground was a smart blue-backed 'continental' Coal Tit. Nothing else of note along the length so I moved on and began to circumnavigate the floods on the golf course that were fairly extensive following the overnight rain. Bar-tailed Godwit still around, a single Turnstone and (on the way back) two 2nd-winter Mediterranean Gulls.

Another birder appeared coming south, presumably someone who hadn't had a school run. As ever I couldn't resist asking if he had seen anything and was fired up by news of Yellow-browed Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher. I failed to connect with the YBW but it was pretty gusty, however the RB Fly performed very well, providing much better views and photo opportunities than the individual 2 weeks ago.

 Supporting cast included a Ring Ouzel that came in over my head ( and left me oblivious until someone else who had seen it head on mentioned it), a Great Spotted Woodpecker, single Siskin, Blackcap & Chiffchaff, several tens of thrushes including a few Redwings,a few Goldcrests and a lone Swallow.

 A fortuitous conversation with another birder brought news of a Hume's Leaf Warbler around the old allotments at Cambois probably for it's 2nd day. After a quick (and vital) pastie stop I drove down early afternoon and along with 3 Durham birders duly picked up a Hume's/Yellow-browed- type working along the big green fence. Views were fleeting and whilst it was active it went missing for long periods. It did call several times and comparing the call to on-line recordings immediately appeared to confirm it was Hume's, though to be honest I would have like better and more prolonged views than I had. A small flock of c.25 Lesser Redpolls were also in evidence.

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