Wednesday, 7 November 2012

No Escape II - Patch Strikes Back

Determined to add Waxwing to my paltry patch tally at Newbiggin this year I headed off after the school run. Approaching the west boundary of the patch, the A189 Spine Road there were 15-20 sat in a tree about 50m before the roundabout at Woodhorn. No sooner had I parked on the pool side and they were up and off, they may have grazed the side of the patch airspace as they spilled across the road in an arc before flying south towards North Seaton.

I'd already decided to go ultra-urban and scour the Newbiggin streets so I headed off down the new road that joins the footpath from Woodhorn roundabout and cuts right down to the main street. By the time I reached the main street my thoughts were already contemplating a pasty as a grey shape ghosted into a treetop on the other side of the road just opposite the speed camera. Drawling level two Waxwings could be seen hunched against the brisk wind.

The only resident birder in Newbiggin (sounds like a Simon & Garfunkel song when you put it like that) lives just a few yards away at Bank Top Clurb. I nipped over to let him know but found him absent. Started ringing him as I was walking back out to discover five almost in the Bank Top car park. Luckily AP wasn't too far away and managed to get his 'garden' tick a few minutes later.

These five were reasonably confiding, dropping to feed on rose hips and drink from a couple of small puddles. I did get some queer looks hunched against the recycling skips with the big lens. The only other notable bird was a White-fronted Goose on the Church Pool, without the scope and with the dog I couldn't nail it to race but I sent texts to a couple of possibly interested parties and MSH later confirmed it was albifrons and not one of the recent Greenland winterers.

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