Thursday, 27 March 2014

26th-27th March

26th Newbiggin/Woodhorn Flashes 
 Three Chiffchaffs around the Mound, and one of the resident Mistle Thrushes, little else to write home about. Four Med Gulls on the south pool at Woodhorn Flashes.

27th March Newbiggin/Woodhorn Flashes
Walked my now familiar route around Woodhorn this morning, 4 Little Grebes and 22 Tufted Ducks on the church pool. East of the road pool a single Pink-footed Goose had joined the Greylags in the grazing fields.
Things remained stubbornly migrant-less despite some brief heavy showers, a single Snipe, small number of damp looking Meadow Pipits, singing Dunnock etc.

On the south pool five Mediterranean Gulls (adult, two 2nd-winters and two 1st-winters) were the highlight of pool bustling with activity, albeit lacking in migrants.

 This afternoon I spent an hour seawatching from Church Point. Highlight was my first Manx Shearwater of the year north about 13:30. Good to get a nice early one as over recent years my first of this species has ranged from end April through May and even July in one year! 
There was a trickle of Gannets going both ways and I just about reached double figures for north and southbound movement, all were adults. Small but steady northbound passage of Kittiwakes resulted in a count of 128 north in the hour, this included birds of all three ages.

Not much else other than a few large gulls, three Red-throated Divers and a small number of Eider offshore.

I headed off north into Druridge Bay as far as Druridge Pools and then gradually drifted towards the school pick-up, checking roadside ponds and flashes for any signs of waders or ducks as I went. As I got back into the car at one site, a bird flew low along the hedge in front of me, expecting a Mistle Thrush I lifted my bins onto a smart Little Owl presumably hunting the hedge. It remained briefly allowing me to grab a couple of pictures before diving back over the hedge.

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