Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Pinch Punch First of the Month

I headed for the Church pool this morning to check for duck broods, I didn't stay long, clouds of pollen floating up from an ungrazed and overgrown path set off my hay fever. Nine Little Grebes indicated a successful breedng season.

At the coast a single summer-plumaged Turnstone was top bird but from my mid-bay perch I picked up a pod of cetaceans moving rapidly north that I was soon able to identify as Bottlenose Dolphins. Around 10-12 powered through about 400m offshore and carried on past Beacon Point. I decided to try and catch up with them again further north so walked back to the car and drove north to Snab Point.

As I arrived I quickly re-located the pod almost directly offshore about 600m and had excellent views as they continued north, surfacing regularly with the occasional small blow visible.

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This evening a text from Tim Cleeves to say he had just had a Cattle Egret fly northeast over his house prompted a mad dash to Woodhorn and a hopeful vigil from the railway line. All in vain. Two Grey Herons and a brood of 10 Tufted Ducks on the South Pool and a rising of hirundines gave away the presence of a Sparrowhawk with prey that headed off over QEII.

I called in to Castle Island before heading home, Green Sandpiper still, first returning two Common Sandpipers this evening, four broods of Gadwall, a decent count of over 60 Tufted Ducks and a better count of the Shelduck young with at least four broods. Also a golden-legged juvenile Redshank that made me look twice.

Last stop Cooper's Flash to find the colour-ringed Avocet reported from Bothal Pond earlier in the evening was on the flash by the road. I nipped over to Shadfen to check the cattle field just in case but again without joy, a Tawny Owl by the roadside just after the saw mill provided consolation.

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