Sunday, November 12, 2006
A good day sneaks up...
Above - 3 Scaup with Tufteds, Longhoughton Quarry.
Above - Kingfisher, Boulmer Steel.
Above - Last weeks Merlin again, on a kill in the field, Boulmer north seat.
The weather today was much improved on yesterday. A cold WNW6 with some high cloud though generally fine.
A short sea watch was followed by a walk up to the Howdiemont Bay. Here, Rob and myself met up with John Steele who was out for a stroll from his caravan nearby. On the return we bumped into Brian Galloway and a group of a dozen or so birders from his evening class on a field trip.
Some good birds were noted today despite only being out for the morning. The seawatch produced 2 Little Auks N, 1 male Long-tailed Duck N and 5+ Red breasted Mergansers on the sea. A distant diver refused to be anything other than a Red throated and a second was seen further along the shore.
At the north end we had 2 Razorbills, 10+ Knot, 4 Purple Sandpipers, 20+ Gannets N, 135+ Pink footed Geese S. 1 Snow Bunting flew N high over head, calling. On the rocks were 2ad 1 2nd winter Lesser black backed Gull, 1 adult Mediterranean Gull and 1 fw Little Gull, a very late record for this species here. The usual female Merlin seen 4 or 5 times this morning, finally with a kill being plucked in a winter crop. Later on when driving past the south of Seaton Point at 4pm a nice Peregrine flew over south towards Alnmouth.
We were pleased to see that one of the Kingfishers was back and this time feeding on tiny fish from the rock pools. Some were caught in the usual manner from a perch, but at least one was caught by the bird hovering out over a pool then plunge diving in. We last saw it being persued across the shore by a Herring Gull. I hope it doesnt go the way of many little auks!
A quick check of Longhoughton quarry at noon (including a very short visit yesterday) had 135+ Tufted Duck, 1 imm male and 3 female Scaup, 3 Pochard, 6+ Moorhen, 1+ Willow Tit and a Chiffchaff heard only.