Sunday, September 23, 2007

Up the coast for a change...

Top - Fenham Flats looking towards Fenham Mill and Holy Island causeway.
Centre - A tiny sample of the waders on the mudflats.
Bottom - Some of the Pale bellied Brents now back for the winter.
( Click any picture for a bigger image).

As my mate Rob was up from Leeds visiting friends in Alnwick, we decided to have a day out up the coast. Starting at Fenham Flats the view from the hide was quite daunting. All the birds were a mile away at low tide. Luckily the tide was on the flood so we waited for developments.As the tide compressed the masses onto ever smaller patches of mud, the birds swarmed like ants over the ground. The scene reminded me of the African plains with the hoards grazing mammals wandering around.

This hide is usually empty, so we were suprised when, in rapid succession, we were joined by Ray Craig, Steve Rippon and Alan Hall. Out on the flats we had -

Redshank, Knot and Dunlin possibly as many as 3000 in total, numbers impossible to assess accurately.
Grey Plover 100+ many in full summer plumage.
Curlew 85+
Curlew Sandpiper 1 juv
Ruff 1 juv
Pale bellied Brent Geese 500+
Shelduck 85+
Wigeon 100+
Teal 100+
Pintail 6
Pink footed Geese 25 S
Red breasted Merganser 3
Arctic Skua 1
Lesser Redpoll 10 S
Goldfinch 25

From here we called at Budle bay -

Pink footed Geese 600+
Teal 324
Mallard 104
Redshank many
Greenshank 9 was a good count in Northumberland.

And Stag Rocks, Bamburgh -

Purple Sandpiper 9
Red throated Diver 1 S

No wintering ducks or grebes visible yet.

Monks House Pool ( Ennion's 'House on the Shore') -
Snipe 7+
Black tailed Godwit 1 juv
Golden Plover 8

Above - Pectoral Sandpiper juv, Newton Pool.

Our next stop was Newton Pool. A quick check of the tiny flash in the field north of the pool revealed the Pectoral Sandpiper still present from last week. I was quite suprised as I hadn't heard about it for several days. It was wandering around the boggy area with 3 Ruff and 4 Redshank. Little of interest on the main pool other than 9 Little Grebe and a nice showy Snipe next to the hide. Steve and Alan had seen a juvenile Water Rail here earlier today but they didn't mention the Pec still being around. I wonder if the saw it?

Above - Snipe. The last pic would make a good 'mystery birds' photo!


darrell j prest said...

liking the brent geese

Exmoorjane said...

Hi there, thanks for your comment on mine (though how on earth did you find me?!)....You are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world..... I shall test my husband (who fancies himself as a bit of a birder) on the snipe!
All very best....

Stewart said...

DP - Cheers.
E - Hello. I got wind of your 'trip report' by word of mouth ( word of email really) so I though I'd check it out. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stew, R U sure the Pec is a Juv? Only saying this as I can't see any mantle braces on it from ur pics! Also it doesn't look as rufous as the Druridge one! Cheers


Stewart said...

Well, it was very fresh indeed and much more tawny than adults I've had in the past. I find adults to be quite dark, scraggy looking things...I reckon it was a young bird.