Monday, December 17, 2007
Busy busy busy...
Sorry for the delay ( though you aren't missing much). This time of year is quite busy isn't it? Christmas ( I don't like using 'xmas',its lazy and it's just not right) shopping, birthdays, visits etc etc curtailed birding this weekend, but here I am, still blethering away about nothing in particular.
Its been cold this weekend. Not quite 'freeze your nuts off' cold, but getting there. On my way home from a late day at work on Friday the temp gauge on my car was reading -4 in the freezing fog between Ashington and Widdrington. It coated everything in the brittle hoary rind thats so scarce nowadays and makes a good replacement for our now none existant snow fall. I do hope the high pressure lingers for the next couple of weeks.
On Saturday and Sunday, still non birding mind you, I detected the hints of a hard weather movement on the bird front, possibly our final migrations until spring. Thrushes were particularly in evidence all over, making their getaway from the near continent that is even colder than here. Blackbirds filled every available hawthorn and even today groups are scattered about grassy areas below trees. One small stretch of haw laden hedge en-route to Boulmer held 20+ Blackies taking advantage of a more arboreal food supply now that the ground is like iron. At Howick over a hundred Redwings were in the Yews and on the roadside at Hadston a fine mix of these two, with a lot of Fieldfares, scoffed like their lives depended on it ( which it probably did). Throughout, odd Mistle Thrushes held sentinel over individual bushes defending it against all comers and Song Thrushes were thinly spread along the coast.
At Seaton Point, Golden Plovers and Lapwings replaced the thrushes found just inland, feeding in the coastal fields.
While walking Bunty at Howick, 6 Bullfinches looked well against the frost and a couple of Marsh Tits fed nearby.
Thats about it really. Oh and this -
I suppose he has more to do than me at the minute...not many schools get this kind of visit from Santa. The helicopter landed on the school field about a hundred metres behind our yard on Friday...