Sunday, February 10, 2008
Above - Amble Braid at Sunset...
Probably an even better day than yesterday, weather-wise. Clear and sunny all day and by lunchtime it was quite warm. Warm enough, in fact, to awake my first butterfly of the year from its winter sojourn. A Small Tortoiseshell was sunbathing on the track in the wood at Longhoughton today when I had Bunty out. It flew off strongly over the fields.
I checked the Sparrow flock but no sign of yesterday's oddbod. I looked at Martin and Darrell's comments and both could well be right. It may be just an unusual House Sparrow or it may be able to trace its family tree back to the time when father House Sparrow was the talk of the place by getting a bit over excited ... We've all seen how agitated they get when a group of males is in pursuit of a female. God help the passing Dunnock, it may get more than it bargained for, let alone a similar looking Tree Spug!( Thinking of that behaviour, Mallards do the same. They get all het-up and hound the ducks when they appear from cover, maybe thats how the Amble hybrid came about. Imagine the gang of drake Mallards looking for 'lurve' and the only female around is an Eider!)
I popped down to East Chevington this afternoon for a chat with the chaps. I was pleased to see that even here has been very quiet recently...the only things of note today were a Buzzard mobbed by a Kestrel and at dusk, a Barn Owl came out to hunt the south pool reedbeds.
A couple of brief visits to Boulmer had 8+ Grey Partridges and a flock of 10 Magpies going to roost. Rock and Roll! Oh and I nearly forgot ( how could I?) there were 4 Rock Pipits and a Grey Wagtail at Seaton Point and 150 each of Lapwing and Golden Plovers in the fields nearby.