The wonders of having flexible working hours means that you can extend the weekend once in a while.
Today was one such chance, but, being December, there wasn't too much happening. First of all I had to carry out my community service work ( no I haven't been arrested, its just voluntary) and headed off to the Village Hall to clean the external windows. That took about an hour and a half so it was time to get out with Bunty.
The local birds seemed mostly concentrated around our feeders with 3 Great spotted Woodpeckers, 40 Sparrows, both House and Tree and 2 Sparrowhawks. Out over the back field 6 Snipe squeaked away from a damp patch and a couple of Redwings dropped in to roost in village wood. Nothing of note was seen on the sea.
This made me wonder, where has this Ivory Gull gone?
My hopes that it was scavenging at the bottom of Cullernose point came to nothing. In fact, the day would have been very quiet with little breeze, low cloud and subdued local birdlife had it not been for some ambient racket going on. The Boulmer Sea-king was doing circuits of the village, while above it RAF tornados or whatever they use now, roared overhead. The quarry was blasting and tipping rocks into lorries a mile inland but it sounded like it was on the doorstep and a few cars on the coast road were in rally mode. So much for the quiet rural life. Any self respecting Ivory Gull would have given here a wide berth and headed straight back to arctic silence!
Maybe it has gone the way of so many passage seabirds seen, heading north, south of the Tyne - the South Shields / Tynemouth triangle seems to have taken another victim...