Beginning on Friday evening, a short seawatch from Craster was largely uneventful, but there was one highlight, a distant Bonxie, low over the waves flew south, followed later by second even more distant individual, but I might just wait for a better view of one before I add it to the patch year list ( cool or what). Other wise, 9 Swallows S, 1 Whimbrel S, 3 Common Gulls S, 20+ Turnstones on rocks, and a Goosander on the sea.
No birding on Saturday, but a light easterly had started to make things a bit interesting. A few 'hooweets' and 'tacks' came from deep in cover around the garden. Overnight there was lashing rain and a light SE wind making hopes high for the morning...
On Sunday I was out early and wandering Craster by 6.30am. I was surprised how quiet it was, but still believed that there would be some bird interest, somewhere. All I had here were lots of hirundines, a scattering of phylloscs and a few Blackcap and Whitethroat. I left them to it and drove south to meet John at Warkworth for 8am.
All areas were covered with the following highlights noted - 1+Whinchat and 1 Wheatear were down the dunes, 5+ Little Egrets up Old Water, where we heard convincing tales of up to 15 being present plus a Bittern yesterday. We gave the reed bed a short stake out but the boomer remained hidden.
Down on the proper mud flats there were masses of waders, 126+ Curlew, 1 Black tailed Godwit, 73+ Knot, 56 Golden Plover, 61+ Ringed Plover, sev hundred Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 2 Turnstone, 150+ Redshank, 260+ Lapwing and a Common Sandpiper was heard. Not bad for a small estuary.
I left John and headed home at lunchtime joking that the now increasing breeze might ground something around Howick for me.
|Pied Flycatcher, both pics of the same bird, one of two present. The other remained quite high up.|
The morning was calm, warm and clear. Up at Craster, 8 Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 6+ Chiffchaff, 2 Siskins S, 3 Grey Wagtails N were all I could winkle out.
Back home to photograph a rare moth taken from our bedroom wall last night, an Annulet. This is my second from only 4 records since 1976 in the county. It must have been blown into our house from the sea cliffs on that strong easterly.
A bit of luck does sometimes help when birding and today it gave me two patch ticks in a short time, the first was while photographing the moth, a distinctive call revealed a Green Sandpiper flying over the back field from the small ditch, later a Greenshank, 'pew pew pew'-ed as it flew south along the coast. Both excellent birds for this area.
Around the garden the south east breze and warm weather had brought more butterflies to the garden buddleias - 3 Painted Lady, 1 Red Admiral, 5 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacock, 1 Wall ( 6 were on the coast path), Large Whites and Small Whites in goo numbers.
As the evening came, I took a stroll up the hedge to see if the Green Sand was still around or to try and find a shrike or something. No rarities or waders, but two Whinchats were nice to get in a rough area of marshy ground. A good finish to the weekend for me...
|Annulet. My second. A very rare moth in Northumberland.|
|Agonopterix kaekeritziana a new species for me.|
132. Green Sandpiper