Sunday, January 31, 2016

Redpoll...week 4.

You will all be getting sick of me chuntering on about the Coues's Arctic Redpoll at Birling / Warkworth by now, but today we managed some great views and this time I even had the camera instead of the scope.

I've jumped the gun a bit though so first things first. I met John at Warkworth at 7.30 this morning just as it was getting light. It was nice and calm for a change, overcast and cold. To start things we walked down towards the beach and along to view the salt marsh, to check the local Twite flock for the first time this year. As expected, about 15 Twite showed well, in less than good light, but with them were 2 Redpolls, one a sure fire Mealy, the other more ambiguous. I dont recall ever seeing redpolls in this habitat before...

While here, a Barn Owl hunted the car park banks and a host of waders roosted along the edge, where Bar-tailed Godwit and Little Egret were both new for the year.  

Twite in the gloaming at first light.
From here we walked back up and followed the field north along the golf course to view the redpolls. Today numbers were up to 34 birds and the Arctic was easily picked out as they came in and sat, obligingly, along the fence line.

Coues's Arctic Redpoll showing well, sticking out like a sore thumb. This shot shows its bull-head and necked appearance well.
We stood back from the fence a few yards and the birds came in every so often. Here the Arctic is showing its typical puffed up pose, complete with huge, unstreaked white rump.
In this shot, the Arctic has not had time to fluff up, giving an altogether different appearance. It appears to be a first winter male as there are odd reddish feathers in the upper chest / cheek area. 
 This is my fourth audience with exilipes and he never fails to impress. What a little cracker!
As we watched, John and I met with John Richardson and Sasha Elliott who also got some nice photo's. Pleased to meet you Sasha....

From here, we returned to the car for a refill of tea, pasty and cake ( no....) then off down to the harbour and estuary. Highlights here were a nice male Goosander, 3 Purple Sandpipers and the adult Mediterranean Gull has finally returned, albeit a little bit late....

So, a nice winter morning out with some excellent birds. If only all weekends were like this....

Mediterranean Gull with Black headed Gulls, Little Shore, Amble.
 


2 comments:

amanda peters said...

Wonderful photos, you are living in such a great place to watch birds...
Amanda xx

DorsetDipper said...

I'm not at all sick of you chuntering on about the Redpoll. I'm really enjoying your posts on the bird. Studying a scarce bird at your leisure is the very essence of patch watching. More posts, more sketches, more photos please!