Sunday, October 07, 2018

A Patchy post...

Its been a while since I did a full on local patch type post so Saturday and today were spent doing just that, with maybe a step just a fraction outside the 'official' boundary, which I am quite happy to do. Its no good being precious about these things. Either way all sites visited today can be walked from home and are mostly within the map in the side bar.

On Saturday morning a walk around the coast path and Rumbling Kern with Peggy had - 4 adult winter Mediterranean Gulls, together, in the cow field just north of Seahouses Farm. Two weeks ago there were two adults here, the first time I have had a multiple occurrence on the patch, so to see four in one binocular field of view was excellent. A pair of Stonechats were in scrub by the Rumbling Kern. A five minute seawatch here with bins only had 1 dark Arctic Skua S very close in, 1 ad Common Tern  and 2 juv Arctic Terns N along the rock edges. Further off were 5 Red throated Divers on the sea and another two going S.

A bit of viz migging had 11 Siskins S, 7 Coal Tits coasting S and 9 Skylarks S.

A few butterflies were in the garden- 1 Small White, 8+ Red Admirals, 4 Speckled Wood.

As the wind swung north for the first time in millenia, later in the after noon I did an hour long seawatch from Cullernose Point. It was dire, but I sat it out catching the last sun and fresh air for 4 Red throated Diver, 1 Shelduck, 1 Manx Shearwater, 2 juv Arctic Terns ( probably those seen earlier), 3 Teal and 67 Common Scoter all N. A Small Copper was a late sighting on the coast path and another male Stonechat sat up giving nice close views.

Today I didnt have much hope of seeing much. Last night was clear and cold with a white frost on the car by 11pm. Still we thought we would give Craster ( north end of patch) a try today in case a Yellow browed Warbler had finally made it here.

As John arrived at 7am I put my gear in his car and a flock of 30+ Redwings flew out of the small copse next to our garden. The first of the autumn and a surprise giving the weather.

We arrived at the Craster public car park at about 7.20am and spent the next hour just standing around listening and watching birds viz-migging. Some were coasting S others dropping in from high east having just crossed the North Sea overnight. We totalled a decent list in the next hour -

Brambling 9 in off
Redpoll 60 S
Siskin 58 S
Redwing 38 in off
Fieldfare 3 IO
Song Thrush 3 IO
Goldfinch 12 S
Mistle Thrush 1 S
Golden Plover 13 S 38 N
Dunnock 2 IO arrived high from the east like pipits.
Linnet 13 S
Pied Wagtail 3 S
Crossbill 5 IO
Pink footed Geese 442 S

A Great Northern Diver flew N over head and a Barn Owl flushed from some Ivy on the old quarry wall.

In the bushes around were 2 Goldcrests and 2 Bullfinch.

Not a bad hour standing in  a car park!

We then checked the rest of the village area - 3 Willow Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Partridge, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker and 1 Treecreeper. The sea was all but dead, 1 Wigeon and 6 Common Scoter N.

This afternoon I walked Peggy down through the village wood to the Pond field and back.
28 Long tailed Tits were very active flying around the village as if not sure where to go next, 1 Chiffchaff, 9 Redwing, 1 Collared Dove, a scarce bird here with maybe two or three records a year, 1 Jay, 1 Brambling S, 1 Wigeon and 10 Mallard on the pond with 2 Mute Swans and 3 Moorhen.

And thats about it for the weekend. No rarities and not even a YBW, but some nice birds to see on the doorstep and to witness migration is always good too... now where are those easterlies?

Seawatch from Cullernose.

The view north from Cullernose

Howick Bay

The coast path facing south

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