Tuesday, May 11, 2021

I can see my house from here...

Sunday was a much better day than we have had since March. Mild with a spring like SW breeze and hazy sunshine.

The view north from Longhoughton Steel

Its all back to normal in the aftermath of the excitement of Friday so we spent the morning covering the Boulmer patch where, for the first time for me this spring, at least Swallows were in reasonable numbers skimming flies off the washed up seaweed.

On the shore waders looked smart with a cracking male Grey Plover in all his finery showing up a typical first winter bird alongside. A sift through other others didn't reveal anything untoward but 46 Sanderling, 73 Dunlin, 23 Ringed Plover, 14 Turnstone and 1 Bar tailed Godwit were nice to see. 4 Whimbrel flew N over the rocks.

More terns were fishing in a falling tide in the haven. 2 Arctic and 2 Little Terns were year ticks while 20+ Common and the same Sandwich Terns flickered around like they'd never been away.

Passerines were in short supply with only 6 Greenland Wheatears fitting the migrant category. A Meadow Pipit had a near escape when I almost trod on its nest along the track side right at the base of the wall to Longhoughton Steel.

A very smart male Greenland Wheatear at Seaton Point.

We were lamenting the lack of things like Yellow Wagtails and Grasshopper Warblers but when you look around here it is no wonder there are few birds and the pipit nearly nests on the path. The place has no decent hedges, trees or scrub, all damp spots have been drained more proficiently than the Aral Sea , cereal margins  yellow with weed killer and the grass land so over grazed that they now hammer the links destroying that native flora too. The concession to conservation seems to be a blue pheasant bin every 50 yards and an odd inaccessible game crop. Barbed Wire is the order of the day.

Its a good job there is a 30 mtr wide stripe of high tide zone or we'd have nothing. 

Mipits with 3 beside the path and wall.


Gavin Haig said...

You paint a grim picture Stewart. We certainly have our fair share of dead farmland too, but places like West Bexington and Cogden (the latter NT) are oases by comparison. What is it with so many farmers and land-owners? It's like the native flora and fauna are bitter enemies to be vanquished and killed without mercy.

Stewart said...

I have Gavin, but it is fact based observation. People who see where I live on social media and the blog think it is some rural idyll but really it is all just smoke and mirrors. Around my village this year I can see loads of mature 200yrs+ trees chopped down just because of health and safety insurance, they werent even a danger, Gorse banks scrubbed out to 'tidy' an area, even in the village a few flowers growing along the base of the wall beside the road had Verbascum, Columbines, Red Valerian, Scarlet Pimpernel etc, weedkillered last week.

Its absolutely relentless. No one can tell me that good things are being done because it just pales compared to the bigger picture. I might do a post to get it out of my system!

Gavin Haig said...

It all sounds horribly familiar...

Look forward to a post on it one day.