Today was full of 'almost' and 'nearly'.
It all started well down on the Coquet Estuary with John. Once the blustery breeze had died down a bit, a nice variety of species were seen. A pair of Gadwall above the weir was a good sighting for here, plus the 2 Short eared Owls on the dunes looked excellent hunting and squabbling over the main track down to the north side. We enjoyed watching the owls from near the car park with scopes but when we went down to try for a photo they just drifted away.
Off shore from Birling were a pair of summer plumaged Great crested Grebes, 2 Red throated Diver and a few Lesser black backed Gulls. A very distant bird tantalised us by almost becoming a Bonxie but it would have taken the Hubble to sort it out...Meanwhile lots of Skylarks were moving north in small parties of up to 25 birds in each. We must have had almost a couple of hundred this morning.
Today's real highlight was a family group of Roe Deer feeding on seaweed up the river Coquet. A doe with yearling buck and doe looked oblivious to our presence as they pottered about on the far side of the river.
Back at home a big 'nearly' happened when we returned after a dog walk to find a superb pair of Peregrines soaring, low, right over our house! What stunners in the sunshine, but I had left my camera indoors. Still, great views were had as they cruised away up towards Hips Heugh. I'm a bit gutted really as I would have had a chance of some nice shots...
The second big 'nearly' was when we headed off to Amble shopping this afternoon. On approach to Warkworth, a large dark raptor was seen approaching from the east with a gang of Rooks in tow. No bins or camera this time. I am almost certain this was a Marsh Harrier, but could just feasibly have been a ring tailed Hen Harrier too. It just sailed away NW over the fields, mostly in silhouette.
In Longhoughton last years very unusual semi-albino Robin played hard to get in an overgrown garden. I must try and get some better pics of this one, its a great looking bird.
A strange early spring day...
94. Lesser black-backed Gull