Sunday, February 05, 2017

Frustrating stuff...

The morning dawned very bleak indeed, with heavy sleet and leaden skies for the first hour. Despite this, John and myself headed up to the far north of the county to check the wide sandy bay of Goswick and Cheswick for the Black Scoter that has been around for a couple of weeks. From previous experience of this bird in past years, its one of those individuals that you need to 'get your eye in' before picking it out.

A busy Sunday at Cheswick Sands viewing north.

and viewing South...

Today was no different. In the gloom, early on,all the scattered scoter were either drab first year males or females, with many birds too far off to identify. As the sun came out, I called a false alarm as a nice adult male Common Scoter with extensive yellow on its bill was lit like a beacon.  Closer scrutiny revealed it to be a phony black scoter though as the yellow didn't have that swollen, spongy appearance that the Black Scoter has, As we scanned, a few more male Commons looked very bright in the low sun, but we couldn't find the target.

It was frustrating later when it was reported twice, especially when we had been there looking at the exact same time as the first report. To be honest, we did the usual birders thing and diss the report, but there were a lot of birds out there so we could have missed it, even though we kept picking out a female Velvet Scoter despite us moving from one end of the beach to the other.

Anyway, we did manage the Velvet Scoter, 3 nice Great Northern Diver ( one very close in the surf, and two together at half distance all at the same time), 8 -10 Long tailed Ducks inc a few fine males, 6ish Red throated Divers, 6ish Razorbills inc 2 in summer plumage and 2+ Shag.

(Numbers increased later with 150 Long tailed Duck! Black throated Diver, the Black Scoter, 3 Jack Snipe, Merlin, Twite and Short eared Owl by Ross Ahmed)

Two Tundra Bean Geese, a pair., with 7 Greylags in shot.

The male Bean Goose at the bottom.

12 of the 16 Russian White-fronted Geese.

We returned to the car park at Cheswick and noticed a few geese flying around about a fields length to the north, so we went to check them out. I'm please we did, as the 100+ strong flock of Greylags also held 16 Russian White-fronted Geese and 2 cracking Tundra Bean Geese, showing very well in the, now, sunny weather.

On the return, 2 Skylarks were singing and a Stonechat fed from the fence line.

All was well...

1 comment:

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Always keeping an eye on the local geese for interlopers, but no joys yet!