After a count on Prestwick Carr yesterday morning which produced 41 species including two singing Chiffchaffs and at least ten Stock Doves met Crammy birder for a chat about Teesside then off up the coast where it had turned dull and not much was stirring. After an hour in the Ponteland hide at Hauxley went down to Druridge where a gentleman in the hide was hoping for a repeat sighting of the Otter he had seen last time he was there. He left after five minutes and of course, giving sufficient time for him to disappear out of sight, the Otter appeared and fed at a distance for the next half hour.
The long staying Greenshank flew in close to the hide and started to feed with success just about every other attempt. No wonder it's staying. If it feeds any more it'll be too fat to migrate any further! The ghostly apparition above was shot last week but don't fear there's not magic in the ether.. just poor timing and wretched blades of grass blowing into the shot!
Back home about six and out to look for Owls. The last two nights have been fruitless I think because there are so many voles the birds are again very well fed and don't need to hunt. Chatted to two blokes for an hour or so and after watching a passing flock of twenty Long tailed Tits with two Willow Tits in tow and numerous false alarms caused by Buzzard, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, a bird finally appeared at 6.50 being mobbed by crows who eventually departed leaving the owl to perch a while before hunting briefly and disappearing into the gathering gloom. I hope the late appearance did not cause friction with the missus nor reduced performance in the half marathon chaps.
Noticed the changing weather again this morning on my webs count where after ten minutes I wished I'd brought some gloves. Need to pack the winter kit into the car. Normal count up the Tyne with Plover flock beginning to grow (179) and good numbers of Redshank and Lapwing. As I counted the calls of Chiffchaff, Long tailed Tit and Bullfinch accompanied me through the Business Park. At Lemington Gut a Kingfisher was perched in the distance and a Green Woodpecker flushed from its usual spot opposite the Board Inn. Pleasant morning and now just considering whether that Pied Flycatcher will still be at Druridge....I can't traipse up there again can I?