22nd June is a day of ups and downs for me and things were no different yesterday with the final up being this splendid Ruff at Druridge Pools.
After a brief lie in first up was a Song Thrush in my garden for the first time in ages then down when I found a young House Sparrow dead on the back roof with its belly ripped open by Magpie or someother. The Jackdaws benefitted from the meal and I set out for the day.
Up at Bellasis where the Banded Demoiselles were in abundance and flying with another which I'm not sure about as I haven't found a precise match in my guide yet. Down though as no Quail singing yet this year.
Up to East Chevington where I joined the gathered throng waiting in unbridled desire for a Bridled Tern which was not to be found but on the up a Little Tern, two Little Gulls and a Black Tailed Godwit in breeding plumage were some compensation.
The Ruff had been mentioned along with many other topics chatting to TT and Birding Sometimes whilst waiting for the Tern which I notice is now pictured on Birdguides. I'm sure I recognise that very stone from yesterdays peering into the distance. Anyway, turned up to find the Ruff present but hiding behind vegetation then briefly feeding before going to sleep behind a rock.....typical. Northumbrian Birding and I waited and eventually it started to feed again. The light was stong and the contrast difficult so many shots were wasted trying to get that purple sheen in the dark ruff of the bird. Eventually it preened just as a Black headed Gull walked past and we both missed the best shot of the day as the ruff was flared.
Eventually however patience was rewarded and the bird preened again appearing headless in amongst the feathers. A good up before the return down home.
I wonder whether today will be an up or a down.......................answer around 4.45pm methinks?