Sunday, 21 April 2013

That's no goose

Saturday afternoon and a trip to Cresswell in the hope of a Garganey or rare Wagtail but none to be had although I found out later I was looking in the wrong place. As I arrived two birders who I see quite often but whose names I don't know said four Snow Geese had flown in but disappeared over the hill. Just as the couple were about to leave the birds re-appeared from Bells Pond and I beckoned them back only to see the foursome head off north. After a chat with RF and a fruitless search for Garganey at Druridge I headed to East Chevington where Jack was hunting for the same four. In Northumberland birding it's debatable whether searching is worth it as most don't count the Snow Goose as a real tick especially without carrier species like Whitefronts or Pinkfeet. We watched the pair of big birds and Jacks mate spotted the geese in grass field between Druridge and Chevington but well distant. Too curious for my own good I made the hike up the coast path but the wind was from the other direction, the birds distant and always walking away from me so the craptastic shot above is all I achieved and the grass meant no signs of rings could be seen. As I returned to Chevington the birds took off calling and flew onto the North Pool later to be reported on Birdguides at their grazing location.
The morning had been spent thrashing the patch at home with Grasshopper Warbler an immediate addition to the list. Water levels are dropping and I feared for the wader season but on the largest flash remaining 48 Curlew were joined by 13 Ringed Plover (new), 2 Redshank (new) and 2 Dunlin. The flock of Golden Plover was around 150 strong and Lapwing were present along with numerous Pied / White Wagtail and Meadow Pipit. Later in the day Tawny Owl was also added to the list bringing the day total to 58 species and the year to 90.

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