Thursday, 18 October 2012

18th October

The rain has kept me inside for most of this week.  The only highlight were two swallows flying south, over Glanton, on Monday evening.

A break in the rain clouds meant that we were able to get some field work carried out in the Cheswick area.  Highlights included a party of 42 snipe, 1 jack snipe and 24 skylarks flushed from a wet part of an arable field that had not been cut.  There were also a small number of 'continental' blackbirds, 8 yellowhammers and 3 reed buntings.

At least six species of waxcap fungi were found in areas of 'fixed' sand dune but unfortunately there was also a patch of pirri-pirri bur.  A flat calm sea produced only 2 shags.  At 4pm, a large flock of 3,000+ starlings had started to gather to the north of Goswick Golf Club.



  1. In the past we used to see occasional Jack Snipe of the Titlington moors each wnter. But I've not seen one for at least five years now. Could be that we no longer have a dog to put them up. Has this species declined as a winter visitor?

    I'm also interested in how you distinguish continental blackbirds from our residents.

  2. Hi Richard, I look at 'Continental' Blackbirds as follows. In the hand they are bigger with a longer wing ( not discernible in the field however). FW males seem darker and usually have a dark bill. The call sounds a bit different too, more like a Ring Ouzel or Fieldfare. Singles inland are a bit more difficult though, they are always more simple during an obvious eastern thrush arrival on the coast.

    I would be interested in Georges comments too.