Friday, 1 November 2013

Seamus eaves, birding and fantastic east coast landscapes

Seamus and I set off on thursday (31st Oct) morning to locate the Sardinian warbler at St Abb's Head.  The sun was shining and the cliffs were at their spectacular best.  Ravens and peregrines were seen cruising the hillsides.  A party of 8 whooper swans flew over with numerous small flocks of fieldfares, redwings, starlings and skylarks.  Eventually, we located the site for the warbler but it was not playing ball.  After 2 hours of watching the bushes we located this charismatic bird through its call.  Supporting cast included 2 blackcaps, at least 2 chiffchaffs, 5+ bullfinches and good numbers of reed buntings.

The afternoon was spent trying to find the Bonaparte's gull at Stag Rocks, Bamburgh.  We failed but we did see a Mediterranean gull, 250+ common scoter, 3+ red throated divers, good numbers of gannets, shags and cormorants.  There were about 30 purple sandpipers and 60+ turnstones on the rocks and these were accompanied by small numbers of redshank, curlew and sanderling.  A flock of 60 knot dropped in at one point.  1 little egret and a grey heron flew north into Budle Bay.  Small parties of fieldfares and starlings still appeared off the sea.  One fieldfare only just made it over the breakers and landed with a bump on the dunes!

Fenham Flats - 1st November.  Seumus and I had a very pleasant three hours at Fenham Flats enjoying the waterfowl and waders as the tide came in.  Highlights included 300 barnacle geese, 5000+ wigeon, 15+ long tailed duck, 10+ goldeneye, 1 red throated diver, 1 black-tailed godwit, 12 ringed plovers and a good range of other common species.  There is a very confiding robin at the hide which was quite happy to sit on your boots and feed between your legs!  One common hawker dragonfly was also found. 

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