The first week of September has been a strange one. The odd Common swift was still flying high in the early part of the week. Secondly, Sand martins chicks were still to fledge by mid-week. I understand that there are some very late broods of Sand martins in other parts of the Country. Despite the cold temperatures, Willow warblers and Chiffchaffs are still singing. There has been a steady passage of Siskins.
The Wooler Water has produced good counts of Grey wagtails (up to 5) and the flock of Goldfinches has increased to at least 75. Dippers and a Kingfisher have been seen regularly. The Sand martin flock had reduced to about birds and at least one of these is a fledged youngster.
Finally, people may have noticed that large numbers of spruce trees especially Sitka have turned brown or even grey. This has been caused by the Sitka louse Liosomaphis abietinum. Apparently infestations can take place after dry and relatively warm winters. The problem is particularly acute on the eastern side of the County. Once you get to Bellingham, there is little evidence of the problem.