Out and about in Druridge again

9 Oct

I’m slowly managing to get over the inertia that has dogged me for much of the last few months despite the murk and rain had a couple of sorties up along the coast.

A very short trip to Snab Point on Saturday was enjoyable despite the drizzle that had set in, and it was nice to just sit on the beach and watch sorties of sanderlings dashing along the shoreline at high tide, regularly lifting and relocating as a few hardy dog walkers chaperoned their soggy spaniels along the beach. Plenty of pied wagtails were running around the drier parts of the beach.

Along with the sanderlings were ringed plover with a few knot, dunlin and turnstone with 50 or so redshank. Just off the beach a solitary young gannet was patrolling the waves and a few eider were sat out a few hundred yards.

The fret and drizzle got too much for my binoculars so I cut my trip short and returned him but this morning had a further venture up to Chevington.

No sign of the marsh harriers in my quick check of the South Pool and a wander along the path showed little life in the bushes on the coastal side of the lakes. I had forgotten a small party of snow geese of unknown origin were in the vicinity and my initial scan of the north pool showed an abundance of greylags, coots, lapwings and gulls but not  a lot else – although the light was very poor. I walked along to the biggest hide opposite the small islands in the centre of the pool hoping to see more waders, but aside from cormorants, mallards, gulls and teal I couldn’t see a huge amount.

Just before I left as I was scanning the main body of geese I saw four white-morph snow geese in amongst the greylags. I’m used to snow geese from one of my former patches at York University where they have a large group of pinned birds – it would be nice to think these may be truly wild birds but given they have been around for a few weeks well ahead of the other migrants I doubt they are! 4 barnacles also flew over as I left the hide which constitutes a “northumberland tick” since my only record since actually making records 12 months ago was in Teesside at RSPB Saltholme.

Anyway… it was nice to get out and about even with the drizzle. Hopefully I’ll be rediscovering my mojo in the next few weeks. In the meantime I’ll be returning my attention to writing software for my own interests in terms of keeping records.

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2 Responses to “Out and about in Druridge again”

  1. Stewart Sexton October 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Hi Bedlington ( sorry I forget if I knew your name?)

    I see you refer to Little Ringed Plovers on the beach. In nearly 40 years birding in Northumberland and elsewhere I have never seen LRP in association with the actual shore line.

    I fancy your birds are first winter Ringed Plovers. As an asides, 99% of LRP’s are well gone south by now too. If you look again at the birds, check as they fly from feeding spots to see if they have wing bars. LRPS has a plain upperwing but Ringed has a good white wing bar. LRP is a bird of gravel edged fresh water, either still or flowing. In Northumberland they are easy to find on gravel pits but on the coast they are migrants at the coastal ponds if there are good edges left showing…

    Cheers Stewart…

    • bedlingtonwanderer November 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

      Sorry – just noticed this comment… you’re quite right they couldnt have been little ringed plovers – must have just been juvenile ringed plovers. I’ll amend.

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