Saturday, 24 April 2010

Four-king Fabulous

Just got in from 5 hours of birding bliss.  Last night's curry in one hand, the other hand on the keyboard, so forgive any typos.

More than 50 species seen to day.  Starting at East Chev, it was great to hear Sedge Warblers, one across the far side of the South Pool, and three in the reeds in the SE corner of the North Pool.  Better still was a Stoat skulking about with a dead, mole-sized rodent in its jaws.

Like 'The Pools' and to a lesser degree Cresswell, Chev was busy but with little to get the pulse racing.  There were at least three White Wagtail, two Yellows and the Channel too at Cresswell.  Advised that the Ruff was not at Bothal, I thought I'd try Beacon Hill, having heard that Cuckoo had been seen there lately.

Great decision - on arrival, and as I parked, my attention was drawn to movement in a nearly verge.  Closer 'from the car' inspection showed a Marsh Tit pulling fibres from some from of half-buried, synthetic lining.  And another was in a nearby tree.  After about a minute of the closest I have ever been to a wild bird (except Mrs M, who can, occasionally, be livid!), both flew off, doubtless to turn their 'harvest' into a warm home for their progeny.

So two year ticks, and two more to come.  A Cuckoo was heard and eventually seen from the five bar gate, as were two Tree Pipits.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Popped A Black-head

Depression from Sunday at missing the Black-headed Wag turned mildly positive when I got to Cresswell at 7:15am yesterday and although bloody freezin' and windy I did see four White-fronted Geese fly south and then off west, after a few attempts at landing near the spit.  But no Wags at all.

A very busy work day prevented me from keeping up with Birdguides during the daily grind (I am miserly and am only a Bronze (no text alert) member) and so it was with HUGE concern I turned on the computer at 7:00pm last night and saw two reports of the Black and Blue duo at Cresswell again, so off north at Bradley-esque speed, shoe laces not tied and only one arm in my coat! 

On arrival, several top blokes were there; Birding Sometimes, Northumberland Birding, Alan the Butcher, Richard the Bus Driver (no-one admitted to being a candlestick maker) et al, which is always a good sign.  No Black-head, but the three other (non-Pied) Wags ticked and a Common Sandpiper too!

The crescendo building, it was sharp exit from work today, followed by a frustrating drive from Pontelend to Cresswell behind an endless stream of drivers who wanted to keep to the speed limit.  Deep joy; arrival noted Vipers, Sometimes (again!) and a few others whose names are a mystery who hurriedly pointed out the elusive Wag (I still think the Channel is the best looker).  And relax!!

And deeper joy as when I got in, my Czech beer from London had arrived!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Why all the fuss!

I don't know, some yellow, bobby-tailed bird with a black head arrives and the world goes mad!  I can't see the appeal myself when you could be recording this:

And this:

I like Lesser Black-backed Gull.  I like Black-headed Wagtail.  But which is best?  There's only one way to find out.  Fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next year when the Sunday Times Wine Festival is on in London, I think I'll throw a sicky!