Saturday, 7 August 2010

Encore! Encore!

'Escaped' at 12:30pm today and first stop was Snab Point.  The briny was a millpond, the bay to the south has c.300 Eider, c.40 Common Scoter, many parties of auks, one RT Diver, and on the beach, Arctic, Common and Sandwich Terns, the odd gull (H/C/BH), c.80 Oystercatcher, two dozen Redshank and a dozen Turnstone.  There were two airborne flocks of Common Scoters, c.50 north and half an hour later, c.40 south.  A steady passage of Gannets north occasionally dropping in for a bite to eat.

After a short shower (rain, not in a cubicle!), off for a quick squint at Cresswell, with little to say, I am afraid.

Final stop, The Pools, and the big dune that gives a good view of the sea.  Five RTDs, and another Black-throatie, with clearer but shorter views c/w yesterday.  Two in two days - excellent!  Again, the surface was dotted with auks and a juvenile GC Grebe was also present, Gannets and terns all over, but the best Arctic Skua v Tern activity I have ever seen, with two pale morphs hunting together, and joined by a dark morph too.  I have never had three in one scope view before.

So no year ticks (despite my best efforts, the skuas did not have spoons and the divers were not great nor northern!).

Saw Throat

Took a day off yesterday.  Mrs Liverbirder working from home, so dog well tended and 'Cry Freedom'!

Rather than a north to south sortie into coastal watercourses, I did the reverse (extreme birding or what!).

Cresswell - north of the causeway, a Mute Swan, two Shelduck young 'uns and a BHG.  To the south, two Greenshank and little else (three Pintail excepted).  Nothing to test my pacemaker there then!

Druridge Pools?  Or rather, From The Oddie (as my autobiography will be entitled) as the other observation points look out onto long grass and little else.  In fact, I am changing the adage 'like watching paint dry' to 'like looking out from the Budge'!!

Anyway, camera poised, I opened the Oddie windows and voila - barren shoreline.  Somewhat saddened by the lack of wee terns and gulls after last week's obvious slaughter, and no Egret, I was eventually warmed by the arrival of adult Common Tern plus 'beligerent teenager', who sat on a rock and, Kevin and Perry-like, demanded food.

A Common Sandpiper also appeared, and on the water, a young GC Grebe, more Mallards than you can imagine, and at least two female Scaup.

East Chevington next, and a Roman Forum-like gathering of birding wisdom sat outside the hide (no names, no pack drill, but tales of European visits and birds seen over the years made my exploits of the day somewhat mundane), with no room for a Little 'un, and ahead, the usual mix of Lapwings, commoner terns, commoner waders and commoner ducks.

Off to the sea in the hope of a year list addition.  Not a chance.  Gannets feeding (excellent to watch), terns all over, two RT Divers and even better, a juvenile BT Diver.

And then off home for tea 'n' sticky buns!  Wiz-ard!

Monday, 2 August 2010


56 Greylags, 8 Canadas, 8 Herons, c.70 Mallards, 1 Tuftie, a dozen Moorhen and two Common Terns.

19:10 tonight.

Two Of The Best

Number One - Black-necked Grebe 'ticked' @ Bothal this morning.

Number Two - You cannot buy humour like this.  Superb!