Thursday, 13 September 2012

Nearly Got To 20, Damned Grey Plover & Stupid Pilot

On Sunday I headed up to Graeme Bs, then we picked up Dee and Phil and headed off in search of Waders  as Graeme and Dees target for the day was to tick 20 Waders.   Our first stop was West Hartford where it was absolutely beautiful as the mist hung over the pond and hundreds of spiders webs dripped with dew and more importantly we managed to pick up a couple of wader ticks.

From then on it was stop,  walk,  look, walk drive and this formula was repeated all day.  It was great fun even though by the time we hit our last stop at 19.00 at the Wansbeck my poor little legs couldn't handle the clamber down so I just stood on the bridge and tried to look like a birder (failed impressively) scanning the area.  We did visit many places including Stringers Scrape, Budle Bay, Holy Island, Fenham Flats, Cresswell, Hauxley, Warkworth, Amble Braid and many others but by the time we got to Cresswell about 17.00 we were only 1 or 2 birds away from the 20 (I had lost count).  At Cresswell we were looking for a Pectoral Sandpiper when a Jet Provost Trainer which is based at Newcastle did a low overfly and a pullup with its engines screaming that sent just about every bird up within a mile radius.  That was the moment that the counting ended.  It was still a great day out visiting a couple of places I had never been before.  Our Bogey Bird of the day turned out to be a Grey Plover which despite many reports of said bird not a fleeting glance was seen.  We did see some great birds though, including Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtails and my favourite bird of the day was when passing that amazing Ice Cream shop at Cresswell and Graeme shouted Great Skua.  Sure enough it flew over the car and over the Ice Cream shop.  Now I have seen ones before but only when someone had shouted Bonxie and had then been told that the dot/blob way over the horizon was one so it was great to see it and I can now tick as definitely "seen".  Once again a great day out with seasoned birders for company, no time for pics as the pace was a bit faster than my normal saunter, stop, chat, stop, look, look, saunter, eat an ice cream/burger/chinese then rest.
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