We parked up a the pull in half way down the road where I sat on the bench scanning the east scrape to start my list, which was as follows: B/H/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull,, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Shelduck, Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted Duck(well into double figures), Dabchick, Wigeon, Pintail, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Cormorant.
Waders: Avocet(11), Redshank(4), Snipe(4), Bar tailed Godwit(9), Black tailed Godwit(c60,inc 3 in breeding plumage), Curlew(3), Lapwing(8),Oystercatcher(1). There was also the Highland Cattle doing what they do best, and 2 Grey Herons in the pool on the opposite side of the road.
|Above and below: Highland Cattle.|
Next stop was the main car park where we had lunch, and a longish rest before I headed to the sea watch hide. There was a few species seen and heard while here, Cetti's Warbler, Starling, Robin.
I was happy to go to the hide today because as it was such a lovely day I could take several stops to scan the area, from my fold up seat. The tide was about 2 thirds out, and it was mostly Dunlins on the mud flats. I entered the hide and then left to sit outside, because it was freezing inside.
There was some good birds on the mud flats but not on the water, The only species on the sea was 5 G/C/Grebes(no sign of the Red Necked Grebe that has been seen in the area), 2 Cormorant, B/H,Herring, and L/B/B/Gulls, and they was all in the area between Horse Sands, and Harty Ferry Inn causeway. in the distance to the right was a good number of Brent Geese, with some Shelduck and Wigeon mixed in with them.
Along with the many Dunlin I counted about 14 Avocet, 7 Curlew, 27 Grey Plover, 5 Barwit, 3 Oystercatcher.
Half way back to the car park I stopped to scan the other side of the river. I could see a few of the usual waders seen, along with 3 Marsh Harriers, C/Crows, Wood Pigeon, a field with Gulls, where the G/B/Backs stood out.
It was getting close to home time so I decded to check out the West Scrape area, Just through the gate in the scrub behind the paddock was a few birds, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker, Pheasant, Magpie, Wren. Once at the hide to which I am surprised is still standing after all these years,(god knows what it is held together with) the water was at the level I expected, virtually none, but there was a few birds around, 3 Teal, 4 Mallard, 1 Coot, 13 Curlew feeding in the long grass, and a Grey Heron off to the right. along with 5 Konik's grazing.
On my way back I startled a a small flock of Linnets, and then while scanning the scrub area again I had to do a double take, sitting on a tall leaning post was a Little Owl, it made my day. I tried to get a bit closer, but it must have seen me and it flew off low.
I have seen one more than not when ever I go there, it is often on one of the bunkers further down.
When we left for home at about 3.30-3.45pm the temperaturte had only dropped one and a half degrees.
We made our way home the usual way, through the lanes to the 3 Mariners Inn, then turn right through to the A2, and turn right up the hill. We must have gone several miles when we heard a police car behind us, so Pam kept to the left to let it by,BUT they didn't pass, they pulled us over, and then Pam started to think what could be wrong, as you do, was I speeding, has a break light gone?
No none of the above. He came around to the window,I opened the passenger door and expecting the worst he said to us" Do you know that you have been driving with you boot up"? Straight away panic set it, and I went to the boot as quick as I could, why, because all my birding gear, and camera was in there, or was it? I gave a big sigh, it was. How the hell it stayed put I have no idea, because the boot bottom is level, you don't lower items it to it.
Coming out of a side road and accelerating up a hill should have dislodged it, luck was certainly on my side. If it had fallen out of the boot, first of all it could have caused a accident, but my biggest concern was, how would I explain to my insurance company that I have no longer have my camera gear, tripod, and top of the range binoculars and telescope. I don't suppose some prat leaving the boot of a car open is covered.
Species seen for the day followed by a few scenic shots.
Herring Gull, B/H/Gull, Common Gull, G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Marsh Harrier, Little Owl, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Coot, Moorhen, Greylags, Canada Geese, Brent Geese, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Wigeon, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Teal, G/C/Grebe, Dabchick, Avocet, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Black Tailed Godwit, Bar Tailed Godwit, Snipe, Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Pheasant, C/Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Starling, Robin, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Cetti's Warbler, Linnet, Wren.
Bird Of The Day: ** Black Tailed Godwit in breeding plumage**