It was one of those situations this morning that if I hadn't gone out birding I would have wished that I had and when I did I wished that I hadn't. My blog title sums up the morning!
I didn't get out at the crack of dawn but arrived at Rossall Point at 6.30 a.m. and the skies were clear with a brisk and cold northeasterly wind. Definitely the right decision not to go ringing!
The first 'vis' I had was a Tree Pipit flying low, calling and heading north. I only had one more 'Trepit' and again this bird was calling loudly as though it had been perhaps flushed off the golf course. The only other 'vis' I had were 10 Linnets, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 80 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Swallows, 3 Goldfinches and House Martin.
Out on the sea it was fairly quiet as well. Only 7 male Eiders this morning and 31 distant Common Scoters. Gannets were steadily moving east and I had 34 head into the bay. As usual there was a good mix of age classes and some were incredibly close. Also on an easterly trajectory were 8 Red-throated Divers, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Arctic Terns and a single Sandwich Tern. The best sea bird of the morning was a single pale morph Arctic Skua that headed east into the bay also.
Very few waders were around other than a flock 76 Dunlin, the aforementioned Whimbrel and a single Ringed Plover. I then headed off to Mount Park in the forlorn hope that there might be a few grounded migrants, and there was! Nothing spectacular, but I had 2 Willow Warblers, Whitethorat and Blackcap.
My next stop was the cemetery and here were just 3 Willow Warblers and a single Chiffchaff. I then went to the Nature Park, mainly to check out some mist net rides and whether they needed clearing or not. The first two mist net rides looked great and I will call later in the week to clear a third. I didn't venture into the reedbed proper as I needed wellies and didn't have any on.
Five Sedge Warblers sang from the reeds, as did 2 Reed warblers, and there was a supporting cast of Blackcap and Whitethroat from some of the drier 'scrubbier' areas. Three Little and single Great Crested Grebes were on the pools and 6 Wheatears fed between the rocks and the aero modellers airfield.
No photos from today I am afraid, but I thought I would brighten up this cold northerly page with some colour from Canada with a few pictures of some cracking birds in the hand sent to me by my good mate Nigel. Thanks Nigel.
Feeding frenzy - *When we were walking along Whitburn beach in Sunderland this afternoon I noticed a dense flock of about 150 black-headed gulls on the tid...
2 hours ago