The highlight of four hours at the Obs this morning was most certainly two Grey Partridges even against the likes of Black-throated Diver, lots of Meadow Pipits and Harbour Porpoise!
I arrived at first light to find a cold niggly easterly wind with a dollop of murk to boot! Undeterred I pressed on with my walk and things didn't turn out too bad. From the off there was certainly birds moving, but it was very slow until about 0730 when the Meadow Pipit tap was turned on. My vis totals included 16 Alba Wags, five Goldfinches, 717 Meadow Pipits, 14 Linnets, two Grey Wagtails, six Siskins and two Curlews. The Mipits were mainly moving north out at sea or coming in-off, even in the murky conditions.
Grounded migrants included 12 Wheatears and two Grey Partridges. The Grey Partridges were a 'mega' sighting as they haven't been recorded at the Obs since the early 90s, so to flush two birds from the dunes was superb!
There was very little on the flood other than 20 Snipes, but it is looking good for a Garganey or two! As you might expect the sea was fairly quiet with all the murk, although an adult winter Black-throated Diver was a real bonus. It was fairly close in and drifted north with the tide preening and diving as it did so. The supporting cast included 21 Eiders, two Red-throated Divers and a Guillemot. A Harbour Porpoise close in was enjoyable and I had another marine mammal in the form of an Atlantic Grey Seal.
Meadow Pipits were still moving back home at 1.00 p.m. so the day total for the Obs when we work it out will be interesting. The forecast is looking okay for a few more migrants tomorrow with temperatures in double figures and a southeasterly breeze.
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