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Friday, September 9, 2016

The ups and downs of local birding.

Yesterday I was on an up thinking I,d got a lifer in the form of a Caspian Gull but this morning I was back on a low when it was confirmed by gull experts Keith Moir and Mick Cunningham to be a bit of an odd looking Herring gull rather than a Caspian. The size and the dark bill length put me in mind of Caspian but other I.D. features knocked it back.

This is the Caspian that KM got a day earlier at the same site, the photos are out of range record shots

                                             Centre Bird
                         RH Bird.  Photos courtesy Keith Moir.

So, with dip number one laid to rest it was over to Redcar Tarn on a low expectancy trip this afternoon to try pick up on yesterdays sighting by I.H. of a Pintail duck.
I arrived just at the same time as the band of heavy drizzle moving across the area but not to be down hearted it was out of the car, shackle up the dogs and away around the water.
                                                          This is when the second down came , as expected the Pintail had left leaving nothing special other than the usual species on the water although it was good to see 9 Tufted out in the centre. One female , which kept alone on the water, had a prominent white area on its face which I tried to make into a Scaup until the tuft showed on its head, so another downer.
Across the road most of the ponds had dried up so the Snipe had moved on and the Lapwings were in a grassy field opposite.
As I was getting packed up to leave I looked up to see 11 Wigeon overhead fast and high into the sun so no chance of a pic . Interestingly a smaller duck was in with them, possible Teal, so back on a high.
On the way home I called in at Leeshaw but once again nothing special although there were 67 LBBs on the water ,which is unusual for this site whilst the Yellow Legged Herring gull was across on the distant wall now almost showing adult plumage.
Leaving a quiet Leeshaw on a down I turned out into the road and as I dropped down the hill a Buzzard flew low across the front of the car followed by mobbing Swallows so it was a quick stop but a narrow single lane but fortunately a field gate was open so I shot through into the edge of the field hoping it wasnt boggy.
                                            By the time I,d jumped out with the camera the Buzzard was some distance away surrounded by Corvids so just 1 record shot and enough to put me back on a high.
                                                                     So you see, local birding is full of highs and lows but it all evens itself out in the end and to me thats the joy of birding, you never know whats going to happen next.

  A good show of 9 Tufted

                         Too much bread for this one.
                         Gulls and Lapwings in the fields


                                                The team.
                                   Buzzard surrounded with corvids.
 Vis Mig
Low number of Swallows ....>S
8 Wigeon..............>S
Wheatears blogging in field by Raggalds NK
BS