Friday, 18 January 2013

Looks like rain Ted

What was I thinking going birding on the patch today?!! F5 SE winds, pelting rain & sleet, chilly fingertips & visibility down to 300m at times.

Envisaged getting some seawatching in, spurred on by Eric Dempsey's Little Auk off Newcastle yesterday, but could barely see out to sea!

The rivers leading down on to the marsh were in full flood and as such the lagoons & channels were starting to back up, with flashes forming on the coastal grasslands. Lots of duck on these but with the scope fogging over pretty much anytime I looked into it I didn't really get to check them properly (there'll be a Green-winged Teal found there this weekend while I'm away, mark my words).

Anyway it was all worth it in the end...a pair of Gadwall with 68 Icelandic Greylag on a flash in Blackditch ECNR and a Bar-tailed Godwit with c.90 Blackwits on the flooded Newcastle Airfield runway were both new for the patch year list. Zing!

That's me done on the patch until early February. Tied up with branch events this weekend then off out to sea on Monday for 2 weeks surveying seabirds & cetaceans along the shelf edge (keep an eye on my exploits over at the Cetaceans on the Frontier 4 blog here:

82 species, 96 points & 49.1%


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