Friday, 5 September 2014

Lightly does it easterlies

It felt like summer had returned for a few days this week. We had a lovely few days on the Farnes, but looking outside now at rain and fog it feels like a long time ago. However, the islands have some nice birds at the moment, and this rain brings with it some hope of a few more treats dropping in overnight.
On our day off this week Lana and I had a whistle-stop tour down our local section of Northumberland coast. Firstly Holy Island causeway, where 5 Greenshank, a Bar-wit and many Curlew and Redshanks were on show.

Greenshank showing wonderfully from the car!


Redshank in lovely light

Then it was onto Budle Bay where a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper showed nicely, and onto Low-Newton scrape which was heaving with birds, in particular a lovely Little Stint. We then decided to try for the long-staying Caspian Gull in Amble, which unfortunately wasn't there. However there was a showy Mediterranean Gull with a ring on (possibly a breeder from Coquet).

Med or Caspian? What's the difference eh?

Back on the islands, and as mentioned some nice migrants grace us with their presence at the moment. Between the islands we have 8 Whinchat, 5 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, a Little Stint and a sprinkling of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and a Whitethroat.

Pied Flycatcher, clearly been messing around in the Dock.

Willow Warbler in the sun

Who is watching who here?

We have also seen the first Song Thrush of the autumn. It won't be long now before thrushes are heading our way in big numbers. This bird, like all the Song Thrushes I have encountered on the islands was very flighty and tricky to photograph. I just managed this shot looking straight into the sun as it paused for a second on a fence.

Flighty Song Thrush

As for our breeding birds, it isn't quite over yet. Possibly the last brood of the year belongs to the Swallows in the chapel on Inner Farne. This is the second brood for these parents, and it won't be long at all before they are flying and winging their way to Africa for the winter!

Begging away.

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