Friday, 26 March 2010

Whooper, Black Redstart & Crane. A Quiet Northumberland P.M!

I headed up the coast this afternoon – taking advantage of another week of nightshifts coming to an end.

First stop was QEII park north of Ashington – here two sand martin were my first of the year, while the lake itself was quiet, holding Canada goose, mute swan, coot, mallard, goldeneye and a mix of c/bh gulls.

Druridge Bay Country Park took the sand martin count to eight for the day, with six hawking the west corner. Nine whooper swan were unexpected and very photogenic – expect a couple of more images when the pace settles.

After a check of Hadston beach, I headed back south to Druridge Pools, where a beautiful male black redstart was available, though not photographable. The black-red was feeding in the dunes just south of the reserve entrance, and had a minimum of three wheatear for support, two of which were bright males.

Again no owl action at Cresswell, so I headed home via Eshott. The common crane had last been reported near Warkworth on Monday 22nd, so it was a great surprise to find that this mighty “grus” was still present. A bonus for me today is that the crane was much more mobile – feeding in roadside fields both south and north of Eshott.

The cranes’ presence was not accepted by the soon-to-be-breeding lapwing ~ dive bombing ensued, causing the crane to become very vocal! A record shot is below…


Tim Sexton said...

That last photo is the dogs bollocks. You can have all the gear in the world but it's all down to content and composition. This has both in spades.

Ghost of Stringer said...

Thats a great crane pic with the lapwing, really captures the action !

Richard King said...

Good shot of the swans!

John Malloy said...

Thanks very much lads! It was the first time I've "heard" crane calling - quite haunting and very loud!!!