Carpets of Wood Anemone
12th April. Sunny, but cool when I arrived at Creswell too late to see the Yellow Wagtail (I understand it had been seen at around 8.00am) and there was no sign of the Great Grey Shrike. Reports of birds seemed to have brought birders out in some number, most of them well wrapped up. I settled for the Stonechat, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. Four Avocet were showing near the causeway. Nearby there were still a number of Pink-Footed Geese. Greylag and Canada Geese were also in the area. A Sparrowhawk was chased from the area by corvids and a Kestrel hovered over the dunes. A sighting of Coquet Island reminded me that a trip there is due later for Roseate Tern.
A walk up to the hide brought Tree Sparrows in the hedgeway. There were the usual waterfowl on the pond which included lessening numbers of Teal and Wigeon. Shelduck, Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye were amongst other birds on the wind blown water. Waders near the pond were Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Redshank and Curlew.
A quick visit to Druridge pool brought sighting of Little Grebe, Shoveller, Gadwall and birds of the day, Garganey. What a cracking bird the male Garganey is! This was perhaps one of my best sightings of this species. Leaving Creswell brought a sighting of two Grey Partridge leaving the road and disappearing into the fields.
A relaxing couple of hours were spent at Plessey Woods where I found much of the undergrowth carpeted by Wood Anemone. Lesser Celandine, Wood Sorrel and Dog Violet were also seen. I was reminded just how important a little knowledge of bird song and calls is. Birds heard and seen included Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Mistle Thrush. Kestrel was also seen again, as were two Common Buzzards. As I watched the buzzards, House Martins flew into view, giving me my first sighting this year of this species. Out of the wind now it was much warmer here and I really enjoyed the walk along the banks of the River Blyth. A Grey Heron was frequently seen as it moved along the river. Both Garganey and House Martin were new ones for the year list.