Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A Windy Cresswell

The deserted sandy area at Cresswell Pond.

13th Sept. With the wind having calmed a little, relative to Monday anyway, I didn’t refuse the opportunity to visit Cresswell today. I wasn’t expecting too much to be about, but was happy with the number of waders found. Time didn’t allow much of a seawatch, but rafts of Eider and a couple of Gannets were seen. Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone and Redshank became the first waders on the list. There were few people braving the winds today and the few visitors that were around seemed to prefer the comfort of their cars.

The sand bank at the pond was empty of birds except for one Curlew. However despite an initial feeling of emptiness about the place there were in fact many birds to be seen , mainly in the immediate area west of the pond. I was unable to pick up a reported Little Stint but there were good numbers of Lapwing, Golden Plover, Curlew and Dunlin along with a number of Redshank, two Black-tailed Godwit and five Ruff. The board indicated that Ruff had been in double figures earlier in the day.

The male Scaup was seen well. Also seen was a rather confusing Tufted Duck with large white marking at the base of the bill. I seem to remember a Grey Heron braving the winds and flying in front of the hide at one point. Birds in the main were absent from the pond apart from the flocks of Mallard, Teal, Wigeon and Tufted Duck. There were two Gadwall at the north end of the pond, along with a Little Grebe, and a Kestrel occasionally hovered over the east side of the pond. At least four Shoveler were at the side of the water and I got my eye on a lone Stock Dove.

Two or three Common Terns had been seen along the shore on arrival, along with Kittiwake. One more Common Tern was settled beside two Sandwich Terns at the north end and another Sandwich Tern appeared west of the pond.

A quick visit was made to Druridge Pools where there was little seen of any note. The only goose of the day was seen here and that was a single Canada Goose. A Little Grebe was on the water.

On Return a stop was made at Prestwick Carr where the wind was no lighter and dark cloud began to threaten a downpour although that didn’t materialise during the walk up along the footpath past the sentry box. I think the wind kept any owls down and all that was seen were a pair of Kestrels which seemed to be enjoying the windy conditions, a single Pheasant, Linnets, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and tits.

Called in at the newish pub in Killingworth for tea. I see why they called the scampi and chips a ‘lite bite’. It was certainly ‘lite’ and made me realise how good the value is at the fish and chip shop! I had enjoyed a few hours out and will try and get a look again on patch as soon as possible.

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