Monday, 29 October 2012

Grey Afternoon

29th Oct.  The cloud layer seemed to darken and the rain began to fall as Lee and I made towards Cresswell today.  As we passed the wind turbines several skeins of Pink-footed Geese were seen in the air.  We decided to make a quick visit to Druridge CP in the hopes that a Slavonian Grebe might appear.  We were greeted by a host of well fed Mallards and Mute Swans, before finding five Red-breasted Mergansers on the lake, but little else.

Another quick visit to Maiden Hall Lake brought little else other than gulls and a Kestrel as we passed West Chevington.  Time did not allow a stop at East Chevington as we headed for Cresswell.  As we approached the pond from the north several hundred  Lapwing were present along with fewer Golden Plover.  All of the Lapwing lifted at one point but I saw no sign of a predator.  A quick stop before heading to the hide gave us good sightings of more Red-breasted Mergansers, Great Crested Grebe and Scaup amongst the many Wigeon and Teal.

As we walked to the hide we found Tree Sparrows and Goldfinch in the hedges.

The hide was quite busy with local folk as well as visitors.  I’m pleased to say that I had another excellent sighting of the Jack Snipe today.  The lighting, or better to say lack of lighting, made the green sheen on this bird far more noticeable than it had been on my previous (first ever) sighting.  Six Common Snipe were on the sandbank. 

I’m happy to say we found a Slavonian Grebe on the pond.  Although to the north of the pond it showed very well.  Other birds on the water included Scaup, Common Scoters, Little Grebe and the long staying Long-tailed Duck.  The latter bird now looking at its best and flying across the pond.

A final stop was made at Prestwick Carr on the way home.  The cloud began to break a little and the light improved before the sun began to sink with darkness soon to follow.  Bird life seen and heard was minimal.  A Sparrowhawk was seen over the woodland area and a single Common Snipe flew overhead.  Curlews could be heard in the distance and a party of eleven Long Tailed Tits moved noisily through the hedge.  I saw no sign of winter thrushes.  We decided to cut our walk along the bumpy road short and make for home.  A grey afternoon had delivered a few nice sightings.

Evening on the Carr


  1. It's funny how your first 2 sightings of the Jack Snipe have come so close together, lol.

    Nice pic of the Carr.

  2. Jack snipe must be like buses! you wait ages for one and then two come along at once!

    1. Or in this case, one comes along twice! :-)