Sunday, 8 February 2015

Fish, Chips and Black Throated Diver

7th Feb.  What turned out to be a quiet walk from Holywell village to Seaton Sluice ended with Sam and I having a look out to sea again, but this time with fish and chips in hand.  There appeared to be very little seabird passage over a calm sea today, but the fish and chips were as nice as ever.

We’d become so laid back counting gulls that it was a little while before I noticed that the Cormorant on the sea directly in front of us was in fact a Shag.  It remained there feeding for the entire time we were there.  A flock of about forty Common Scoters were found towards Blyth and a small group of four Common Scoters flew in and swam directly in front of us.  The last significant bird to be picked up was also bird of the day, a Black Throated Diver giving a very nice sighting indeed.  Apart from gulls, Razorbill, Guillemot, Eider Ducks and Cormorants were the only other species to appear.

Holywell Pond had once again been quiet although we’d watched tits, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and Tree Sparrow visiting a garden feeder as we approached.  A Water Rail was heard and a Grey Heron was on the island at the pond.  The pair of Mute Swans, Mallard, Gadwall, a pair of Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Moorhen and Coot were on the water.  Sam heard a Skylark which I failed to pick up and a couple of male Reed Buntings visited the feeders.

Coal Tit
The dene was quiet too, although not of people today.  A good search and a bit of hanging around failed to pick up Dipper.  Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming.  We photographed the tits, but the Nuthatch was less helpful and it flew off to the other side of the burn making only brief appearances although calling at some length.  A Kestrel was seen in the Dene area.

Great Tit

 So after two hours plus having sat on the seat at the headland we returned home.  I was rather chilled and fell asleep with the Collins Bird Guide on my lap, as I completed our day list.  I could quite as easy fell asleep again this afternoon as I watched TV and the Magpies struggle on the pitch.  At least nature is never boring!

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