15th Aug. It’s been a while since all three of the all weather birders had met up, but Sam, Tom and I were out in the sun today. It was a slow start with little about other than Willow Warblers in the willows, although it wasn’t long until we were watching three Whinchat and a Wheatear west of the mounds as we walked towards New Hartley having spotted a few faces we know along the way. I seem to remember a Kestrel catching the eye, but otherwise apart from the usual waders things were very quiet. The wetland was being spruced up so we didn’t hang around there for long, although Tom had found Sedge Warbler there before we arrived and Pied Flycatcher had been reported. We heard later that the Long Eared Owl had been seen again.
There were far fewer terns about over the sea today and I missed the small number of Common Scoter seen. The flock of Knot at Seaton Sluice included one or two in partial summer plumage. Other waders seen in the area were Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew. The excitement of the day was provided by two Weasels showing well at Seaton Sluice, one being a youngster. We were uncertain as to the prey they had caught. One of them went rolling down the bank towards the mouth of the burn. Grey Seal had provided some mammalian interest too, although only briefly.
Holywell Dene was fairly silent, although we did catch sight of a Sparrowhawk flying across our path and we occasionally heard birds high in the trees.
We were hoping that Holywell Pond would provide us with some notable waders. Before we arrived at the public hide we were greeted by large flocks of Lapwing. A family of nine Grey Partridges out in the open field give a fine sighting with the male bird typically guarding the young which occasionally stooped down and were lost to sight. Once in the hide and saying hello once again to BD we saw that the lone Dunlin and one of the Ruff were still showing although not as well as on the recent evening visit. Swift, Sand Martin, Swallow and House Martins were feeding in small numbers. The usual waterfowl, Little Grebes, Grey Herons and gulls were present. Goldcrest had been heard.
Green Sandpiper courtesy of Sam.