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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Saturday Gulls and Sunday up North

I joined the York Bird Club at Rufforth Airfield on Saturday morning for a session with the Gulls, many thanks to Tim, Ollie, Chris and Jack for a very entertaining and informative morning, my tally of the more interesting Gulls were a juv Glaucous, juv and 3rd winter Iceland plus adult and two 1st winter Caspians, although I'm sure the lads will tell you they're all interesting.
Out with Mark today and with there being nothing much in Yorkshire, a better weather forecast for further North and the elusive Long Billed Dowitcher still tantalizing we headed up into Northumberland again this morning, first port of call was the hide at Cresswell Ponds and a smaller wader asleep at the back of a group of Lapwings proved to be the Dowitcher, it eventually woke up and came a little closer, though not close enough, preened for a while then flew back again, but at least we saw it this time. Mid-morning we took our leave and headed further North to Stag Rocks at Bamburgh to search for some sea Duck, a large flock of Pinkfeet were seen en route, it was a very calm sea and at first glance apart from a few Eiders seemed to be empty but we eventually found several small rafts of Common Scoters, of which one was accompanied by four Slavonian Grebes and another by a Black Throated Diver but most impressive of all were up to nine spring drake Long Tailed Ducks, they really do look smart at this time of year and it's a shame they didn't come close, we dropped back to Seahouses Harbour where the Eiders posed as usual but we also had the bonus of Black Redstart hanging around on some garage roofs. We headed back South calling back at Cresswell, the light was a bit better this afternoon and the Dowitcher was a bit closer roosting with some Redshank but it remained asleep until the flock got spooked and then flew off to the back again, we carried on for home with the plan of calling in at Boldon Flats for a Green Winged Teal but we couldn’t remember how to get to the reserve and had to give up, annoyingly looking at the map when I got home we had been so close.
The Dowitcher, always distant

wing stretch

a bit more AV

Eiders at Seahouses

Herring Gull

plus this Black Redstart

back at Cresswell some Redshank and friends were roosting

including the Dowitcher

and then they were off, Dowitcher in the middle

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