9th April 2024 ff

April 26, 2024  •  2 Comments


April 9th: Blacktoft Sands

I went for an afternoon visit and as I approached reception Ian, a volunteer I've met a few times, came running pointing down towards Singleton hide. Eventually I gathered three cranes had been seen but hadn't come into view where he expected. He suggested I walk down towards Singleton hide. In fact I had only gone about a quarter of the way when three birds appeared in the sky. A case of shoot first and ask questions later. 

Cranes and harriers

Otherwise the reserve was quiet - waiting perhaps for the tidal surge to close it down for a while and leave the wildlife in peace. 

An avocet slept at Marshland and a Cetti's warbler frightened me by bursting into song next to where I was standing. I tried to focus but I was too close and when I started to move away it flew. [See blurred photo below]


April 11th: North Cave Wetlands

Great crested grebes displaying, little grebes including a floating [just about] nest below South hide.

April 14th: Nosterfield and Saltholme

A long time since I saw so much water at Nosterfield. Common sandpipers seen and a ruff over on the far side Later I headed for Saltholme.

I sat for a while in the Wildlife Watchpoint hoping for water rail but no luck there. Little grebes swam past and pochard too.

Moving on to the meadow I realised there were many wheatears in the grass. At least fourteen. Mostly a bit out of reach of my lens.  Here's a couple of one that came a little closer.

Barnacle goose and LRP from Saltholme Pools hide.

April 20th: North Cave

I had a good walk round the reserve but the only year tick I could positively identify was this blackcap.

April 21st: Nosterfield

Main targets were yellow wagtail and ruddy shelduck. Ruddy shelduck distant on Stoneybeck Lake. Bison resting on the hillside beyond the lake. They looked quite at home there. A long walk later round Castle lake produced no yellow wagtails unfortunately.

April 25th: Hartlepool

I parked about 300 metres from Wasdale Close and wandered through this modern housing estate. No sign of activity until I turned a corner near number 39 and saw about 30 birders keenly watching all the bushes and trees in the area. The bird had disappeared.

Birders are quite determined to get their bird whatever tactic is required. Like espionage...

...and someone had alerted the ladder brigade.

But Kevin, the house owner, invited people into his house so Peter Garbutt and I went in. I got a nice comfy seat near a window. And guess what else turned up!

Driving slowly South I called at the Zinc Works Road. White wagtail and a lapwing with a very erect crest. Note to driver: switch engine off before pressing shutter! Focus prefers it that way!!

Pied wagtail at Phil Stead hide, Saltholme

153 UK 2024


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