Sunday, 16 January 2011

Saltholme and Snow Bunts

Saltholme today. Nother 'overly' different for me, but a distant and hidden Long Eared Owl was nice. Missed the Slavonian Grebe, but hopefully will get another chance to see it at some point.
Little Egret showed brilliantly overhead and another distant, but was absolutly beautiful!
Wigeon, Teal, Mallard and Gadwall were all displaying, and some Pochards and Tufted Ducks swam about, but stayed quiet. A solitary little grebe floated around in the reeds, showing occasionally.
Afterwards, I headed to Seaton Common looking for the ICELAND GULL. Sadly we missed this, so we headed on to Seaton Carew beach. Walking along we had Oystercatchers, Black Headed and Herring gulls, as well as a large flock of 20+ Magpies crowded in a bush, so I'm quite sure they were roosting there (it was getting dark). After a gentle stroll throught the dunes we came to a larger one. I just stood for 5 minutes looking at the gulls flying by. Suddenly, a small brownish bird caught my attention as it lurked amongsted the grasses. I followed this bird for a while from a distance, but it disapeared over a fence before I could get a positive id (in total it was probably only in sight for afew seconds, hidden by grass...).
Turned around the corner, and another small bird was perched on a log. Buffy, but mainly white. SNOW BUNTING! I stood an whatched this birds, and soon it was joined by a male (the first one was female) and for half an hour I watched them as they walked and flitted down the beach. AMAZING!

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