As there have been easterlies for a couple of days we tried ringing on Saturday on morning, the winds have blown all of the leaves offuv the trees, so there is little cover at Dru now and the wind fair rattles through too, so it wasn't ideal, we caught a single wren for efforts...There were very few birds about, a few robins, wrens and a roving tit flock (including some of last weeks long-tailed tits), generally very quiet.
We took the opportunity to do some sea watching between the net rounds and I went back later and did another hour between 3 and 4pm. It was canny, loads of kitti's moving north and lots of gannets too, I got three year-ticks for my troubles, velvet scoter, brent goose and black-throated diver. No little auks, white-billed divers, long-tailed ducks or grey phals here! (I was trapped at work at Alnmouth on Friday went he white-billed records were coming through, I had to lead a walk along the coast in the afternoon, I had me bins, but saw nowt).
I have actually seen black-throated diver at Dru this year, but it didn't make it onto the list, to read the sorry tale of why click here
seawatching totals (brackets pm session)
wigeon 75 (4)
velvet scoter 5 - 4 drakes together and a single
common scoter 78 (75)
brent geese 3
eider 33 (19)
arctic skua 1
teal 18 (9)
black-throated diver (1)
Also of note was a water rail by the bridge at the Budge Screen.
A brief visit on Wednesday morning brought my first fieldfares of the Autumn at Dru, with 4 coming in of the sea. There was also 60 whooper swans in the fields north of the haul road.
Some positive news on the management front, NWT have put Druridge pools , along with other reserves into Higher Level Stewardship, this is basically agricultural support for farmers to manage their land in a sympathetic, wildlife friendly way. The agreement is with Natural England who look after the scheme, NWT have committed to manage the grazing and water levels for the benefit of breeding waders. So to get their cash they have to get the sward length down to 5-15cm across the majority of the site, they also have report back to NE the success or not of the scheme by providing them with breeding wader data. NWT have also prepared a site management plan for the Pools, which I am looking forward to seeing.
So we should see some major improvements over the coming 9 months - watch this space!
156 brent goose
157 velvet scoter
158 black throated diver