Sometimes, it is east to glance over some of our more common birds, forgetting how beautiful they are. How many times do you think "Oh, it's just a blue tit/swallow/teal etc"
I was pondering this whilst admiring a rather smart magpie, strutting around the Budge fields this afternoon. Often despised by gamekeeper and conservationist alike, there is no getting away from the fact that magpies are stunning birds. The sun was catching this particular individual in all the right places, showing its glossy green tail and iridescent blue rump. They are cheeky characters too, which does make them hard to dislike, even if they do eat lapwing chicks.
I spent the morning at Ellington Pond, putting up some tree sparrow nestboxes, so didn't get to Druridge til gone midday. Today was a lovely, sunny, spring day, which brought out lots of people to visit the coast. My short visit brought an unexpected haul of new birds for the year.
Small birds are still thin on the ground, a lone dunnock singing at High Chibburn was the first of the year on the patch and only one wren and one robin were logged. No sign of either meadow pipit or stonechat yet.
A pair of mute swans and a little grebe on the big pool made it on to the year list. There are a few smew in the County at the moment including a couple of drakes so I was hoping for one of them, sadly not. They'll no doubt turn up when I am work during the week!
A quick seawatch was productive as kittiwake and fulmar both flew by and a slavonian grebe was close in, the latter, a scarcity at Druridge, which can be missed in some years.
72 mute swan
73 little grebe
76 slavonian grebe