Saturday, 16 April 2011

Harrier, Avocet and Grasshopper Warbler 15/4/11

I decided to go to Cresswell area yesterday, to see the avocets that I still hadn't caught up with. When we got to Cresswell, we were greeted by stonechats on the wall on the way to hide. A wren was in full voice just next to hide and 2 chiffchaffs were singing in the trees near the entrance to the hide. On the pond there was 2 avocets, lapwings, dunlin, redshank and pink-footed geese. A heron was walking around in front of the hide when we first got there and walked right up on the reeds in front of the hide before flying off towards the road. Druridge Pools held the highlight of the day for me, the unmistakable call of the grasshopper warbler greeted us at the bottom of the road past all the hides, we were actually looking for the black redstart that was reported but no sign of it. The grasshopper warbler was in full voice in the grass but coudln't be seen. After hanging around for about 10 minutes, he appeared, sitting in the tree right in front of us, not bothered at all about us being there. As if that wasn't enough, we headed for East Chevington to check out the marsh harrier that was reported. From the hides, we couldn't see it so we were about to give up when it flew straight over the top of us and started hunting over a nearby field. A very successful day of birding, and after hearing the report of the wood warbler and grasshopper warbler at St. Mary's, I might be up for another one!
Grasshopper Warbler
Marsh Harrier