Sunday, January 07, 2007

The return of the Long-tailed Ducks

Both LTDs were on Scaling this afternoon - although they took a bit of finding. The 1st W was eventually found towards - but not in - the Cleveland end and seen well from the Yorkshire end along the southern footpath. The hide was invaded by birders from Leeds on a day out, after a while one of them said, "Do you ever get Guillemots on here?" To which I replied that I'd not seen one. He then got me onto two small diving things way up the Yorkshire end by the orange bouy. 2 LTDs together, and in the gloom I managed to make out the plumes and pale head of one. It's not such a bad error at that range, especially as LTDs dive
just like the larger auks, flicking their wings out as they submerge. The male bird eventually made its way into the Cleveland end to roost in the bay just inside the county boundary. Also present were 5 Pink-feet. There had been 7 yesterday and 11 (including one that apparently had orange bare parts) the day before. Unfortunately when I popped in yesterday it was sans scope - a non-birding expedition diverted - so I couldn't check the 7 properly. Little else of note - very few gulls (but lots in Sandsend Bay). Rather irratating was the flock of 15+ geese that I got onto too late flying away into Yorkshire - I thought they might have been Barnacles, unfortunately the massed ranks of Leeds birders failed to get onto them also.

Sandsend was enlivend by our friends' young lad who took to winter bathing in all his clothes, he took some convincing not to join the Red-thoats et al permanently. 4 of afore mentioned Red-throats, 10 Shags, 2 Sanderling, 13 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone, 5 Redshank, 5 Common Scoter. Most interesting was the mass of birds around the very distant fishing boat but with haze it was just too far away to identifiy anything but a few Gannets.
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