Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lovely day here

In the garden the Tree Sparrows are becoming daily visitors to the feeders. Tawny Owls are very vocal during the day at the moment, one hooting at 10:30 this morning. A Buzzard flew straight through the dale shortly after (a or the) male Sparrowhawk had made an unsuccessful raid on the feeders.

Yesterday I had to combine work with birding, marshalling a fund raising treasure hunt, I was assigned to The Battery. Tucked in to avoid the northerly blast I steadied the scope sufficiently to pick out 7 or 8 Purple Sandpipers feeding at the base of the west pier; good numbers (c100 in an hour and a half) of Gannets were passing, mostly heading west; a few Kittiwakes; Eider offshore; but best were a female Goosander close inshore heading west and a high Red-throated Diver going east. Birding was of course regularly interupted to offer prizes to those that had managed to find me.

More work later, I was attending a Shakespeare festival where fittingly extracts of The Tempest were performed to the howl of the actual gale rattling the very structure of the Pavilion during the enactment of the play.

This morning the dale looked grand as I went out and about. Curlew are on territory and their familiar calls are now frequently heard from the garden.

As last year the gull flock has built up feeding in selected dale fields. There were very few gulls this winter but of late about 1,000 are feeding; Common Gull 70%, Black-headed Gull 29.9%, Herring Gull 0.1%.

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