Sunday September 23
Man U were playing Liverpool at lunchtime, we still went out birding. Our ginger cat woke me early pawing at my face, I got up and so did Pam.
A Wryneck had been reported from Holme last night plus a Red-breasted Flycatcher, that and the promising weather conditions made Holme the first stop. Several other birders were patrolling the Paddocks, none of us saw the Wryneck, not reported all day, it must have gone.
Spending an hour sea watching at Gore Point was enjoyable, sitting on our waterproof boot cover.watching the tide - and the birds - come in. Almost the first bird I saw was a Bonxie sitting on the water. It sat throughout the time we were there, occasionally flapping its wings, drifting slowly west. Not even passing Sandwich and Common Terns tempted it into flight. Many Gannets to-day, of all ages, mostly far out near the wind turbines. Two small groups of Common Scoter flew past, several Teal but nothing more interesting. On the shore, it's always lovely to see about 70 scurrying Sanderling, 80+ Knot, a few still showing red, half a dozen moulting Grey Plover with dalmation like spotted breasts, Turnstone, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew and numerous Oystercatchers. One female Reed Warbler landed in front of us, Linnets, Skylark and Meadow Pipits came in off the sea.
Inland, large flocks of Pinkfeet swirled over the marsh. Winter is here. Still no Brents, despite the northerly wind at the beginning, changing to south westerly.
By the time we got to Holme NOA, the Red-breasted Flycatcher's favoured Sycamore was waving madly in the brisk breeze. A good crowd of other birders had been looking intently for an hour, without success. We sat for twenty minutes, commiserating with Sophie who had spiked under her right eye with the net raising pole on Saturday and was sporting a bruise and a small dressing, probably covering stitches. Everyone was drifting off, we followed. Halfway along the raised walkway,m a man called that he'd got it as I was passing. 'In the tree with the drooping branches, in the branch going from the top to the bottom' he said. Classic. I didn't see it despite looking in the correct area I discovered. It didn't show again. A Buzzard drifted by as we walked back to the car.
Checking the book in the NWT Centre, we'd missed Hobby, Brambling, Red-breasted Merganser, Arctic Skua and Med Gull !! How many people had seen any of them I wonder. We added our Bonxie to the list....Enjoyed it all though.
Watched the match, well Pam did, I listened mostly. We played so badly again, it's been the same all season, so frustrat6ing. You look at the names of the players and wonder why it can happen, I should think Alex got the hairdryer out at halt-time. We did win 2-1, at Anfield where we haven't won for five years.
News of a Booted Warbler at Gun Hill this afternoon was groanworthy. Always a good bird.