Sunday, 16 February 2014
Fenham Flats 16th February
Apart from a stiff breeze the conditions were perfect for my monthly WeBS count. As I set off from Elwick Hide I could see large numbers of birds on the mud flats including a rather large Peregrine which everything was giving a wide berth. As I headed towards Guile Point the numbers started to add up-650 Pale Bellied Brent Geese, 360 Curlew, 150 Oystercatcher, 409 Bar Tailed Godwit, 46 Grey Plover, 15 Sanderling, 950 Knot, 220 Dunlin and 88 Shelduck. On reaching the point I noted a single Red-throated Diver and 5 Long Tailed Ducks; as I headed back around the point a 1st winter Merlin flew up clutching what looked like a Rock Pipit. It landed about 30 yards away and proceeded to pluck its prey eventually moving off into the dunes. On reaching the area known as the Wideopens I noticed a Snow Bunting on the track only 5 yards in front of me; once I had started to scan it I noticed there were 2 others which then suddenly turned into a flock of 25 which I watched for some time. The day was rounded off with a very clean looking Slavonian Grebe in front of the Hide at Elwick.