Sunday, 15 October 2017

Patch awesomeness!

With a sunny, relatively warm morning we decided to have our fourth attempt at seeing or at least hearing the Cetti's Warbler which had been singing at Chevingtonfor the last few days...

We arrived at the hide in the SE corner of the north pool and sure enough the Cetti's Warbler was singing from the reeds. My dad picked up a Bittern flying above the reeds which I managed to get onto just as a gull forced it to land in the reeds. Our first of two juvenile Marsh Harriers of the morning also appeared over the reeds and a Grey Plover flew over our heads calling.

We were all stood listening to the Cetti's when a rolling 'kwip' came from above us. In my head I thought to myself that that sounded a lot like a Bee-eater but this was October in Northumberland. I looked up just in case and got a bit of a shock when I saw the distinctive undulating flight and spiky shape of a Bee-eater overhead. My dad also got onto the bird at this point and we called it to get the other birders onto it.

Thankfully everyone was quickly onto the Bee-eater when I suddenly realised there was another a short way behind it. Wow.

I got them in my scope and watched them for perhaps four or five minutes as they made their way north. They were just silhouettes for the most of the time, but every now and again the sun caught their plumage as they banked, revealing the black-bordered orange underwing, yellow throat and bright green upperparts of the two juvenile Bee-eaters.

All eight birders were left feeling a bit incredulous that we'd just seen two Bee-eaters fly over East Chevington in the middle of October!

* Check out Stewart Sexton's blog for his great account of the days events, complete with sketches here. The nine birders who saw the Bee-eaters were JF, TF, ADMc, SS, JWR, AC, BB, GW, CB.

Everything else was slightly forgotten about although a juvenile Black Tern gave a brief flyby and Peregrine was over Druridge.

PWC 2017
Species: 180
Points: 271

It's already a record year for me doing Patchwork Challenge, could it get any better..?

Pink-footed Geese heading south

The juvenile Red-necked Phalarope also remains at Druridge Pools.

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