No Branton Ponds hasn't been taken over by some large fish with big teeth set to the theme tune from "Jaws", but something much smaller and less fearsome, unless you are a small fish. A walk around the ponds this morning produced a good variety of birds including Siskins, Lesser Redpolls and Bullfinches all feeding on the seed of the Alders. As I reached the east pond I noticed what I thought was a Heron with the sun shining off it's back, on examination with the bins I realised it was an Egret, but due to it's size and orangey/yellow bill not a Little Egret but a Great White Egret. The bird flew briefly then settled back down in some trees where with the aid off a scope it's finer features were picked out including it's dark legs, pale eye with dark iris and almost a hint of green to the base of the bill, a stunning bird in non breeding plumage. The bird finally took off and headed in a north westerly direction, at this point a bright turquoise streak flashed past and the day was complete.
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Tuesday morning saw us at Druridge Pools looking for a Long-billed Dowitcher, despite checking through numerous birds on the water it couldn't be found. As we checked out the Budge Screen a lady with a scope and bins said she had just seen what she thought was a species of Marsh Tern heading in the direction of Druridge Pools so we headed off in that direction and after a bit of scanning noted a Tern jinking about over some wet ground, it soon showed itself to be a Black Tern with November being very late for this species. Next to Cresswell Pond where we had been told the Dowitcher was visible from the hide, soon we were looking at the bird as it fed endlessly along the west shore amongst Teal and Wigeon, a great morning's birding and 2 new birds for the year list.