Monday, 9 June 2014

When Doves Fly.

I was not out with THE Howdon Blogger on Saturday so decided to head out early Sunday and head up to Druridge via Cresswell. On arrival it was nice to see 33 Black-tailed Godwits initially whose ranks swelled to 46 a little later. Looking resplendent in the early morning sun many with that fabulous orangey brown hue. Alongside, on the sand bar, 18 Little Gulls seemed fidgety. Taking to the air and dropping back down on a number of occasions triggered by either noisy Black-headed Gulls or anxious Lapwings. Eventually all the birds were spooked and both the Godwits and L. Gulls ended up on the far spit opposite the road joining 3 Avocets which were already over there. The Godwits mainly disappeared from view but the Little Gulls started feeding and moving around the edge of the pond. Activity in and around the reeds has died down noticeably since last week with Reed Buntings taking over from the Sedge Warblers as the birds to hear and see swinging on the reeds. A couple of Little egrets seemed to appear from nowhere with nice close views of a party of Swifts which decided to feed in the Willows next to the hide.
I was heading up the track away from the hide when a bird caught my eye sitting on the wall between the outbuildings of the farm just to my right. It was a Turtle Dove but after less then 20 seconds it lifted and flew off over the hedge line heading north. I noted the time, 6.22a.m., and headed back towards the hide in case it had dropped into the trees back there. I gave up after a while and called in at the car park by the causeway where a birder was standing with his scope. I let him know what i had seen before moving on and deciding to pull in by Bells Farm. There was the bird pootling up the drive towards the buildings. I grabbed a few shots before a gentleman on a quad bike suddenly appeared and voiced his disapproval of my pulling in with the car. I explained that a Turtle Dove was making its way up the drive and as it was 6.55 a.m. and giving me 5 minutes wouldn't put anybody out at that time in the morning but it fell on deaf ears and i was asked to leave. Not having a smart phone i rushed along to Druridge where i knew Iain was going to be ringing so he could put it out for others to enjoy. It seems it wasn't seen again.
Cresswell Farm wall with barn in background.

Record shots of Turtle Dove pootling up the drive at Bells Farm before i was asked to leave. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!

At Druridge the Budge Fields had singles of Spoonbill and Little Egret with a pair of Garganey roosting in amongst the tussocks. Out towards the rectory i had brief views of Tawny and Barn Owls. Obviously the rain on Saturday had stopped them feeding.


  1. Looks like you had a canny morning as usual, well spotted on the Turtle Dove, I was just tootling round the patches as usual on a Saturday

  2. It was fab u lous. Of course, i didn't have "The Jinx" with me. !!!!