Trip reports


Goldeneye displaying - Winnie Thomson

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

It had rained earlier in the morning but when the group of about 20 people met at Goose Green, the sky was grey and was clearing giving us some sunshine for a while. We were joined by Richardo from Brazil, a couple from Harrogate and we also had our youngest birder - a toddler and her mum.

We started as usual at the mouth of the Esk looking over the exposed sand and out to sea. There was a mixture of lots of birds, including Redshanks, Goldeneye, two Mute Swans, Wigeon, Greater Black-backed Gull, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Common Gulls, Oyster Catchers, Carrion Crows, Starlings, Turnstones, Eider Duck, Ringed Plovers, Pied and Grey Wagtails, Curlew, Magpies, and Jackdaws. Looking further out to sea there were Velvet Scoters, Great Crested Grebe, Long Tailed Ducks and Slavonian Grebe. Presently a Cormorant flew by and our attention was then drawn to a male and female Goldeneye displaying and then mating in the sea. The male moved away looking very pleased with himself!

As we made our way around the sea wall we saw four Red-breasted Mergansers and two Slavonian Grebes and then Linda saw the Surf Scoter in beside two Velvet Scoters. A Red-throated Diver flew over and landed in the sea as well as a Shag flying left. Also on the sea we saw two Razorbills, a Guillemot, Long-tailed ducks and two Shelducks. Dave then spotted a Black-throated Diver - great. We continued walking around the seawall and saw a Skylark ascending as well as a Red-throated Diver just 50 yards away from us in the sea. Some people saw a Reed Bunting. When we reached the pond near the hides we saw a Little Grebe and Goldeneye and then moved into the hides for lunch. The ponds at the hides were very calm with lots of Oystercatchers and Curlews sleeping, however there were Teal and Wigeon feeding as well as a Common Gull, Shelduck and Lapwings. Sadly no Greenshank today. I heard Goldfinch but others saw them.

After lunch we went back to the pond as someone had received a text to say that a Kingfisher had been seen there. Linda found the Kingfisher on a tree at the far side and we were able to get good sightings of it through the 'scopes. We watched it dive and get a fish and move to another tree to eat it. Annoyingly some dog walkers went past and we lost sight of the Kingfisher for a while but we moved around the pond and spotted it again on its usual perch. Some people saw a Heron too.

We made our way back to the Esk but there was nothing of note to see on the paths. We finished the day by looking out to sea again and saw the Surf Scoter in with some Velvet Scoters. Today was a very good day, the weather stayed dry and we saw some truly good birds - 41 in total.

Colette Nelson