14th October 2010 – The Pipit that got away

My early morning walk at Craster had undergone a slight change since yesterday after I noticed that the coastal sheep fields and gorse also had potential for newly arrived migrants, so with some reluctance (my walks were already taking long enough!), I began to include this in my daily check of the area. This morning the gardens had more Blackbirds than ever, with good numbers of Redwing and Robins too. As I walked onto the sheep fields I was drawn to look up as I heard a call that reminded me of Richard’s Pipit! The bird was flying south, calling regularly, but in the horrible grey conditions I was barely able to see any detail, it certainly looked like a large pipit, but I really couldn’t be absolutely sure, the last time I’d seen (or heard) Richard’s Pipit was some years ago. Buggeration. I tried to remember the call I’d heard but with so many birds calling over the next hour or so my memory of the ‘pipit’ call  became somewhat clouded. Can’t be certain so best to just forget it! The trees and scrub held more thrushes and another ‘different’ call lead me to a splendid Ring Ouzel munching berries in a bush.

At Stag Rocks just north of Bamburgh Castle there were plenty of Common Scoter and Eider on the sea, but I couldn’t find any Long-tailed Ducks or small grebes. Rock Pipits were everywhere and scrutiny of the waders produced reasonable numbers of Purple Sandpipers.

A Pale-bellied Brent Goose, barely able to move on the beach, was presumably new-in, and obviously completely knackered. This allowed me some good opportunities to photograph this species with interesting backdrops.

Inner Farne in the distance

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