Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 21 2012

I was out of bed this morning at 05:30; after a week of ultra early shifts, I had a lie in today.
So I was at Elwick, on Fenham Flats, Lindisfarne just after first light.
Thousands and thousands of Wigeon were on show from the hide. These attracted a Great Black-backed Gull which after a couple of low level passes, managed to catch and kill one, I’ve never seen this happen before.
Fenham Flats-P1010515Fenham Flats-P1010516
Almost all of the birds in the pictures are Wigeon. There were a handful of Shelduck and Pintail, and the Brent Geese were off in the distance, towards the castle. Some decent size skeins of Barnacle Geese flew over, not sure if these were just arriving or if they have been here for some time.
A Merlin flew through, as did two Fieldfare and a Brambling.
From here I head North to Cocklawburn, just for a look. It was very, very quiet, as was Goswick, Budle Bay and Stag Rocks on the way back South.
So I just keep going until I get to Druridge Bay Country Park, where I call in to see if I can find the Slavonian Grebe that has been reported…
Slavonian Grebe-8D3E9816Slavonian Grebe-8D3E9822Slavonian Grebe-8D3E9859Slavonian Grebe-8D3E9876Slavonian Grebe-8D3E9912
Chris had the bird to himself until I arrived, and in no time I had two hundred pictures of it (most of which got dumped)
So, from here it’s just a short drive to Cresswell. I spend an hour or so watching the Jack Snipe, in the hope that it will get into a position where I can get a decent picture of it; it didn’t do that!


The Liverbirder said...

Richard - how exactly does a GBBG kill a Wigeon. That's quite a size of prey for a bird without talons or sharp bill to sort out. Can you give us an idea, I'm fascinated!

Richard Dunn said...

I think it was a combination of size and brute strength!
The Wigeon tried to fight back, but the gull had it by the neck and the harder the Wigeon tried the faster they spun in a circle.
I don't think it was drowned, so the neck may have been broken.
After the kill, a half dozen more gulls came to try and get a bit, plenty of duck down on the water by then...