Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Swallow before Sand martin




Great crested grebe on Bothal this evening


Arriving at Longhirst flash early evening I was surprised to see a large flock of Gulls sitting around the far flooded patches. Scanning through the scope hoping for a white winged one, the pulse began to race as I noticed a strange looking gull with a bill which looked too long to be natural, a pure white head, some grey scruffy feathering on the mantle but the wings looking like an adult Herring gull but noticably a darker grey. For a while I'd almost convinced myself that it was a Caspian gull but I couldn't see anything else on the bird. Through the scope the eye looked like it had been bleeding but it looked the same on the other side when it turned around. Despite the distance I tried to take some pictures but they only looked like a montage of blurred greys and whites. I even sent a text to Stewart (BB) but sent one back later when I couldn't make my mind up. A low flying helicopter sent the gulls off seaward so I will never know. A pity it wasn't closer.

Off to Bothal pond to see some real birds. Usual wildfowl and Redshank here but a fine Great crested grebe was a nice surprise. A Swallow was flying low over the pond. This is the first year that I can remember that I have seen Swallow before Sand martin.

6 comments:

Blyth Birder said...

Aye, that GC Grebe was there this morning - always nice birds.

I had a Swallow with 3 Sand Martins on Sunday on the pools south of Bothals Barns.

Just House Martin now :)

Alan Tilmouth said...

I haven't had a sniff of a Hirundine.

Blyth Birder said...

Hirundine sum total in 3 weeks:

Sand Martin: 3 at Sandy Bay, 1 over the garden, 5 over at Stag Rocks, 2 at Bakethin, 3 over Bothal = 14.

Swallow - 1 over Wansbeck, 1 over Bothal, 1 over the garden = 3.

Stewart said...

Alan try Alnmouth waterorks behind the cricket club...

Nigel, I think Caspian Gulls must occur in the county but are overlooked. One day...

Brian said...

I had House Martin, and Garganey, well before Sand Martin , Swallow. Wheatear, or Sarnie tern, definitely, not the usual order for me.
Dont look at Gulls, they will only do your head in LOL.

abbey meadows said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm sure if I'd spent a bit of time along the coastal pools I'd have had more hirundines by now but I have been keeping local. Brian your right if a gull looks odd ignore it...but it's hard to do!