SALTFLEETBY-THEDDLETHORPE + DCW
With a couple of hours drive ahead and the prospect of a good selection of migrants, an earlier start was deemed appropriate.
A high pressure area over Scandinavia and easterlies over much of Europe forecast several days earlier did transpire, but an occluded front in the North Sea did not and we arrived in clear conditions and a strong north-easterly.
There were lots of birds in places and these included Redwings, Fieldfares, Linnets, Greenfinches, Goldcrests, Stonechats and Dunnocks but nothing by way of a scarce migrant.
This was new for me though.
Valeriana officinalis is a widespread plant but it hasn’t spread into Rushcliffe.
Fox Moth too is missing from Rushcliffe and indeed Notts, so although I’ve seen these caterpillars, I jumped to the conclusion that this was a Drinker which also commonly basks out in the open. Dave got me to reconsider. The Fox larvae I’ve found in Dorset have almost always been parasitised by Brachonid wasps.
There were around 3000 Pink-footed Geese favouring stubble towards the southern limit of our excursion which were regularly disturbed by passing birders and dog-walkers. The gaggle included about half-a-dozen Barnacle Geese which were presumably genuine wild birds that crossed the North Atlantic with the Pinkies, having shared breeding grounds in Greenland or Svalbard.
We walked east from the dunes for about a kilometre into the North Sea to get near some shore birds and Sanderling got my bird of the day vote as they are such amusing birds and I don’t see them often.
We also added Oystercatcher, Bar-tailed Godwit, Teal, Grey Plover and Knot and back in the dunes Dave’s bird of the day; a Short-eared Owl.