Eider down the Tyne.

Twitching is all relative. It does not have to involve great distances but is more about deviating from what you would normally be doing to see a bird you want to see.

And so it was on Friday night getting a tweet from @RossAhmed saying he had found 3 Eider on the Tyne between Bill Quay and Hebburn.  Well it would have been rude not to have gone when you get such good gen.  Whatever else I had planned for Saturday morning was not that important.  And even if they had moved on I still needed Whitethroat, Collared Dove and any Wagtail in tetrad w.

But by mid morning 14km away from the sea they were on two tetrad lists #104. And by now there were four -three drakes.  What was really surprising was the number of crabs they were catching and eating at that part of the Tyne.  Perhaps I need to get down there more often to understand its ecology.

Either way I was latter joined by @gatesheadandbey who was pleased to see them swim up the Tyne and onto the Gateshead list.  Hopefully Rob is so pleased he won’t mind me using his back of the camera shot in this blog.

While waiting for him arrive two Common Tern #105 Flew down river.  This means I am left with only two cheap ticks to find for the year -Sand Martin and Swift.  Anything else will be hard fought.

Kittiwakes also flew down river.  It’s easy to forget that while they are the only inland colonies they have to feed somewhere.  What a journey to the sea.  There and back again.  It might be morethankittiwakes, but they impress me each time I see them.

Finally, whilst NZ26 is supposed to be competitive, it was good to know that anyone who wanted to get these birds seemed to be quite happy with Ross’s find.

Oh and I did get Collared Dove and Whitethroat too.  But will still have to go back for wagtails.


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