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Thursday, 18 September 2008

17-09-08 Red Backed Shrike

Another run to Cresswell ,I started at the north end but only a couple of Common Sand there so I went into the hide it was full to bursting with students , it was good to see some young blood taking at least in interest in birds as they thumbed through a field guide trying to sort out Oystercatcher( I heard that someone once trying to describe what they had seen as like a Puffin carrying a Carrot), one guy came in a went straight back out , but after awhile they left and I could have a good scan , wader numbers are still good , one call that confused us what sounded like a Wood Sand calling from the front of the hide turned out to be a juvenile Little Grebe a call I have not heard before, word of a Minkie Whale on Cresswell beach so I thought I would take a look , it was about 40' out looked like it had been dead for some time , John Steele was just coming off the beach with his sketch pad ,he showed me some of his work all done in the field in watercolour ,it was fantastic he just captures nature as it is far better than even any photograph that I could take.
Thinking to come back later and perhaps get closer I went to Druridge for the Red Backed Shrike it was as described just beyond the entrance, the pools had a few Wigeon & Mallard but nothing else so back to Cresswell for another look in the hide as the light was good , a Hawker Dragonfly across the front of the hide but unable to ID, Spotted & Pied Flycatcher still in the Willows and 3 Whinchats not noted earlier, had another look at the Whale which was on the beach its sinking in a hole now, and had attracted a small crowd the news later said it was either a Minkie or Fin Whale, it looks like it has been dead for sometime , the Dorsal fin could not be seen as it's sort of on it's back, it's a bit ripe at the open end lacking top jaw and tail with the bones of the Pectoral fin showing through.
Red Backed Shrike still at Druridge Bay
Came across this Fungi in the dunes I thought it was broken shells at first, odd looking stuff

The Whale at Cresswell , just to give an idea of size
Part of the lower jaw on the right with the eye socket on the left
The bones of the Pectoral fin
Ridges of the underside
Close up of the ridges

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