Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Some of the Interesting Birds about!

Today, Tuesday 10th October: Monks House Pool: 1 Avocet; at Stag (Harkness) Rocks: 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 late Arctic Terns, scores of Eiders; Budle Bay: c6,000 Barnacle Geese with 1 Snow Goose, hundreds of Pinkfeet, 4 Little Egrets & 1 second-year Glaucous Gull.
( Specked- Wood Butterfly also at Budle Bay, a late occurrence)
 2 days ago, Sunday 8th October: Holy Island: c2,000 Pinkfeet, 7 Little Egrets, 1 Merlin.
Goswick Golf Course: juvenile Long-tailed Skua, (still there on Tues. 10th).
Last Tuesday 3rd October: a local estimated 30,000 Pinkfeet at Aberlady Bay. (1 Little Egret also seen there together with many species of wildfowl & waders!)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Holy Island 17th September

Holy Island 17th September
It's that time of year when Holy Island is just too good to miss, however there is also the chance that there will be absolutely nothing. That was certainly the case today when it came to passerines, the Snook had it's usual numbers of Meadow Pipits and the Half Moon slack held 3 Reed Buntings, and a single Common Whitethroat, Snook House itself had 1 Goldcrest, 1 Robin and a Willow Warbler.
From there I decided to walk along to Emmanuel Head, following the Beach produced 9 Sanderling, 1 Redshank and 4 Bar-tailed Godwits. The day really picked up with a spot of seawatching at Emmanuel Head, the long lines of Gannets of all ages were picked out against the dark choppy sea, next through were 6 Velvet Scoters quickly followed by 2 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Red-throated Divers, this sequence was broken by constant movement of Kittiwakes which in turn attracted those pirates of the seas Arctic Skuas, one unfortunate bird was assaulted by 3 hoodlums at the same time and soon disgorged its food, in total 11 Arctic Skuas were seen, the highlight arrived soon afterwards in the form of a graceful Sooty Shearwater one of many which were seen up and down the coast today. It just proves that even the most unpromising day will still have it's highlights.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Black and White beauty

Black and White beauty
After finally catching up with the Corn Bunting at Boulmer ,a bird which tragically is a real rarity in the county our focus turned to Low Newton scrape where after spending much of Saturday in the Druridge Bay area our end of the county was treated to a stunning White-winged Black Tern as it fed over the scrape. At this point I should apologise for the quality of the image, with it's buoyant, bouncy flight it was very hard to focus on, but who cares, what a cracking bird and one which is always worth a trip to see.

Saturday, 13 May 2017


After a morning spent in the Cheviot Hills surrounded by low cloud we headed down to Lynemouth Flash to catch up with a Citrine Wagtail which first appeared yesterday. On arriving we were soon onto the bird  as it fed constantly at the water's edge, a small group of people had gathered and soon it was only about 5 metres away still feeding and totally unfazed. Next we headed to the Budge Screen at Druridge Pools which held Wood Sandpiper, Garganey, Little Egret, and a very smart male Ruff in full breeding plumage, Spotted Flycatcher was also seen dashing for insects from a wire fence, after an unpromising start to the day the sun was out and all was well in the world.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Full of Eastern promise

Full of Eastern promise
A lovely sunny morning saw us checking out Branton Ponds, the waterfowl were busy chasing one another and even a few Bumblebees were to be seen, amidst all this spring activity Keith suddenly noticed and interesting duck lurking along the waters edge, on closer inspection he realised it was a first for the site in the form of a drake Mandarin, what a stunner with it's gaudy colours and feathers held at jaunty angles, this now brings the site total to 170 species, not bad for an inland site.

Monday, 20 February 2017


On Sunday I got a text message from Mike Carr to say he'd just had a Bittern at Branton Ponds, we were straight out  but didn't see the bird. Mike then sent us a stunning flight shot of the bird which left us drooling, so at first light on Monday we were in position staking out the site, eventually we briefly saw the bird as it flew from one side of the pond to the other, then back home for breakfast.
This is the second record for the site after a bird in 2014 and many thanks to Mike who provided the photos.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Shore Larks and Twite with a Great Northern Diver to finish!

Today's outing was to Tynemouth ,East Lothian where fellow club members Marge and Phil had promised me Shore Larks!Having never seen this species before I jumped at the opportunity and after parking up and walking less than twenty minutes towards the Tyne Mouth,sure enough we soon had excellent views of 22 Shore Larks feeding in the bright sunshine.We were able to watch them throughout our lunch break - both in their company and  a flock of around 60 Twite!Although both species were regularly moved on by dog walkers,they always returned to a fairly specific area to feed.

Proceeding around the estuary where the tide was only just on the turn we added a pair of Red Breasted Merganser,Wigeon,Turnstone ,Ringed Plover,Bar Tailed Godwit ,Curlew ,Redshank and Grey Heron.
Returning to the car we exchanged sightings with another birder who also alerted us to a Juvenile Great Northern Diver in a pond at West Barns,overlooked by a caravan park.
Hurrying there next we had extensive and uninterrupted view of the bird in bright sunshine which nicely rounded off a great day's birding!