Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Low Newton 27th August

Low Newton 27th August
After all the crowds of a Bank Holiday Monday thought today would be a bit more quiet, it was but also on the wildlife front. I first spent a couple of hours seawatching at Newton Point but fog out to sea made it tricky to see birds, I did however manage to pick up a single Manx Shearwater,an Arctic Skua and even better a small group of 3 Bonxies (Great Skuas) as they cruised by looking menacing.
On to Newton Ponds and flash which held a few Mallard and a couple of Curlew Sandpipers amongst a group of 12 Dunlin .Other wildlife included numerous Wall Brown butterflies and a single Speckled Wood also a number of Grasshoppers making quite a racket in the undergrowth.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Druridge Bay 24th August

Druridge Bay 24th August
In between showers we decided to check out some of the birds seen in the Druridge Bay area, first we tried East Chevington where we soon noted a Little Stint feeding on an area of mud along with a Curlew Sandpiper. The call of another wader flying in alerted us to a Spotted Redshank which eventually became three, one of them still showing some breeding plumage.other birds on the site included 2 Ruff,a juvenile Little Gull,,a Little Egret,some 200+ Lapwings and I shouldn't forget more extensive views of the Spotted Crake as it lurked in the reeds. For our final bird of the day we should thank Mick McMahon for telling us about a possible Booted Warbler at Hadston Carrs, 15 minutes later we were on site with about 20 other birders watching it  as it skulked in a patch of Ragwort, a small pale warbler which is a very good sighting for Northumberland.  

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Shear numbers

Shear numbers
We decided to head off to Budle Point today hoping for some early passerines,we were not optimistic and this was the case. The day began to liven up when we walked back along the beach, whilst scanning offshore a Sooty Shearwater came gliding into view, its pale underwing panels showing up well. What happened next was even more stunning as our attention turned to a fast moving flock of dark birds which were involved in a feeding frenzy just beyond Stag Rock, it was a flock of at least 120 Manx Shearwaters and in amongst them we counted another 2 Sooty Shearwaters, the morning was made complete when 3 Porpoise cruised past just in front of us. 

Monday, 19 August 2013

Anglers all 19th August

We were heading back from a morning photographing Dragonflies and Butterflies at Druridge Bay and had reached our turn off at Hedgeley Bridge only to see a large bird land on the bridge railings, we immediately recognised it as being a juvenile Osprey. It dropped down to the river so we got out of the car and hurried across with bins and camera only to see it disappear down the river towards Hedgeley Ponds with a Common Sandpiper in hot pursuit, meanwhile a Kingfisher sat impassively on a rock by the side of the river,not a bad haul of birds seen in such a short period of time.    

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Autumn migration,already ??

Is it really time for autumn migration? Last night on the way home from Whitsome,Duns, we witnessed some bird "gatherings". First of all, many swallows were lining up on the wires, next we saw a large party of swifts and on arrival at South Yearle a flock of 16 mistle thrushes flew over and settled in the conifers in the field at the back of the house.
We also had a willow warbler in the garden and these cute baby swallows that had just fledged (second brood) were lined up on the roof, being fed by their parents, but also being encouraged to "come and join us in the sky and find your own food" by numerous other family members.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Winter waders...

Winter waders are returning ( as with the large number of lapwings noted by previous blogger, Ian)!

On Thursday 8th August: a mixed flock of over a hundred waders, mostly Lapwing & Curlew, were to be seen on the mud of the ebbing tide line upstream in the Tweed Estuary; 26 Goosanders occupied the river mouth.

Today, (Sun. 11/8/2013): 2 Little Egrets near Holy Island causeway, a Greenshank and a Peregrine were sighted at Budle Bay. Up to 150 Curlew can be seen roosting on the salt-marsh of the Long Nanny river, Beadnell Bay.

Another Red Kite in the North !

A further Red Kite has been seen in Wooler at 09.00a.m. on Tuesday 30th July 2013.

It has been reported to me by a resident of Common Road in Wooler. Common Road is close to a large wooded area/ conifer plantation on the edge of moorland. He clearly saw the bird flying past his garden towards the wood. As it turned he saw its forked tail. ( Notified to FoRK & County recorder).

Friday, 2 August 2013

What's the Crake

What's the Crake
Last day of my hols and decided to try and connect with the juvenile Spotted Crake which had been reported at East Chevington. The signs were not good as when I arrived at the site there seemed to be a mass exodus of birders, one of them had last seen it at about 9.15 am and it hadn't been seen since,this was 3 hours ago. On reaching the hide there were about 10 people there,I had taken a seat and after the first hour I was glad of it. There were about 300 Lapwing plus a number of Common Terns, Sandwich Terns and a single Arctic Tern on the mud, suddenly they all took to the air and someone shouted Peregrine, as the bird got closer it lacked the bulk of a Peregrine and seemed to have narrower wings, as it flew past in front of us it showed off it's orangey/red vent which instantly identified it as an adult Hobby. Time passed slowly and we were about to give up when someone shouted Crake and there it was a tiny little bird which emerged for about 5 seconds and then disappeared only to be seen once more for an even briefer view. Longer views would have been better but this is the more typical sight of a crake, something which probably makes them more attractive to birders is their difficulty to see well. Also of note were 4 Greenshanks, 4 Ruff and one splendid looking Dunlin in his summer finery.