Saturday, 30 November 2013

Whoopers near Wark

Beautiful sight and sound of over a hundred Whooper Swans gathered in a fodder field to the east of Wark on the south side of the River Tweed. (grid ref: NT 845382). We counted 105 adults and 29 juveniles. At the Hirsel Estate, on the other side of the river at Coldstream, the Yews at the junction just north of the Arts and Craft Centre were attracting up to a dozen Mistle Thrushes plus a few Redwings  and Song Thrushes with their ripe berries.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Newton Point and Long Nanny

Newton Point and Long Nanny
We parked at Links House car park where the Lesser Grey Shrike was still showing well, which is a bit worrying as it should be in Africa. From here we headed off to Newton Point where we noted 5 Long Tailed Ducks, 2 Red Throated Divers and a flock of about 1500 Wigeon in Beadnell Bay. Next we walked along the beach towards Long Nanny which was very quiet only 3 Sanderling on the tideline but no Twite or Snow Buntings, the only other thing of interest was a Merlin chasing small birds in the dunes.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Shrikes and Snowflakes

An early afternoon visit to High Newton and Links House through some surprisingly snowy conditions over Belford Moor was rewarded with some cracking views of the very confiding Lesser Grey Shrike now in its fifth or sixth day of wondering if it should have turned 'left' rather than 'right' at some critical point in its migration to Africa. Nevertheless, it still seems to be finding food  in these wintry conditions, flying down from the hawthorn bushes on to the open areas adjacent to the car-park, even finding the energy to  'buzz' a female stonechat on its way back to the hedge!
      Close by, the little saltmarsh at Long Nanny held eleven Twite and two beautiful Snow Buntings restlessly feeding on the strandline. The winter sunshine lit up two Red-throated Divers in the bay.In the opposite direction, over three hundred Golden Plovers and nearly as many Lapwings gathered on the scrapes at Low Newton, beautifully back-lit by the setting sun when they took to the air and re-assembled in much the same place.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Shrikes and Gulls

Shrikes and Gulls
We were out with North Northumberland Bird Club at Bamburgh today but decided to go via Low Steads car park(as one does) and there as promised was a very smart looking 1st winter Lesser Grey Shrike. It performed well for all those present throughout the day, next on to Bamburgh where at Budle Bay we had 2 Peregrines out on the mudflats,whilst at Stag Rock there were Velvet Scoter, Long tailed Duck and an unexpected bonus in he form of the much twitched Bonapartes Gull.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Winter Visitors - more of them!

Are the birds telling us something? Might colder weather be on the way! A large influx of the thrush family have invaded our area, in Cheviot foothills, where increasing numbers of Fieldfares & Redwings, together with immigrant Blackbirds are feeding up on haw berries and fallen fruit - crab apples.

Increasing numbers of 'garden birds': tits & finches, plus Tree Sparrow, Nuthatch & G.S.Woodpecker are appreciating what the garden feeders offer.

A late note that on Tues.5th November at Stag.Harkness Rocks, Bamburgh, 130 Common Scoter & 3 Red-throated Divers were afloat, whilst 100 Purple Sandpipers explored the rocks for food and 90 Linnets were near the shore.

Nearer to today, 3 days ago, on Nov 12th a Merlin mobbed a Buzzard at Doddington and a flock of 200 Lapwings were spotted.