Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Sounds of Spring

After the warmth of Morocco, where the swallows, martins, bee-eaters and yellow wagtails were moving inexorably towards Europe, this morning's walk to Wooler in bright sunshine may only have been 5 degrees Centigrade, but the Peewits were calling as they displayed over the ploughed fields and the Yellowhammer sang from the Hawthorn hedge. In another field, twenty Oystercatchers were gathered together, no doubt debating when they should head up the Harthope Valley to their nesting territories. Today? Tomorrow? Certainly Spring is in the air

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Sand Martin

My first Sand Martin of the season: Whiteadder Point on Sunday (15th).

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Marvellous Murmuration in March!

A gradual increase in an annual gathering of Starlings, only at this particular time of year, must be reaching its peak of over a thousand birds. It is a sight to behold as smaller groups fly in and join into a large swirling murmuration before settling to roost in local conifers at:                                            NE71 6RB or Grid Ref OS NT987262

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Coastal movements

At Berwick's Little Beach this morning (Saturday), about 8 groups, each of approx 8-10 Gannet, mainly heading south.
Goodish numbers of waders: Oystercatcher; Redshank; Sanderling; Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone.
Flock of about 12 Linnet circulating around the nearby bushes and, best of all, a Scandinavian (littoralis) Rock Pipit.


Friday, 13 March 2015

Day down in Druridge

Spent a very cold day birding at Hauxley Reserve  (before it closes for the year) and at Druridge Bay Country Park on Thursday.

Nothing to get the heart racing at Hauxley. Numerous (well, about 15) Snipe feeding on the islands, well away from the water's edge so easy(ish) to spot and presumably enjoying the earthworms. The usual good numbers of Wigeon and Tufted Duck which sometimes looked a little skittish what with an Otter not that far away. On the middle island, a Lapwing looked like it might just have been on very early eggs (?).

At Druridge CP we had a good view of a male Peregrine. On the pool (the middle one with the hides) the highlights: Whooper Swan (about 12) mixed in with Mute SwanBlack-necked Grebe; an obliging Sparrowhawk sitting on fence; four Great Crested Grebe and a splendid sinensis Cormorant. One of our party saw off in the distance a raptor that he thought might just have been one of the returning Marsh Harriers. It went down in reed bed and was not seen again.