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Friday, 30 October 2009

Pectoral Sandpiper & Sabines Gull..................not

Went up for the Pectoral Sandpiper for the second time, and again no sign in the hope that it was hidden in the grass along the edge I gave it about 15mins , but somebody pulled in to ask me something then someone else pulled in to talk to him so three cars on the road now and then a birder seeing the cars pulled over for the Pec, time to go I thought theres going to be an accident here soon, this road is notorious for boy racers driving at speed .
On to the fish quay it was a much brighter day so I was hoping for some decent photos but when I got there it had left again , so I walked back and forth from the beach to the quay with no luck , it did drop in for the briefest of views late afternoon but not for me , I had to make do with my own rarity , but at least it was self found !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You have to find them where you can ......................................................

Thursday, 29 October 2009

28/29-10-09 Around the ponds .....................

Wednesday just a run up the coast checking the ponds ,no sign of the Glossy Ibis Grenshank still present, and a few duck, walked to East Chevington throught the dunes a flock of about 30 linnets, and a larger flock 100+ Goldfinch with also 4 Stonechats, walking down to the sea at the East Chevington outflow, I was surprised to see a Grey Squirel bounding along the path it saw me turned and dived into cover near the small pool, 2 Red Breasted Mergansers and a few Sanderling was all I had. Checked the shore ets at Lynmouth in the hope of Snow Buntings but actually nothing at all.

I just liked the look of this taken with my camera bag as background for contrast.

Grey Squirrel at East Chevington outflow !!!!

Thursday the news of Pectoral Sandpiper at the Beehive flash , so I called there on the way around to Holywell Pond but no sign I waited for awhile in case it was in the tall grass, but only a single Redshank , Holywell numbers of Gulls building up , 5-6 Goldeneye, I had made the mistake of not picking up my scope although I had the tripod which I had been using to take some photos , SP came into the hide he had seen a Green Winged Teal which had flown up , we picked it out in the corner but at some distance , it eventually lifted and seem to drop to the west.
2 Jays also along the north hedge , a group of Pinkfeet flew over twice looking as if to land but drifted off again, always a better chance of picking out Bean Goose on the water, if you have a scope with you that is !!!! . Two Migrant Hawker in front of the hide I thought them late but my book states to the end of October, so they still have two days to go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!. the light faded but the Teal did not show again, SP picked out a Water Rail over the far side so not a bad couple of hours for a dull afternoon

Two heavy crops of the Green Winged Teal

Pinkfeet deciding not to land and went into the fields instead

One of two Migrant Hawkers it never settled

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sabine session.......................................

Went up to North Shields fish quay late Sunday for the Juvenile Sabines Gull , not lingering someway off in the middle of the river but right along the edge of the quay , giving stunning views as it plied back and forth ,what a little star.
Monday and as the Sabines was still around I went back to try and get some shots in the better light , it was on show again along the edge of the quay , till it suddenly went up river and disappeared to turn up on the south side , from where it went over towards the haven , which is where I caught up with it again , bathing and then preening on the rocks till it again , left and returned to the quay, despite it showing well it had given some the runaround, but most caught up with it , disappearing again it still left one or two frustrated,also nearby 2 Grey Wagtails , a few Goldcrests in sycamores on the hillside along with a Willow Warbler, Purple Sandpipers on the rocks, huge number of gulls feeding on the discarded fish as they sorted the catch, they don't have to do anything other than drop down from the shed roofs and stuff themselves .Larus sabini

Friday, 23 October 2009

Eastern Crowned Warbler........................Trow Quarry

Just a few of the birders ,with nearly as many up on the top !!!!!

Well the strange tale of the Eastern Crowned Warbler, I.D.'d from a photo posted as YB Warbler,and what a cracking photo it was , this is the first record for Britain , so you could expect a lot of people to turn up , I was there before first light but already about 100 birders were lined up waiting for some light , it showed quickly giving good views , a terrific supercilium, but I could not see the crown stripe . So I hung around and got a couple of brief views, until I went up to the edge of the quarry away to the side ,here it gave better views , chased by a Robin and later a Yellow Browed Warbler , I got much better views of the crown stripe which was hardly noticeable at the front but more prominent at the rear, I don't have any field guide on this bird so have just gleaned info from the net
There was no hope of photos at this stage , so I just enjoyed the views it was giving , at one stage it flew behind us into a single Sycamore just yards away , flitting around I just could not get onto it ,then a Robin chased it back into the main cover , this is when a good few birders ran back to the edge it was turning a bit into chaos, so I thought time to go ,I'm not going to get any better views and with more and more people turning up it was only going to get really crowded on the quarry edge.
Stopped into Blyth Cemetery and picked up the Black Redstart
Black Redstart Blyth

Brent Goose Newbiggin beach

Great Crested Grebe Blyth

Monday, 19 October 2009

Lesser Whitethroat.........17-10-09

I upload here just for the sake of completeness the only photos I got of the Lesser Whitethroat ( probable form halimodendri ), I dont have the article relating to this , so will have to rely on Internet sources.
I see 2 Richards Pipits are again reported as still present on Brownsman Farne Islands , I always thought this island had no public access !!!!
I have received the info re colour ringed Sanderlings at the Links near St Marys, as I thought they are from the Iceland scheme.

This bird presented a bit of a challenge, it showed very well at times ,but it's a different matter when you try and get some shots , especially in thick ,dark cover(sounds like chocolate) , when you try and get bird photographs its not just the art of taking good pictures you have to master, its also the art of a good excuse when you don't.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Pectoral Sandpiper

Just a few images of the pectoral Sandpiper at Holywell showed very well just in front of the hide although it was rather dull while I was there, Snow Goose over in with Pinkfeet was a nice bonus, went down for the Lesser Whitethroat for the rest of the afternoon, it was very mobile but showed well at times ,it did not call which was dissapointing ......... I have yet to check the images but dont think there will be any useable shots, John Malloy has an excellent shot given the deep cover the bird spent most of its. time in.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Iceland........ by Plumb Centre

Tuesday and I had to go to the Plumb Centre so I took my bins and camera to have a look along the estuary that runs behind the industrial estate, in the compound an Iceland gull preening with a few other gulls, it eventually took off a relocated on the staithes along the river these have no access and as such attract drying Cormorants, loafing gulls and numerous Pigeons, a Seal popped up to see what was going on and a Kingfisher landed on the edge , I had seen it fishing from rocks further along, checking the bushes only revealed a couple of Robins & Blackbirds, with Reed Buntings near the pools, the falling tide attracting good numbers of waders to the flats of Monkeys Island !!

Seal checking me out.

It still has the dark eye , 1st winter

A grey ,dull overcast day, does nothing for the fantastic colours of Kingfisher, this bird silent as it flew from perch to perch.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Mega Seawatch session ............not

This morning I intended to go seawatching, but looking out the wind strength was not as forecast, ended up at Woodhorn Church checked the hedge to the south ,only a Blackcap & a couple of Great Tits, with a few Blackbirds, on the pond a line of Black Headeds on the posts, in with these at least one adult Med ,but there was also a 2nd year bird that flew off, and three 1st year birds, one with a colour ring which I have sent off, replies for the last ones where returned swiftly, one I had sent in twice before, and has been a regular at Newbiggin for some time , one from Belgium to Spain , Spain, Belgium & Newbiggin, with the 1st year coming from Pais de Calais.
The Mound for lunch well a coffee & snack in the car , tramped over the area but nothing other than a lot more Blackbirds & a few Redwings, so I ended up back on the beach , but dog walkers despite the ban, chased everything off , a short seawatch late afternoon turned up nothing so it was an early end to the day.
This used to be an excellent pond for waders, but the edge is getting overgrown

3, 1st year birds interestingly all in a slightly different state of mould ( or moult if you want to be picky !!!! :) )

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Druridge Pools & Newbiggin

I just spent the day as others did looking for the Raddes Warbler trapped and ringed yesterday at Druridge, it was reported as still showing today , and along with the Glossy Ibis still showing well it meant there was lots of people around even a trip bus parked on the road.
No sign of the bird by mid afternoon,the Ibis along the far shore, and a Greenshank beside the hide.
Another run to Newbiggin as the light was better to get some more shots of the Med Gulls , at least 12 birds today but oddly could not find the colour ringed birds , although the rings could just be out of sight
The wind picking up playing havoc with this bird .

And again some Med Gull shots ,one of my favourite birds, Newbiggin has certainly become the Northumberland hot spot for them , sadly I did not find any actual juveniles this year ,will have to stake out Newbiggin next year !!!!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Vegetating, Contemplating, Meditating

I started the day off late at The Mound, only Grey Wagtail, a couple of Goldcrests & about 100 Redwings straight over, so I went down to the bay it was rather dull by now, picked out several Med Gulls at least three with colour leg rings and at one point all together, and sitting on a flat rock a juvenile Gannet, I had a good look at it but did not go to close walking around to check it out ,looked fine wing wise with no obvious droop ,but obviously had something wrong ,going away from it and looking back its head was tucked in and actually from any distance it was hard to see. 8 meds in total ,2 1st,2 2nd, 4 adults
A short seawatch only produced 2 Brent, 3 RTD, 9 Scoter and a single Manx ,with a Juvenile Gannet overhead from the bay with an injured foot ,more than probably the same bird ,at least it could fly well and would perhaps recover somewhat.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Just a Couple more photos ......................

Just one more photo of the Glossy Ibis from Druridge Pools taken yesterday as it dropped in just in front of the hide also 2 Greenshanks and a couple of Dunlin, no sign of the Buff Breasted Sandpiper, had a look along the beach and a good number of waders feeding on the rocks counted about 100 Knot, Dunlin 40, Redshanks and numerous Sanderling , Gannets feeding very close inshore right into the waves , of course I had left the camera in the car missed these and the tight flock of Knot as they wheeled around.
Friday just went along St Mary's mid afternoon bird of note a Fieldfare just in off , the first of the winter , a fishing boat well out attracted 200+ Gannets which where strung out behind for some way no idea what was going on a few duck moving but not much else

Stonechats along with Robins always give you something to photograph when there is not much around , and why not fabulous little birds all year round !!!!!!