Friday, 30 May 2008

Quick and to the pointless

Yesterday (not by choice) I visited Darden Lough near Elsdon.
Just like any area around the Cheviots it produced the usual moorland suspects including Curlew, Lapwing, Stonechat, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Cuckoo, Pheasant, Grey Partridge, Red Grouse and Kestrel. Although I did see my second Goshawk of the year flying over towards Harwood Forest.
At the lough it self there was only a dead Sheep in the water, nothing else.
I did see a Great Spotted Woodpecker in Morrisons car park in Morpeth on the way home.
Red Backed Shrike, Common Rosefinch, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler and Marsh Warbler all seen around the county today. I can feel 200 getting closer. I hope.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Where do I start...
Last week I had my first trip to Low Barns Nature Reserve in County Durham. I spent a good few hours there but saw very little of interest but I did enjoy it. No sign of the Bittern that was reported there last month.
On the way home I did see a Tawny Owl asleep in a tree by the side of the road at the turn off to riding mill.
In between short visits to West Hartford around the weekend I saw that the Iceland Gull that has been seen across the counrty in the past few months had once again been seen only this time at Warkworth. I used to spend alot of time at Warkworth so I knew that the bird would be in the estuary between amble harbour and the river Couuet in Warkworth, so off I went to spend my bank holiday Monday.
After seeing there were at least 50+ gulls I searched through all of them until I found a striking bright White gull with no markings on its wing tips or tail standing next to two LBB gulls. I had found it just in time as it then flew off over the dunes to the other side of the estuary.
In amongst the Herring Gull, GBB Gull, LBB gull and BH Gulls were three Shellduck and a Goldeneye diving in the river.
So thats NO.168 Iceland Gull, I'm well on my way to 200!
P.S. Thanks to Holywell Birder for adding me your links page, Cheers.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Duck Phase Strikes Back

Took a trip to Duridge Pools yeasterday to see the Lesser Yellowlegs.
On arrival I was attacked by a swarm of those annoying black flies that are around at this time of the year. Dam flies.
A quick check of the pool with the half built hide and I saw the Yellowlegs feeding only meters away from the hide, in amongst the reeds.
It let me watch it for about five minutes before it disappeared into the reeds only to be replaced by two Dunlins in Summer Plumage.
Whilst waiting for the LYL to return I heard a Cuckoo which I then saw sitting on a fence post on the far side of the Pool.
Another Cuckoo then came and the pair started fighting before flying off towards the other Pools.
Also whilst I was waiting an upset Shelduck burst into the reeds that it had been guarding and chased out a male Gaganey which flew to the other side of the Pools and disappeared into the reeds. The LYL came out again breifly and began feeding next to the Dunlins.
Next off to Cresswell Pond. Not much to report apart from two Sedge Warblers giving good views infront of the hide. A quick and pointless check at Woodhorn Flash and I was off.
This weeks Duck phase is a draw between the increasing numbers of Shellduck and Gadwall which are everywhere at the minute.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Mixed Emotions

On Monday I had my first Wood Warbler of the year and first record of one in Cramlington.
Unfortunately it had hit my window and broke its neck. It took me a while to identify it as it was only young and was not a Yellow as an adult. After closer examination I decided that it was definetly a first year Wood Warbler. Although I was sad about its death it was also a good sign that this was in my garden to start with.
On Tuesday I had a quick trip to Plessey Woods where I saw Whitethroats, Jays and good views of a Red Squirrel. Hopefully all of these will one day turn up in my garden as well.