Saturday, 6 December 2008

Another good day

Today I went Birding with Steve Holliday and Dee McKeown, (much better crammy Birders).
First stop was Hulne park to look for wintering Hawfinches, no sign at the gates but plenty of common tits, nuthatch and Red Squirrel.
Fenham Flats- 100+ Brent Geese both Pale Bellied and Dark Bellied, Grey plover, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, two hunting Merlin, peregrine, Wigeon, Pintail (beautiful birds), 5 Long Tailed Duck - Lifer, 2 Slavonian Grebe - Lifer and Rock pipit were the highlights.
Stag Rocks - Eider, 10 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter ( female near the tide ) - lifer and Purple Sandpiper - Lifer.
Cresswell Pond- Brilliant views of a Bittern walking and feeding along the side of the north reed bed and Merlin sitting on branches in mud.
Snab point - 1 Red throated Diver- Lifer
Blyth Harbour- 14 Shag on cormorant roost - Lifer, Iceland Gull sleeping on factory roof and Snow Bunting on wall and then beach - Lifer.
West Hartford - 10 Linnets, Common Snipe, Short Eared Owl flying about- excellent patch tick, 14 Fieldfare and a Water Rail heard calling from the bullrushes west of the pool - also kick ass patch tick.
After a discussion of my Cramlington list today I am removing Lapland Bunting as it was in a tree rather than the ground and the Wood Warbler that hit my window, as it was dead, also removing them from my lifetime list. Re adding Long tailed Duck and Velvet Scoter that I saw today as I looked back on my past post and found that the velvet scoter I saw at Newbiggin was a common scoter and the long tailed duck on the wansbeck was a summer eider- beginers mistakes.
thanks again to steve and D. cheers


Birding Sometimes said...

Glad to see that you got out with Steve and Dee - both good lads and top birders. Jealous of the water rail - I still need that at WH!

Stewart said...

A good day then P...? I must admit, I had found your mention of Lap Bunt at Cramlington a tad unusual...its a long learning curve this birding mullarky, and the best way is to get out at first with someone with experience.

A good post.


Crammy Birder said...

Im cleaning up my crammy list and also taking off Red Legged partridge because that was dead to.
Your right stewart I owe you a fiver or seven.

When the ground drys up a bit I might try looking for the water rail but hearing it is good enough for now.

Birding Sometimes said...

Remarkably West Hartford had a Lap Bunt (in Feb/March 2004 I think?) - LMcD and MD - flushed in the field where the new fire station shall be built in 2009.

Great advice from Stewart - keep at it and you'll soon pick up your pace - learn the common species first, it makes eliminating those less common easier in the future!

Jeffliv said...

Just been looking at your cramlington list and noticed you're short of kingfisher. I've lived up here for nearly 6 years and having missed them regularly, I'm now surprised if I don't see one when looking out of the mad as that sounds!

If you can get near the small burn that runs behind the fire station (near shankhouse), or (more especially) the wider burn that goes through the northburn and hartford estates (the bridge near the fire station) you'll do well not to catch one....maybe not literally!

Good luck!

Crammy Birder said...

Jeffliv - I live quite near the burn and I was suprised when people told me that there is always a kingfisher around during winter. I can't say that I really tried looking for one before anyway but will keep an eye out.