Saturday, 31 December 2011

One King

Checked Horton Burn on Boxing day and flushed one kingfisher at the old fire station end.
Checked WH yesterday, no sign of any Jack Snipe just 15 common.
Other highlights included 8 Wren, 6 of which were together at the base of a tree, 10 seperate Bullfinch sightings and a single Lesser Redpoll amongst a flock of Goldfinch behind the substation.

Thanks again to anybody who has helped me increase my birding knowledge this year. The definate highlight of the year was the trip to Norfolk and Suffolk.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Two Kings

On saturday afternoon I went to count the Cormorants in Blyth Harbour with SH. A good count of Cormornats and a few colour ringed Shags.
The newly arrived trawlers ahd attracted a lot of gulls but nothing interesting amongst them. 30+ Eider were also in the harbour, probably brought in by the cold weather.
The highlight though was a Kingfisher which was perched on a post near the boat yard before flying under the pier. 200 Pink Footed Geese flew south over the harbour as we were leaving.

On sunday I was out again with SH, DMcK and GB for Webs count at Castle Island. The highlight of the count here was also a Kingfisher on the near shore. It stayed perched on an over hanging branch for most of the count.

After the count we went to East Chevington were it was almost an exact repeat of the week before with the GN Diver, Scaup and LT Duck all occasionally showing. No sign of the GW Teal again but a redhead Smew was nice to see.

Also we checked the new pool at West Chevington/Maiden's Hall Lake whatever it is called.
Around 200 Eurasian WF Geese were in the field to the left but no sign of any Beans just Greylags. Apart from gulls a drake Goosander was on the Lake/pool itself.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Great(er) mornings birding

I was out with SH and IFo this morning. After another look at the much obliging Desert Wheatear just north of Beacon Point we headed off to East Chevington.

The GW Teal didn't show itself on the south pool but a lot of the Teal were just on the edge of the reeds and it could be easily hidden. A Water Rail was calling form somewhere on the south pool.

This was probably my best ever visit to East Chevington, a site where I haven't had much luck in the past.
The norht pool was lifting with birds the highlights being 3 drake pintail, 1 Long Tailed Duck, 2 female type Scaup, an Otter and a Great Northern Diver.
This was the first time I had ever seen a GN Diver and LT Duck away from the sea, but it was still hard to spot them at times as the disappeared under the water for long periods of time.
Also a semi Ermine Stoat ran accroos the field over looking the south pool.

Ladyburn Lake was our next stop were an impressive 27 Pochard and 6 Red Breasted Mergansers were diving.
Amonst the Mallard, Moorhen and Tufted Duck near the waters edge was a single female Pintail.

On our way down to Cresswell Pond, 2 Waxwings were spotted in the tree tops near the turn off for West Chevington.

We stopped at the roadside overlooking the flash north of Bell's Pond on the way as well. The Greater Yellowlegs was feeding alongside 2 Curlew near the fenceline right of the flash. An useasonal Black Tailed Gotwit was also on the flash and 2 Whooper Swan flew north.

Oppossite the the car park at the south end of Cresswell Pond were a pair of Stonechat, the first I have seen for some time.
54 Whooper Swans (most of which flew off towards Warkworth Lane), were on the pond along with 450+ Wigeon.
Not long before we left a group of waders circled the pond a few times looking for the now hidden sand bar before landing on the western spit.
The group contained 20 Turnstone and 4 Purple Sandpiper, both rarities and my first at Cresswell Pond.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

December desert

I went to Arcot golfcourse in search of Willow Tit with SH this morning. In the end we saw more mammals than birds: 2 Roe Deer, 1 Fox and most worryingly a Grey Squirrel!
This was my first sighting of a grey in Northumberland. WH was also quiet with 20+ Snipe and 3 Redshank being the highlights.

This afternoon we went up to Beacon Point after news of the Desert Wheatear - Lifer, broke.
It didn't take us long to locate it and it showed well only metres away for 5 minutes or so before flying off over the golfcourse.
Also a Snow Bunting was on the path near the point. No sign of the Little Auk off Church Point but 3 Puffin flying north required a second look.