Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas at St Mary's

Quick bit of fresh air this festive morning and an excuse for a morning twitch at St Mary's.
First time birding with one of my younger brothers, and what a laugh we had.
Plenty of Redshank, Oystercatcher, turnstone, and Dunlin. Nice to see a few Sanderling on the shoreline and 5 Ringed Plover on the rocks. 
A small flock of Eider were gathered on the water by the causeway, the top of the causeway was being guarded by a Lone Ranger, a Curlew.
Not much happening out on the water besides a lone Greater Black Backed Gull drifting on the surface and solitary fishing Cormorant.
Decent numbers of Herring Gull and Black Headed Gull flying around the area. 
A quick stop at the pond showed nothing but a Coot and and 6 Teal.
All in all a decent 45 mins 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Arcot Pond 24/11/2013

A two hour twitch at Arcot began pretty slow and inactive. Plenty Mute Swan, 2 Heron, multiple Black Headed Gull and a flock of Teal.
Once the sun broke out, from behind the clouds, the pond sprung to life.
A flock of 4 Goosander (1 M & 3 F) appeared, a lone male Wigeon, Common Gull, 6 Moorhen, a solitary Coot. 
The sun woke one of the Grey Heron up and began fishing along the reeded banks on the far side.
In the field a flock of Goldfinch flew back and fourth, and on the far side of the pond a female Sparrowhawk flew into the trees, fanned her tail and quickly disappeared deeper into the wooded area and out of sight.
Amazing how a little bit more light can change the atmosphere of a place.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Stag Rock, Bamburgh 23/11/2013

So Saturday started with an induction for The Wildlife Trust at 10am at Northumberlandia, as soon as I finished up there I headed into Cramlington to pick up Michael.
For once he was ready to go! 
From his house we headed straight up the A1 and then turned off towards Bamburgh.
We parked up at the small car park overlooking Stag Rock.
Initial scanning with the scope I noticed plenty of Eider feeding offshore, and scattered around them Shag and a lone female common Scoter.
The shoreline and rocks provided about 15 Oystercatcher, a few scattered Redshank and a single Turnstone.
A flock of 6 Brent geese flew past as we moved position. 

We set up just above the famous 'Stag Rock' and first bird to catch our attention was a very close to shore Velvet Scoter.
Quite distant off shore were more flocks of Common Scoter, a lot of scattered adult and juvenile Shag, 2 Long Tailed Duck, 3 Red Throated Diver and according to some birders we spoke to a Slavonian Grebe. Which we failed to see.
Great couple of hours birding

(Poor digiscope of Velvet Scoter and a male Eider)

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Newton Shrike 17/11/2013

So I heard the buzz about the Lesser Grey Shrike at Newton on a Twitter and thought.....I've gotta get in on this!
I headed straight upto Newton (after a Frankie & Bennys breakfast) with the girlfriend middayish.
After a 50 minute drive I reached the car park, made noticeable by the abundance of twitchers!

            (That's me dead centre)
And lo and behold there it was......and there it stayed ....and stayed ....and stayed! 
No kidding the Shrike didn't move the whole 30 minutes I was there 
Too good to be true 
What a buzz!

Cresswell Pond 16/11/2013

After dropping the other half off at work I proceeded to pick up my childhood friend and brother from another mother, Michael, from cramlington.
From there we drove up to Cresswell Pond via the Spine Road and through Lynemouth 
Whilst walking towards the hide, down the muddy path we observed Tree Sparrow, Great Tit, Goldfinch and Chaffinch.
Once settled in the hide we noticed the usual suspects curlew, lapwing, Redshank and Moorhen.
We were treated however, to a couple (M & F) Scaup right in front of the hide.
A fellow twitcher the drew our attention to the northern side of the pond and to a Long Tailed Duck and Black Necked Grebe, aswell as a Pintail on the western shore.

We left Cresswell after about an hour and headed north exploring Druridge Pools and East Chevington with nothing special to report besides a flock of Whooper Swan flying overhead.

Whilst the sun started setting we headed back to Cresswell and saw Little Grebe, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck and a cracking male Red Breasted Merganser. Unfortunately whilst checking him out we missed a Water Rail walk right out in front of us!! 
Word of the day .....GUTTED!!!