Tuesday, 19 September 2017

What a difference a day makes ...

...24 little hours

After a dismal trip to Holy Island yesterday I was amazed at how different it was today (18/09/2017) in Druridge Bay. A brief stop at the Budge Fields to see what looked like a drake Green-winged Teal emerging from its eclipse (moult) plumage. Goldcrests were moving through the trees and Redpolls dropping in to join the other finches.
 On to Cresswell and the willows behind the hide were alive with birds. Immediately I got on a Yellow-browed Warbler and decided it was worth hanging around to get a picture. The Yellow-browed warbler was unusually quiet and constantly chased by the vocal Chiffchaff. After an hour all I had were pictures of its belly. Two people arrived and I pointed out the area where the YBW was. They seemed unconcerned and headed for the hide? There were Goldcrests, Reed Buntings and Redpolls moving through the willows by now and the YBW was calling. Another Phylloscopus w.was present but not identified.
 At about 09:30 I eventually abandoned my efforts to get a decent photograph. As I left, a group birders were assembling in the car park and I let one of them know about the YBW.
 On to my patch and Redpolls were more numerous (50+) from Chev to Hadston. A Whinchat at Hadston and a Greenshank on the N Pool Chev made it a special day. I returned to Cresswell early afternoon but sadly there were too many people and  I drove by. If it doesn’t disappear overnight I’ll try for a proper photo tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

So Close ...

A very interesting few days. Birds seen included: Kingfishers, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Little Stint, Ruff, Pink-footed Geese, Marsh Harriers, Redpolls, Pochard, Pintail and Black-necked Grebe.

Good numbers of American waders are being found all around the country and like most people I'm on heightened alert. This morning I almost got my reward. A flock of 14 Golden Plover circled over the Causeway Pool at Cresswell. Immediately one darker bird stood out. I was studying it carefully as the birds circled at least 4 times gradually getting lower, as if to land. It had grey/dull underwings and grey armpits. It was darker above and it was slightly (but noticeably) smaller. The light was very good and the comparison very easy as they wheeled in formation. It was almost certainly an American Golden Plover but I will not be counting this bird as they suddenly changed direction and headed high North. I never saw the bird on the ground.  I failed to relocate the birds but will keep checking the local spots just in case.

Lots of visible migration; Meadow Pipits, Wagtails, Hirundines and a few more Redpolls. Check Goldfinch locks because some are joining them when feeding.

Opened the curtains early morning to find this Sparrowhawk with (apropriately) a House Sparrow.

Little Stint still on the beach at Hauxley today (Wednesday).

To very smelly areas in the bay. DBCP having problems with Blue-green Algae and a dead Deer near the path to the hide at Chevington.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

* the Gall

Hauxley would be proud of this one!
Cape Shelduck

Maedow Pipit
During the last wee 100s of these have been moving South along with Swallows, Sand martin, a few Grey Wagtails and recently some Redpolls.

A trip to Wallington (again) ...

... and Seaton Delaval Hall

Spangle Gall
(Caused by the gall wasp Neuroterus quercusbaccarum)

Knopper Galls
(Caused by the gall wasp Andricus quercuscalicis)

No Comment!

Sweet Chestnut

Tried this Camo outfit for some garden photography.



Tickell's wannabe ...

Hare's-foot Clover

Robins Pincushion
(Caused by gall wasp Dipoloepis rosae)

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Last day of August


Enjoyed these birds all to myself this morning.
  (Thanks to JF for finding them and getting the news out ... see his blog link in right margin.)

These two finally made them move after 90 minutes of observation.

This Great White Egret flew into East Chevington later this morning.

Monday, 28 August 2017


Reed Warblers feeding frantically before heading South. Some of them choose the Willows and Hawthorns.

Sparrowhawk sightings increase as more birds appear in the dune areas. One I watched today caught a Meadow Pipit. (Meadow Pipit numbers are increasing with several small flocks coming in off the sea.)

Druridge still worth a look. My prediction for the next wader there is Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

Lesser Whitethroats, Common Whitethroats and Blackaps all quite common early morning in the dunes at Chevington. Time for a Red-backed Shrike, but it seems Whitburn is getting in first.