Sunday, 4 December 2016


The Starlings put on a good display this week.

THV Patricia carrying out survey wok in the bay.

Ha Ha Ha!

I'm not one for sitting in hides for hours on end, but sometimes it's hard to tear yourself away.

Water Rail, Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Wren and Stoat all made visits during my long stay. In addition a Hen Harrier sat on a post for over two hours.

Typically the light was poor and the birds distant but at least the snaps give a flavour of my morning.

Another reason for staying was the glimpse of a Bittern walking in to the middle patch of reeds.

Can you see it?

OK, heavily cropped version of the same photo.

I think both the Harrier and Bittern had, had a big breakfast and were simply resting to allow a bit of digestion.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Frosty Mornings

Hen Harrier

Two species of Harrier on patch this week. Looks like last year's wintering Marsh Harrier has returned. Adult  Female with large pale wing patches.

Since Shorelarks were reported I can no longer expect a patch free from people early morning.

Well I did have the beach to myself one lucky day (the photographers were targeting the Harrier.)

So good to watch them preening, drinking and feeding.

Kingfishers on most ponds and Black-tailed Godwits (30+) in one flock.

Still many birds to see. From my house I managed 5 species of Thrush as well as Siskin and Bullfinches; making the walk to the shops most enjoyable.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Patch Birding

The South Loop
More than waders needed here!

3 Waxwings on the patch, 5 Long-tailed Duck

 A good clean out of the burn.

The Shorelarks continue to defy the disturbances and now up to 7 can be seen together.

A brief visit to Newbiggin on Monday and in the strengthening winds I managed only Purple Sandpiper on the rocks and 9 Grey Partridge on the Golf Course.

Oh well the cracking male decided to fly off before I was ready with the camera, but just imagine the sight of it in this beautiful light.

Couple of these have found a new winter refuge.

Ice suspended as the water levels dropped rapidly.

Mr and Mrs

Other birding highlights; 2 Water Pipits (with 30 Meadow Pipits nearby), Chiffchaff and Siberian Chifchaff. In addition LesserWhitethroat Ssp? I'm sure it was one of the rarer subspecies and I know which one I would bet on. Hope I can relocate on a future visit.

1955 Transactions of the Natural History Society

As Above
I had a quick glance at an old BiN and found also flock of 5 Long Nanny 2004. So these larger flocks were more common in the past.

Bell's farm flash has about 2000 waders. A good variety including 7 species and well worth checking the 400+ Golden Plover.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Six of the Best

Super Moon

Needs to be closer to horizon to appreciate size.

A week of good birding started with 2 Woodcock and 3 Jack Snipe. Hen Harriers, Buzzards and Sparrowhawks still in evidence. Terrific wildfowl numbers on the pools. Whoopers moving through 28 this morning followed by another group of 21 reported later. Compared to last year they seem to have had a better breeding season (11 young in flock of 28).

Fieldfare and Redwings still ariving. A Snow Bunting 200m from the house (thanks to my neighbour for finding it).

Fumitory still in flower. I need to relocate this as I can't ID it from these pictures. Thought it would be officinalis but they normally have 20+ flowers together.

Still beach-combing each morning. Hoping for a buff-bellied or other heart-stopper.

Frosty morning, but not hard enough to make the walk from Cresswell to Walkworth pond possible. Quagmire!

Still hanging on at Cesswell.

Lovely crater detail seen this morning.

Finally my trips to the beach pay off!

Six Shorelarks at the burnmouth.

Sadly they were disturbed several times but kept returning to feed, until finally they gave up and headed away low to the South West.

I hope they are relocated somewhere nearby.

Sadly I failed to get all six in the frame. There are five in each of these two photos