Saturday, 31 August 2013

August List .. additions

Red Kite
Tree Pipit
Little Stint
Booted Warbler
Black Tern
Willow Tit
Garden Warbler

It's Very Quiet ....

... I think not. Maybe no rare/semi-rare birds but loads to see.

A Peregrine over DBCP, closely followed by a Marsh Harrier. (Yesterday 2 Juvs and a newly moulted female, early morning Chev [and a Black Tern] )

East Chev: 70+ Ruff, 40+ Black-tailed Godwits, Greenshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Snipe. Lots of duck species including a Pochard. Gulls and Terns. Yellow and Pied Wags. Still some Reed Warblers (see last post) and finch flocks gathering.

Oh and an obliging Spotted Crake! QUIET?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Bird of the Day ...

American Beauty

Yeterday's quick dash around the patch recorded 3 Black-tailed Godwit flocks (80, 20 and 5) within 15 minutes.A quick stop at Whitburn Coastal Park to see the Arctic Warbler. A small group had gathered and a couple of glimpses of the bird made me think I would have called it  a Greenish. Then someone asked; Where is the Arctic?, Ha Ha this was a Greenish. The Arctic was at the South end and didn't show during my brief visit.

So on to University Hospital Durham. The chance for a little walk around the woodland trail while waiting had me amazed by this massive suppression of news but now I can put it right. Apparently the woodland is home to an American Beauty. Look closely at the map! The two photos show birds which can be seen. On the right Eurasian Treecreeper on the left ......

LOL   ;-)

Well how spooky ... when I visited Chev today two Jays (eurasian)  flew over the reedbed to the new plantation! Quite a rare sight at Chev.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Don't you just hate ...

  ... no not spiders; Sunny, Bank Holidays!

The spider is a Common Orb Weaver Spider (Metellina segmentata)  .

I think I got this wrong ... Araneus diadematus is the correct ID I hope (24/07/2014) just bough a new field guide ;-)

The excitement of Saturday over; but Black Tern added to tally yesterday, despite a fairly fruitless few hours trudging through the wet rambles in the dunes.

Today was not much better. Migrants still being found along the coast but nothing remarkable in the bay. Two new birds for my list! The Spotted Crake gave brilliant views this morning in good light. it is such a pity NWT don't understand birds and people. Muddy scrapes and hides/screens close by, would give the casual observers and families (without telescopes) a chance to get close-up views of birds and mammals. Chevington is teeming with birds but the casual visitor can't get close enough to see them. (Planning and Management needed!) Maybe thats why they encourage Greylags and Canada Geese so the public can see them; they're big and noisy enough (eutrophication not a problem).

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Wellington Booted

What a day! Yesterday afternoon I found a pale warbler,  guessed it was a good one but wasn't confident with my ID. Bob and Dave D agreed to come and check it out. After avery long time waiting it did not reappear. Gutted!

An early (pre-coffee) start after favourable conditions last night. Hadston, Chevington and Druridge drew a blank. Bob and Dave spurred me on with their Pied Flycatchers at Newbiggin, so all coffeed up, back to Hadston.  The 'bird reappeared B and D were contacted, B and D contacted again decided after second view I might have been mistaken (Sorry Dave). N.B. To all birders go with your gut (no jokes about mine please) people will bad mouth you right or wrong.

Be patient it's a long tale!

Well now the birding hots up. Migrants Appear. Cracking male Redstart and a Wryneck.  Then I photographed the 'Bird'. AC arrived to see Wryneck. It didn't show! After an age I walked the fence line and we all had fantastic views of what is usually a secretive/skulking bird. The photos don't do it justice but you get the idea.

B&D phone call and I announced  I had photo and was now convinced the 'bird' was booted/sykes and I was going to email photos. Home to my wind-up computer and within 30 minutes I had excited calls about BOOTED WARBLER photos. Don't you just love technology.

Sadly DD had travel plans! Sorry again Dave!

Bob returned and eventually he refound the bird. In flight it was striking, in the shade of a bush it looked different. I hope people understand my reluctance to jump to a conclusion. I have never seen Booted or Syke's Warblers.

Thanks to Stef McElwee and Stewart Sexton for their help with the photo ID.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Migration of Black-tailed Godwits continues with small flocks dropping in to the North Pool, East Chevington (rarely staying for very long).

Another fine Southern Hawker

Widdrington Moor Lake had the bird of the day; a monster Peregrine Falcon, perched on a log beside the lake.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

East Chev

Redshank (Polygonum pesicaria) Common Persicaria

A great morning around the patch. Plants, invertebrates, and birds. Squabbles between a Wheatear and Yellow Wag, Skua and Sandwich Tern. The Silver Y in the garden, Redshank a plant with lots of common names and Robin's Pin Cushion.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Sunny Morning

Blue Bug (Zircona caerulea)

Even when the birding is slow there is plenty to enjoy on the patch. 41 Black-tailed Godwits at Chev fed before flying South. Male Marsh Harrier from the garden and a Juv at Chev. Lots of butterflies (20+ Speckled Woods nr DBCP).

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Druridge was alive with small birds this morning. Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chffchaff and Sedge Warbler all showing well. A Whinchat at the entrance; one of a number seen along the coast this weekend.

East Chevington was relatively quiet but a steady trickle of waders in and out. Especially Black-tailed Godwits, two flocks of 15 and several singles. (Other waders present 7 Ruff, 2 Greenshank, Common and Green Sand, Dunlin and a singe Bar-tailed Godwit.)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Spotted a Bittern

My early morning visit to E Chev proved fruitful. Only my second Spotted Redshank of the year and a classic Bittern. The Bittern sat on the top of the reeds and preened for over 30 minutes. (I was joined by MW who also enjoyed the Bittern but sadly the Spotshank had departed.)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Bad Luck .. again!

Juvenile Little Gull (distant!). An interesting plumage not commonly seen.

Lesser Whitethroat .. a grey morning but two LWs in the dunes brightened the day.

Wall brown

Well has my luck finally changed (for the worse)?
Missed the W-wBT at Chev, Was at Cresswell when there was a Bonaparte's Gull (didn' see it) and today I missed an Osprey land on the mud at Chev!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Bombus lucorum

Bombus lapidarius   (female/worker above .. male below)

Bombus agrorum

My attempts a Bee ID. Let me know if I have made mistakes. I have found early morning the Bees are settled (Chilled) and easy to photograph. Apart from the last which was very active, I wonder where it spends the night.

Dig the Ditch ... and they will......

BB's persistence pays off! The digger arrived and water is now flowing out of Cresswell Pond. The reeds have been cut; so fingers crossed, it should be alive with waders this weekend. (Perhaps I'll get Chev back to myself again?)

Shaded Broad-bar (Scotopteryx chenopodiata)

Udea lutealis

These seem to be the only two moths I get on camera these days.

News from Chevington: Peregrine, Buzzard and Kestrel early morning, recently 'fledged' Water Rail,    6 Greenshank, 4  Ruff.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Lots of invertebrates around today. Peacock, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell and Small Skippers all common. The Scorpion Fly was on the car roof. Lots of Grasshoppers in the dunes.

Birding was quite slow today. Most reed dwelling birds seem to have left; confirmed by IF's morning ringing session. No doubt a wave of Northern birds will pass through over the next few weeks before the redbed finally goes silent.

East Chevington held 5 Ruff, 2 Black TG and a Green Sandpiper. Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels but no sign of the Marsh Harriers IF saw this morning. Probably using the redbed as a roost site.