Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

A pair of Tawny Owls calling outside has started 2014 very nicely!

Early morning at Alnmouth 

It Is All Over!

All done! The final day was spent at a few of my target patches for 2014. Branton Lakes to marvel at the Goosander and the unfortunately positioned hide with a door that doesn't close, Boulmer Beach and the wader flocks before rounding off the day with another helping of starlings coming to roost.

196 species on the patch in 2013. Missed birds include: House Sparrow, Pomarine Skua and Little Auk. Birds missed on patch but seen by others: Osprey, Corncrake and White-winged Black Tern. Hey Ho ... can't complain.

Plans for 2014!
No listing at all!
Less visits to Chev!
Phone switched off all day(whilst birding)?
Visiting more sites, particularly inland and those less frequented by people.
No twitching (although I failed twice in 2013, Cattle Egret and Spotted Sand).

Sunday, 29 December 2013


A stunning evening! A small crowd c15 gathered for the evening arrival of up to 15,000 starlings. The sights and sounds are mesemerizing. It begins at about 15:50 and lasts for 20 minutes. One family group were back for their second visit of the week.

I wonder how many make a supper snack for the Bittern and Otter?

Saturday, 28 December 2013


If the birding gets a little slow indulge in the 'very childish' but enjoyable art of 'eyebombing'!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Worth the Walk

Warkworth, one of my target areas for 2014.

A great flock of these beauties in the dunes and two Little Egrets. Loads of waders in the estuary and plenty of Rock Pipits on the shoreline. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Quick Patch Check

Dispersal in Action!' (Please Santa bring him a brush?)

A better photo, of the ring code, of the Norwegian visitor to the country park. 4 Long-tailed Duck remain giving excellent , but distant, views.

Druridge pool Teal and Wigeon checked for an American Visitor .. no luck today!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Red and Black

A busy morning doing family stuff, so only a brief visit to the patch. Nothing new but the feeding station was quite productive.

Saturday, 21 December 2013


Great morning on the patch. 40+ Goldeneye on the N Pool, Plenty of variety in the Country Park and the Widdrington Moor Lake still providing some interest.

Lots of 'reviews of the year' on blogs ... it's not over yet ... ever the optimist! It has been a cracker and I almost kept my NY Resolution. New one next year ????

Sunday, 15 December 2013

December WeBS

WeBS count today and no surprises.

Chevington has good numbers of Goldeneye, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and a Red-neckd Grebe.
Widdrington Moor Lake was almost devoid of birds (probably early morning shooting to blame)!
West Stobswood was quiet apart from 130 Canada Geese. However at the back of the pool was a large mixed thrush flock. Fieldfare, Redwing and some tantalising views of   Sp????


Thanks to some knowledgeable ringers onTwitter I was given the email address of Morten Helberg who quickly confirmed the details as follows:

29.04 2013
Østensjøvannet, Oslo, Akershus & Oslo, Norway
59°52'51"N 010°49'57"E
Lome, Carsten
Sandøy, John
30.04 2013
Østensjøvannet, Oslo, Akershus & Oslo, Norway
59°52'51"N 010°49'57"E
Isaksen, Kjell
14.06 2013
Østensjøvannet, Oslo, Akershus & Oslo, Norway
59°52'51"N 010°49'57"E
Sandøy, John
01.07 2013
Østensjøvannet, Oslo, Akershus & Oslo, Norway
59°52'51"N 010°49'57"E
Evenrud, Jon
Johansen, Arnkjell
02.07 2013
Østensjøvannet, Oslo, Akershus & Oslo, Norway
59°52'51"N 010°49'57"E
Mjelde, John Martin
14.12 2013
Druridge Bay Country Park, Northumberland, Great Britain
55°17'38"N 001°34'52"W
Elliott, David

CR-Code White ring with black code: J1TL LBM;RBWN(J1TL)
Ringing Centre Stavanger Museum (Norway) Ring number K03055
Species Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus
Sex Male Age 3 cy+

Many Thanks to all involved. It is fantastic when you get such a quick response.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Nice and Quiet

A quiet day on the bay.
The best bird at Chev was a Red-necked Grebe, not seen on my first visit, but later found along the North edge of the pool. Lots of Divers on the sea and lots of fishing activity from gulls.

A walk South from Druridge failed to locate the finch flock or the Hemscott Hoodie. Very few birds in the garden. It can only get better! WeBS tomorrow ( I was a bit premature last week hey-ho.)

Agree with your spelling moan! I can't get used to spelling Sulfur (accepted form) after ** years spelling it with PH!

Sunday, 8 December 2013


A 'canny weekend' considering all the excitement further North. Early morning had distant views of a
 Long-eared Owl along the edge of DBCP. A whoosh as 5,000+ Starlings left the roost at c8am and 1,000 Pink-footed Geese landed in a nearby field; a further 500 in the field just South of the reserve.

A probable Saker Falcon flew along the beach (N) the rich brown colouring meant it was clearly not a Peregrine (Will no doubt be a falconer's lost bird though on brief views there were no obvious leg attachments.). Finally a single call from a Bearded Tit,  .. a very lonely bird?

Sunday and the WeBS counts did not deliver any surprises. However an adult Iceland Gull off the Ponteland Hide was a nice addition.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Sunny Sunday

Early rise and a check of the silhouetted gulls failed to reveal the dumpy one.

Starlings leaving the Cheivngton Roost (07:40) were quite spectacular, with c3000 flying over the road at Red Row.

A gorgeous morning and a scattering of smart birds this Red-breasted Merganser was very obliging on Ladyburn Lake (DBCP) unlike the 4 LT Ducks (2 of which relocated to Druridge Pools later in the day).

Spiderlings on the move in the dunes.