Monday, 31 March 2014

Black Redstart

Two grainy shots of the Druridge Black Redstart. Still present tonight. Lots of Shoveler (35) and 9 Black-tailed Godwit.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Family then Fortunes?

Mother's Day visit meant a late start to the birding. Well I thought it would give time for the fog to disappear.
The fog remained and made a new Wheatear at Bell's farm tricky to pick out until it flew.
The other hot spots were checked for migrants without luck. A chance meeting at Chev and I was told about a Black Redstart at Druridge. 45 minutes of searching and it finally gave itself up. Didn't see one at all last year so this one was much appreciated. Plenty of Lichens at Chev. Xanthoria parietina, Hypnogymnia physodes and Parmelia sp? I think!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Grey Day

This weather in 3 weeks would be brilliant, but today in Northumberland it's a bit too early.
Still last week was interesting with Wheatear, Sand Martins and 4 returning Avocet.
Today Hauxley, Hadston, Chev, Snab, Newbiggin and Cambois failed to produce a Black Redstart.
Chev however still holds BT Diver, 3 Grebe species and today the old female Marsh Harrier was very active hunting over the reeds.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

New Patch Bird

Highlight of the last few days has to be, the easily located by call, the Nuthatch near the feeding station.
Friday's drive to work was notable for hundreds of Fieldfare along the hedgerows and a little owl sitting in the morning sunshine.
Saturday and Chev was alive with the grebes, diver and plenty of wildfowl. The Red-necked Grebe in fine plumage compared with its winter coat of a few weeks ago.
Today the Nuthatch could not be upstaged by my first Sand Martin of 2014.
Reed Buntings, Dunnocks, Wrens and Magpies were in full spring mode defending territories and displaying noisily.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Little and Large

A bright but breezy day. Marsh Harrier (1y male?) Chev.

Mealy and Lesser Redpolls as well as 4 Great Crested Grebes.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Two heavily cropped photos of the Pink-footed Geese

Pink-footed Geese

On Sunday I noticed two pfg with neck collars. After 30 mins careful obs and some digital images zoomed in to max I had the 3 letter codes. I emailed WWT and received copious notes (6 pages for one bird).

As this blog is from my phone I'll keep the notes brief.


Ringed 30/07/1999
Adult male

Wintered 2002/3/4/5 Martin Mere, Norfolk 2012, Martin Mere 2013 and now at Stobswood 09/03/2014.


Ringed 20/11/2005
Angus, Scotland
Adult female

Recorded Scotland 2007/8/9, Norfolk 2012, Scotland 2013 and now Stobswood 09/03/2014

Thanks again to WWT for quick reply.

Sunday, 9 March 2014


Kingcup (Marsh marigold) and Coltsfoot I think.

Snow Buntings

The Snow Bunting flock grew to 11 thanks to a liberal scattering of seed.

Seeing Double

Photographed the stoat again today at the turning circle, Chev. Then at the South pool realised it was a different one, as yesterday's stoat put in another appearance. The day was brilliant with great views of the Bearded tit and 2 Crossbills flying south.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

All White

6 Snow Buntings at Chev and a brief view of this stoat today.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Surprise

After my road to the beach was blocked by the Council (Filling potholes ... thank you!). I headed for the feeders. The Redpolls had just left before I arrived and it was quiet when I entered the hide and opened the shutters. However a familiar call made me look to the Reedbed and  there was a Reed Bunting not the bird I had heard. Then the noise erupted as the Redpolls and Siskins returned but the distant pinging was louder and there it was in the open. A cracking male Bearded Tit. It has obviously survived the winter but a lone bird on this site proves quite hard to locate. I have heard dstant calls in recent weeks but not always clear enough to be 100% sure. In fact as the Bearded Tit called, a Reed Bunting also mimicked a similar call. So seeing the bird was essential to confirm the sighting.

A coffee with ST and I then headed for Druridge. The Black-throated Diver put in a 5 minute appearance (before heading for Chev) and the Common Scoter gave a better view as it stayed near the hide.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Bright and Sunny

Moon and Venus


Saturday and the fabulous mix of Diver, Grebes and Sea Duck on Chev N Pool continued to delight. The feeders are brilliant.

Heading inland a Merlin at Maiden's Hall Lake. 2000 Pink-footed Geese (one with a neck collar too distant to read) and 3 Barnacle Geese at Widdringon Moor Lake. Also 2 displaying Ringed Plover and 4 Goldeneye.

A return along the coast turned up a grazing Brent Goose at Lynemouth and a single Avocet at Cresswell.

Not a bad Day?