Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Little to See

A rather grubby looking Willow Warbler.

Little Gull

This fantastically smart gull has been in the bay for a few days now.

Black-headed Gull (BLACK?)

Ah, now that's a black head, but not a Black-headed Gull

Common Tern

The fabulous black under-wings show best in flight, contrasting with the lack of  black on the upper-wing. Unfortunately I failed with the flight shots.


Nice detail of the upper-wings of this harrier. It is easy then to spot any new arrivals.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sunny Sunday

A gorgeous start to the day. This egret gave great close-up views and found no trouble catching small fish.

Compared with yesterday's weather, today allowed some more attempts with the new camera.

If you think Grasshopper Warblers are difficult to see... you're wrong. Get up early, and listen for their reeling call ... bingo!

Having walked the southern loop (Chev) I headed away but was quickly heading back, a Cuckoo called! Quickly spotted I was hoping for some photos but it always remained distant. One of my all time ambitions is to get good photos of Cuckoo and especially one with a Reed Warbler feeding a young bird. I'll keep lookin and trying ;-)  .

Distracted by this SedgeWarbler.

It never came close ... thanks Mr Kestrel. Soon 4 proper photographers with humongous lenses arrived so I beat a hasty retreat.

Friday, 24 April 2015

New Toy

Just bought a new camera (Nikon p900) So I was dying to get out there and take some snaps. Especially after waking at 2am to find the downstairs loo had been leaking. So I headed to Chev to find it fog bound.
AC and I located Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat before I attempted some snaps.

The linnet is pleasing because the light was poor, early morning and still thick fog.

When the sun finally broke out I managed some more pictures and I'm pleased with the results.

Camera Shy Stonechat

Grasshopper Warblers are generally more approachable early morning.


My main reason for the purchase was to take flight shots and I still haven't mastered the setting for this. Having used the camera I probably wouldn't say it quite lives up to the hype but it's a handy holiday camera and will get those important record shots of rarities.

My day continued to improve with Hooded Crow and Yellow Wagtails at Bell's; followed by Wood Sandpiper, Avocet and  Water Rail at Chev.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Out and About

Amble to St Abbs

Less birding and more travelling. Branton Gravel Pits, Powburn and the Borders

Today it was back to local patch birding.

An early morning Grasshopper Warbler, not always as secretive as people think.



2 Newbiggin Golf Course and 7+ Cresswell

5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Ruff, Druridge.
1 Reed Warbler, Chev

Monday, 13 April 2015

Moustache Moments

Firstly some distant Red-breasted Mergansers were displaying. The male swims away from the female splashing her with cold water. Not sure how that's supposed to work. Maybe I'll give it a try?

Wakey Wakey!

Wrens are in full song right now and they can belt out some sound from their tiny little bodies. It seems the mild winter has enabled high survival rates and plenty of birds are now springing into action in the bay.

Star of the day has to be the birds below. Distant pinging noises and brief glimpses have been the best I've achieved recently. Today was looking to be much the same when a male close by was hidden by the reeds and as it flew it was chased away from me by a male Reed Bunting. It all went quiet and it didn't reappear, that said MH was observing a rather longer bout of activity from a different vantage point.

I walked away a little disappointed not to get the chance of a photo. Then all of a sudden another male bird flew across the reeds. This one then proceeded to fly vertically upwards (normally a precursor to moving a long distance) but it changed its mind and tumbled down from a great height almost in the manner of the Harriers I've been watching lately. Wings changing position and its body twisting, slowing and then speeding up. Magnificent!

I was still some distance away and again, pleased with the spectacle but disappointed with the lack of photo opportunity.

As you can see however I did get the bird! Obligingly it emerged from the reeds right in front of me. Although not pin sharp I couldn't hope for much better. After a couple of minutes (a long time with this beauty) it was lost from sight.

Successful wildlife watching is all about getting in the field and being dead jammy!

Saturday, 11 April 2015


LW-f G (Hauxley)

Interesting neck collar on this Jackdaw.

This was the star of today. At first it was hidden by some vegetation and too far to identify (left scope in car). Decided to take a photo and enlarge on camera (I had seen a little egret earlier in the day and was convinced this wasn't one.). The camera revealed  a completely yellow bill, so trusting my ID, I put out the news and 'dashed' (power walked at best) to my car and returned with the scope. By now it had walked out from the vegetation  and the scope was redundant. It was now clear that it was bigger than the nearby herons.

Migrants certainly on the move today and recently.

Common Tern (10th April and another today) Chevington
100 Sand Martins 20 Swallows (1 flock) 11h April Chevington
Common Tern and Wheatear again today 11th Chevington