Thursday, 28 April 2016


... no pheasants were hurt during the making of this blog!

My second Redstart in the bay this spring, this one on the patch. 

The weather has been a bit of a challenge for me, let alone for any newly arrived summer visitors. However, soon as a bit of warmth was felt, the birding picked up. One Common Whitethroat and five Lesser Whitethroats have been noted on the patch.

Sharper than it looks ... really.

April 27th no migrants in these dune hawthorns ... why not?

Aah, what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours ;-)

Still three degrees Celsius when I set off this morning. After a six hour visit to the patch I'm back for lunch and updating the blog.

Eventually he spots me and leaves.

Two Swifts today including the white one and at least four Reed Warblers singing.

Friday, 22 April 2016

...and they keep arriving.

An unexpected find outside the DBCP visitor centre.

This Reed Warbler also arrived on Thursday and today (22/04/16) it was still the only one on the patch.

My very early start was rewarded with great views of Grasshopper Warblers. Six of last years eight plus territories now occupied.

This was taken before the early clouds cleared. Later when it was sunny the Sedge Warblers weren't so 

Avoducks (not enjoying the deep water at Druridge). A lot of Whimbrel on the move today (One flock of 30 being notable.) with their call being heard all over the bay.

Meadow Pipit

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Rocking and a Reeling

My first Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling yesterday (19/04/16) but didn't give brilliant views. Today the same bird came close but stayed hidden from the camera (above)

However further around the South loop this bird (below) was more obliging. Although getting the bird in focus was a bit trickier. As my first 20 or so images would show. 

Yes a bit rubbish but an early swallow pic is obligatory on my blog.

A rather washed out Linnet

I finished the day with a walk around Newbiggin and the only bird of interest was a Chiffchaff with a call reminiscent of Iberian Chiffchaff but after three bursts it stopped singing altogether. Finally a stop at Cresswell North car park was fortuitous as I stumbled on a female Common Redstart (having failed to connect with STa's bird at Lynemouth yesterday).

Monday, 18 April 2016

Cold, Sunny, Warm, Windy, Snowy and Wet.

Nice to see a couple of these still at coastal sites.

R-lP on the patch

Sedgies creeping in but only two gave decent views and were prepared to sing. Most other views were disappearing rusty rumps in the reeds.

Snow on the hills.

Green Plover

Struggling to find a flower in the windy conditions.

I know, you'r sick of Dowitcher photos, but it will keep posing by the fence.

Sheltering out of the wind, this bird did not want any help. 

This one seems to have had no trouble collecting pollen.

13 Common Terns on the North Pool today.
6 Wheatears landed right in front of me then headed inland within minutes. Migration in action.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Like Buses

One of my favourite patch birds. Hard to find, Hard to photograph and Great to watch.

Some years, Black Redstarts are a tricky bird to catch up with. Holy Island in the Autumn is usually productive but the last 12 months have been amazing. Recently the over-wintering bird at Blyth, North Pool Chevington (06/04), Newbiggin (13/04) and St Mary's Island (14/04) are just a few of the many birds to be seen in Northumberland.

Blot on the landscape or Brilliant engineering?

View from my front room (the first of many).

View from Budge Screen

Yesterday a quick check at Chevington made me realise how many summer visitors have started to return. Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Wheatear, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Whimbrel, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern and Sedge Warbler.

Wheatears were present in decent numbers all along the coast.

Blackcaps too busy feeding to put on a good show for the camera.