Friday, 8 December 2017

Pink-footed Goose

Pink-footed Goose 

Thanks I received feedback on Tag22. I had been waiting for news but his reply went to another folder, not my inbox and so it remained unread for a week. His reply only listed sightings and as the tag has a tracking device I was keen to find out more. Information I had from another source proved to be correct so I re-visited the site to get more information.
Adult Female ringed Carsethorn, Dumfries and Galloway.
Sighting of Tag22 still in Dumfries and Galloway
Leaves Solway for Iceland
Heads for Greenland (from Iceland) but turns back.
Heads for Greenland again but signal lost.
Leaves East Greenland for Iceland
Leaves Iceland and arrives East Coast, Northumberland
Photographed Cresswell, Northumberland

Monday, 4 December 2017

Latest Snaps

Purple Sandpiper

Rock Pipit


Pink-footed Goose

Little Grebe

Song Thrush


Great to see some ditch clearance. This is the stretch from the turning circle to Dead Dog's Pool (Who remembers that name?). I hope they also complete the stretch to the burn mouth also, if they do it could result in lower water levels on he North Pool and a boost to visiting Waders and Terns next year.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Challenge 10

One of BSBIs efforts to keep us 'botanising' through the winter is to try and find 10 species in flower on a short walk. It was easy at Druridge today (Sunday). All these were found along the short walk to the two hides.

(Achillea millifolium)

Gorse (Furze)
(Ulex europaeus)

Red Clover
(Trifolium pratense)

Trailing Tormentil (?)
(Poentilla anglica)

(Blackstonia perfoliata)

Hedge Parsley (?)
(Torilis japonica)

Lesser Hawkbit (?)
(Leontodon saxatalis)

Common Knapweed
(Centaurea nigra)

Common Chickweed
(Stellaria media)

(Taraxacum spp)

N.B. (?) = not sureof ID

Saturday, 2 December 2017

What a Weather Week

Storms, Snow, Rain and Wind!

A distant Diver on Friday had the heart racing. No flank patch ...could it be the Pacific Diver? The Cornwall and Wales birds returned  but could this be our bird returning? The weather was awful, the diver distant and my hands numb with the cold. Eventually (after a few wing flaps) I realised this was a big, chunky diver and concluded ... Great Northern Diver.

Saturday (02/12/2017) and the weather was better and the views so much better. No problem now with ID.

A Peregrine Falcon and 3 Otters may have been the reason for this posture which was repeated frequently.

Now that is an impressive bill!

The burn muddied by silt washed down by heavy rains, made the Kingfisher relocate to the North Pool. Too far from the hide for good photos but a treat to watch for over an hour.

Now this morning calm, mild conditions and still 2 Chiffchaffs feeding in the reed bed.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Ketchup Blog

Trip to Gibside and Bolam looking for Hawfinches failed so another visit to Morpeth was needed.

Eventually one bird came a little closer.

Brambling at Wallington

View from North Hide at E Chev. NWT have cleared an opening an this should be good for watching Water Rails. A pity they didn't expose a little water at the reed edge.

Hard to resist a Sanderling Snap.

Marsh Harrier and Green Sandpiper at Saltholme, sadly I couldn't nail the ID of this one.

3 Chiffchaffs and a Cetti's Warbler hanging on through the cold spell at East Chevington.

Tag 22 should have a story to tell. It is taking a while to hear from WWT but I guess this is a busy time of year for them.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Pallid Not Quite

Lesson Learnt?

News of a Pallid Swift on RBA interrupted my coffee break and had me heading to Hauxley.  I decided to park at the south end and couldn’t believe my luck as I saw the swift before getting out of the car.

Strangely there were no other birders present. I rang RBA, tweeted and texted. I desperately tried to get some photos and watch this amazing November bird. After about 15 minutes the Swift disappeared and  I looked at the photos.

A few more birders arrived and I showed them the photos and commented that it looked dark . I also checked RBA and noticed the second report was of a Pallid/Common Swift.

Surely I should have twigged … dark does not mean Pallid. There were some other factors; the harsh lighting, shadows and some atypical plumage features (just my excuses). At home studying the photos I was in need of help. Thankfully MPF, JF and JB came to the rescue and said it was a Common Swift. MPF also suggested Common Swift form pekinensis.

I dug out Ian Lewington’s article Birding World Vol 12, Num 11 p.450. His paper made interesting reading.

So now I’m happy it is a Common Swift. If you scour the notes in the Advanced Bird ID Guide (Nils Van Duivenduk) the photos can show some features of Pallid but if you forget the fine detail and look at the overall bird it is a Common Swift. My third November Swift (1 in 1970s at Tynemouth, 1 last year Amble and now this Hauxley bird.)

These last two photographs have been lightened on the computer.

Apologies to anyone inconvenienced by my posting on RBA and Twitter.