Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Bird Spotting

Blue Tit playing hide-and-seek. (As successful as me hiding behind an elephant.)

Reed Warbler hiding in the reeds. (But couldn't keep his mouth shut; reminds me of me!)

A Red Kite with a darker bird had me dreaming of the two birds on the Farnes yesterday. Pleased with the Red Kite, the smaller, darker raptor was one of the Juv Marsh Harriers.

Finally as the North Pool had been revealing a nice muddy edge and regular sightings of Water Rail; several people predicted Spotted Crake. So 15:30 today, a Spotted Crake (Juv) walked back and forth. It was often obscured by the reeds but wouldn't pass the Grey Heron (at one end of a 5m strip of shallow water) and  Snipe at the other end. It revealed the white leading edge when it was startled by the Snipe, and the obvious buff undertail coverts where the main clinching obs. The flank makings were fairly difficult to make out which led me to think it was a Juv.

July List .. additions

Little Tern
Bridled Tern
Arctic Skua
Velvet scoter
Mediterranean Gull
Spotted Redshank
Mandarin Duck
Green Sandpiper
Great Skua
Roseate Tern
Curlew Sandpiper
Balearic Shearwater

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Holiday Snaps

Wood Sandpiper (Ponteland Hide) Hauxley yesterday, replaced today with 4 Common Sandpipers.

Name the mystery object in the photo!

All photographs from yesterday.

Today a flat calm sea covered with Gannets, Razorbills, Puffins and Guillemots. A single Shearwater flapping Northwards turned out to be a Balearic Shearwater. (Haven't seen a Sooty yet this year!) Other birds of note inlude 2 Ruff and a Wood Sand at East Chev.

Monday, 29 July 2013


Magpie Moth (Abraxas grossulariata)

Looks as if this just survived yesterday's downpour.

Nice Plastic (bit like the wildfowl at Hauxley).

Udea lutealis

Struggling to upload photos .. will complete later

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rain Stops Play

Well torrential rain has covered the mud at East Chevington. Good News! It'll be back very soon. Still present; Green, Wood and Curlew Sandpipers. A black Ruff on a distant island had the pulse racing for a few minutes before the brain clicked into gear.

Magpie Moth on the approach to the hide was nice and easy to identify but the one above is causing some grief! The forward pointing antennae should make it easy, but is it just a well worn indvidual? I'll give the field guides another go tomorrow.

Obviously brain didn't click into gear with this one! Might the penny have dropped if I'd been alongside a flowing river? Thanks SS for pointing out my schoolboy error. This is no moth, it's a Caddis Fly.

Saturday, 27 July 2013


Thanks to Andy C and Mike S for their excellent find at Alnmouth today. Spotted Sandpiper! Great bird Great Find.

Tree Swallows

Swallows in trees!

East Chevington still great and with heavy rain forecast overnight I wil be looking to add to my tally.

This mornings study of the Sanderling flock revealed only one juv out of 40 birds. (c.f. 50 from 150 flock yesterday) This new flock also held a new colour-ringed bird (following 2 yesterday). I have emailed my sightings but the project co-ordinator is currently in Greenland so it'll be a while before I get any details.

The email address is for colour-ringed sanderling.

If you could also mention flock size and number of juveniles this would be very helpul for Jeroen's project.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Little at Chev

Juvenile Coal Tit

Whinchat (Expected this Week!)

Little Egret (One of three on the N Pool.)

Little Tern and Water Rail also E Chev

Thursday, 25 July 2013

No Birds

Silver Y (Autographa gamma)

Yellow-wort (Blackstonia perfoliata)

Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)

Shaded Broad-bar (Scotopteryx chenopodiata)

What about the BIRDS? Well East Chev is amazing; Green, Wood and Curlew Sand, Curlew, Whimbrel, Barwit, Willet, Knot, Dunlin, Lapwing, Greenshank, Redshank and 2 Little Egrets. (Joking about the Willet .. but ever hopeful.)

Leucozona lucorum

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Mud Glorious Mud

NWT take note! If reserves were managed this would be a common sight. Don't leave it to a lucky spell of warm weather!

Waders moving through today. This splendid knot on the beach, 12 at Chevington. Green Sand, Greenshank, LRP, RP, Dunlin, 2 Curlew Sand, Barwit, 3 Whimbrel all on the MUD.

Tufted Duck with its 11 Tuftlings?

Monday, 22 July 2013


The morning started with 4 Otters, a Fox, Bar Owl and juv Marsh Harrrier at East Chev.

Then a quiet wander around the patch.

The three above in front of the 'Oddie' hide Druridge Pools. No luck connecting with the Fea's whilst I was at Snab (just arrived when I got a text from AMcL).

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Wader and Seawatching

A weekend of migrating waders. Temminck's on Friday, followed by; green sand, ringed plover, redshank, bar-tailed and black-tailed godwits, knot, dunlin, lapwing, curlew, whimbrel, oystercatchers, sanderling turnstone and common sand.

Little Egret at chev and all four Marsh Harriers successfully fledged. A curlew scoldng as I approached a fully grown younster and plenty of insects on the wing.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rubber Duck

Miles from the camera this dullest of dull Mandarins adds a few more points to the PWC!

'PatchworkChallenge'    species ..  165 points.. 242

East Chevington looking great for waders. 2 more days then solid patching for 42 days.
 Prediction AGP and LY ?!?
Great Crested Grebes have at least one chick, n. pool.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sunday Snooze

Two adult Little Gulls and a Roseate Tern East Chevington while waiting for news of Bridled Tern. Wader passage steady in the morning with a Spotted Redshank the highlight.
TC from Hull area back again to try and catch the tern. He left for his Farnes trip with no positive news but connected with the bird on Inner Farne. Perseverance Pays Off! I'm now hoping it hangs around until next weeknd before visiting Chev. It'll look good on my WeBS count.

Common Centaury

Brown Plume?

Saturday, 13 July 2013


Early morning visit to Chevington mid-week and a showy Barn Owl was the reward, as were 4 Otters.

This addition to the goose list could be controversial.  Well, just part of the NWT goose farm population.

300+ Common Scoter off the Burn Mouth this morning. Difficult viewing but one Velvet Scoter did a quick wing flap (Thanks!). There were three last night (per IR) when the light was better. The Hobby IR saw was not around this morning, which is to be expected as the Hirundine numbers don't build up until the afternoon. Still good numbers of Blk T Godwits flying South.

Friday, 12 July 2013


Last post did not allow text. The Arctic Skua was at Cresswell and sat patientl as I tried to get the light behind me. However, just as I approached a microlight spooked the waders and in turn the Skua.

A Little Egret at Cresswell put in a brief appearance West of the main pool. LE has been quite scarce this year although one has been seen near Castle Island.

4 Otters at Chevington (5:30am) N Pool, E Chev.

1000+ terns at Chev tonight also 7 Whimbrel.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Peace and Quiet ... Please!

News that the Bridled Tern was at Chevington (06:00 to 06:20) had the twitchers in place. Lots of cars and lots of people. A triathlon in the Country Park with the associated loudspeaker commentary. Dozens of dogs and their owners. Topped off with a microlight jamboree with lawnmower engines whining as they approached the barbecue in the local farmers field.

I hate people!

What to do?

I managed to find several things to photograph before heading back for an afternoon of TV sport.

Burnet Moths

Common Blue

Common Sandpiper

Dyer's Greenweed

Fragrant Orchid ?

Latticed Heath

Lesser Butterfly Orchid

Lesser Stitchwort