Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Cool Day

No sign of yesterday's Snow bunting but some great birding today. This Arctic Skua gave great views. Although a little oiled and apparently sick, it eventually made it to Chev and was seen early afternoon flying strongly out to sea.

In the opposite direction Song Thrushes still arriving with a couple of Great-spotted Woodpeckers. Two White-fronted Geese flew South. Their call rather 'tuneful' in comparison with the Greylags at Hauxley. A Swallow at Chev was a tad late.

The caterpillar one of many on the warm paths is I believe a Ruby Tiger Moth. Let me know if I've got this wrong.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Sanderling Update 1

Another Sanderling update. I look forward to getting more info about this bird. Below is Jeroen's email about this July bird.

Dear David,

apologies for an unacceptably late reply to your e-mail from July. I have returned from Greenland mid August, after which I have been entering more than 6000 observations into my databse and I am still not up to date. This is the caused of some very late response, such as to your e-mail, and I hope for your understanding.

The sanderling that you have photographed has been ringed in Ghana. I do not have the details of this individual yet, so I copy this e-mail to my Ghanaian colleagues and hope that they will provide you with any information thyey have about  this individual.

NU 278 007 Hadston Carrs, Northumberland, UK.
25/07/2013    06:45 BST

Bird 1
Right Tarsus: yellow top, red flag, yellow bottom
Left Tarsus: green top, red bottom

Sanderling Update 2

A belated reply from Jeroen (due to his huge workload), but as always it is good to get details of colour-ringed birds.

East Chevington, Northumberland, UK
NZ 274 980
07:00 BST

Right Tibia Silver Ring
Right Tarsus Green Green

Left Tarsus Yellow (top) Green Flag, Blue

The bird that you have report has been ringed in Greenland, she (we believe it is a female, but have not genetically confirmed this) raised four chicks in 2012, but despite searching, we did not find her in Greenland last summer. You can find the details attached.

Colourcode: G5YBGG
Date(d/m/y) 2nd Observer 3rd Observer
Catching Place: Zackenberg
Name Ringer: Jeroen Reneerkens
Date Catch: 09/07/2012
Greenland 74.28.40 N 20.30.40 W
Ringnumber: 8224278
2nd Ringer:Stefan Sand
10/07/2012 Zackenberg Jeroen Reneerkens Stefan Sand
Greenland 74.28.40 N 20.30.40 W
11/07/2012 Zackenberg Jeroen Reneerkens Michelle Schollert
Greenland 74.28.40 N 20.30.40 W
12/07/2012 Zackenberg Jeroen Reneerkens Stefan Sand
Greenland 74.28.40 N 20.30.40 W
18/07/2012 Zackenberg Jeroen Reneerkens Stefan Sand
Greenland 74.28.40 N 20.30.40 W
18/07/2012 Zackenberg Jeroen Reneerkens Stefan Sand
Greenland 74.28.40 N 20.30.40 W
23/05/2013 Dawlish Warren, South Devon Lee Collins Ivan Lakin
United Kingdom 50.36.18 N 03.25.47 W
24/05/2013 Dawlish Warren, South Devon Lee Collins
United Kingdom 50.36.18 N 03.25.47 W
25/05/2013 Dawlish Warren, South Devon Lee Collins
United Kingdom 50.36.18 N 03.25.47 W
27/07/2013 East Chevington, Northumberland David Elliott
United Kingdom 55.17.29 N 01.34.05 W

Oh Snow!

Well I promised I would find one today! I visited the beach at East Chevington no sign, so I left some tempting seed ready for my afternoon return visit. Driving back along the track I found this beauty! Doh! Double Doh! It was too far inland to count on my patch. So I'll be out looking again tomorrow.

This beauty (eye of the beholder and all that) however was on my patch!

Two Song Thrush in off the sea, two GSW in the dunes, plenty of Goldcrests in the Country Park and 20 Swans flew south too far out to ID.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Moth Caterpillar

Drinker Moth Caterpillar! Took several weeks research ( no chance!) but a quick tweet to Northumberland's ( or actually Britain's) leading Naturalist and the ID was a sinch. Cheers Stewart!

A visit to the Dentist in South Shields and limited birding in the afternoon meant no additions to the patch list. Tomorrow I WILL find Snow Bunting!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

S no w Buntings

A few migrant thrushes in the dunes early morning along with two Blakcaps and a Great-spotted Woodpecker. Searching for Snow Buntings and Black Redstart along the shore proved to be un-rewarding and having been out from 08:00 o 12:00 it was frustrating to learn of a fly past Swift S? shortly after getting home for lunch. Well it seems even I can't see all the birds! Furthermore, my decision not to visit Druridge and instead return to Chev meant I missed my target. Thanks to IR for the news of 3 on the beach, hopefully they will still be on the patch today.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

No Pics

Yesterday as I approached the factory near the A1 (used to be Searles) a pale buzzard was flying West/North West. This area is well known for Buzzards especially near the Gubeon junction. This, however was worth  a better look. Standing on the stile I was watching a Rough-legged Buzzard. The light was perfect white tail (above and below) and narrow dark tips, pale head, underwings almost completely white apart from carpal patches and primary tips, white upperwing patches (juv?).

Today, closing the garage door a warbler flew overhead calling. Pallas' W, landed in tall Leylandii (Spelling?). Brief views through bins. Then sitting having tea another small warbler in the front garden, probYBW. Unfortunatey only briefest of views.

This time of the year is frustrating because I can only go birding at the weekend, but this week I've hit lucky again.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Golden Day

Well a mixed bag today. Lots of birds to work through inc 400+ flighty Golden Plover, Goldeneye and Golcrests.
 Greeenfinch, M Pipits, Siskin, Redpoll and Skylarks all moving South. YBW remains in the Country Park where today's event was a Triathlon. Later in the day a triathlete found a Siberian Stonechat at Howick??

The Juv. Goosander was on Druridge pools having a good wash and a Long-tailed Duck remained on Ladyburn doing the same. Bird of the day was a male Sparrowhawk, stunning pink and grey (like a monster subalp) gliding through the woods at DBCP. 

Widdrington Moor Lake ... not a single Pochard today. However a new bird for this new lake, Little Egret! I didn't get long to admire it because two young Herring Gulls gave it some grief and chased it off high to the North. Probably end up at Hauxley.

Lots of weed on the beach. Must turn up a black redstart or snowb soon.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

What a Difference ...

Patch covered thoroughly with ST starting a little too early this morning. NOWT! Well apart from 3 Long-tailed Duck (DBCP .. there was one last week) and 1000+ Pink-footed Geese (EChev). This was followed by a good soaking!

A coffee break and the House Sparrows have found the seed, plenty of them but still missing from the patch.

A short visit to Druridge Pools, Blackcap, Chiffchaffs and lots of Blackbirds.

So back to repeat the Hadston to Chev Patch. What a difference when the wind drops and the temperature rises. A Long-tailed Tit flock, Goldcrest flock 10-12 and then a Yellow-browed Warbler.

A pale Redpoll with a white rump. Closer inspection revealed it was streaked.

The North pool E Chev is amazing 200 Golden P, Ruff, Bar T Godwit, Slavonian Grebe, 8 Pintail, 1 Curlew Sand and much more.

A walk around the South pool and a patch tick Jack Snipe. (8 more for my year target!)

A late visit to Widdrington Moor Lake and it is looking great. 20 Pochard, Wigeon, Tufties, Mallard and 3 Ringed Plover (Plus lots more of interest!).

Another Great Days Birding ... eventually! 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sandwich Tern North

Seawatching this morning ; lots of Gannets and 1 Sandwich Tern (N?)

Few migrants of note mainly because the wind didn't swing to the East, no doubt it will all happen tomorrow when I get to work.

Saturday, 12 October 2013


Plenty of these in the dunes.

Well Friday started with an interesting sight. NCC worker using a leaf blower?
Friday evening seawatch was a hit with two good birds; Adult Sabines Gull flew North at Hadston and a close in Balearic Shearwater. Most birds however were heading NE away from the coast.

Saturday I started early and managed to pass a Ring Ouzel at the T-junction Hadston moving inland with a few blackbirds. Seawatching produced 7 Bonxies, 1 Velvet Scoter, 2 Arctic Skuas, 2 Goosander,
 1 Brent G, 3 GN Divers one very close, Black-throated diver (2 on sea).

Happy with my haul (Even though I still haven't seen Pom and no Petrels or Phalaropes ... greedy or what?).
Hadston and Chevington Dunes were lifeless so a quick Coffee stop and back to Hadston. Now there was plenty to see. Loads of people doing an orienteering challenge through the dunes, down to Druridge and all over the country park, just as a mini fall happened. 20+ Redwing followed a quickly moving LT Tit flock and accompanying Crests. A look up and over my head a Hawfinch! It flew in towards the visitor centre but my quest to re-find it was thwarted by the massed ranks of map readers (I really do hate people).

Another visit mid-afternoon and the awards ceremony was in full swing. The birding had slowed and all that was left was to enjoy a steady N passage of bonxies and another 2 Velvet Scoter.

Hopefully the wind will swing a little more to the East tonight. My target 9 more patch birds for the year! Will I make it ??  

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

What a Whooper?

A few of the 14 Whoopers which dropped in for a wash and brush-up at Chevington tonight. Looking forward to a Friday night seawatch and a bird-filled weekend!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Where Did The Weekend Go?

Another day wondering what might turn up. Plenty of interest but nothing startling. Lots of Rock pipits at Hauxley (or are they Buff-bellied?), Grey Wags heading South, Pieds everywhere.

Good groups of Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers with attendant Robins, Dunnocks and Tits.

East Chev still a wader watchers paradise and Jack Snipe appearing all over the country, even at Chev whilst I was bush bashing.

Next week should be quiet until Thursday but I predict Grey Phalarope Friday/Saturday.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Expecting .. not me .. that's the beer!

Good morning birding with ST. Hadston, lots of birds mostly Willow/Chiffs one Redstart briefly and lots of overhead migration (including Grey Wags, Skylarks, Siskin, Tree Sparrow and Mipits). Yellow wag still in field with Wheatear. East Chev still teeming with waders including 9 Blackwits, 20 Ruff, S Pool.

Subalpine Warbler still at Druridge and reports of Firecrests and RBFs keep the expectations high.