Monday, 21 April 2014

Morning Patch Walk

A walk from Hadston Scaurs to Druridge pools and I heard 7 Grasshopper Warblers reeling (2 years ago there was only 1). 3 Pair of Stonechat but only 2 Sedge warblers.

The black-necked Grebe is still present but well out of camera range. The most strange sight this morning however, was the drake Eider flying low over the south pool at Chevington before heading out to sea.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Cold Start

A very chilly start.
When the sun shone the singing started and everything was fine!

Still plenty of migrants arriving. Drake Garganey was new for the year (Druridge). The best however, was a summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe (Chev). Just need Pied-billed for the set this year. Today an amazing 10 Great Crested Grebes (Chev).

Chilling at Druridge (the Horses not me).

Chiffchaff (below) and Willow Warblers everywhere. Sedge Warblers and Grashopper Warblers building up their numbers.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Wh Wh Whoooaa?

Wheatear, Whitethroat and Whooper ... Oh and a Stonechat?

The most photographed species in the bay? One pair carrying food this morning.

A Common Whitehroat back at Chev this morning and two more at Druridge. A Sedge Warbler in the main reedbed and three Grasshopper Warblers indicated some new arrivals overnight.

The Wheatears were also new, three females all my previous records this year have been males.

Three Whoopers on Lynemouth Flash .

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lesser is More?

Yesterday morning was spent at Saltholme where little was to be seen. I'm not sure it is living up to its early promise. Apart from Sand Martins using the artificial nest site there was little evidence of migration. Then a female Red-crested Pochard had me interested until someone mentioned it was a hybrid.

Just before leaving I visited the pond-dipping pool and a brief view of a singing Reed Warbler followed by a much more lively Sedge Warbler.

Hoping for similar birds at Chev today, I was disappointed by the lack of action. The Lesser Whitethroats failed to show and the Grasshopper warbler gave just a short burst to remind me where it lives?

The Bank vole is more daring now but always finds a blade of grass to get in the way of a neat portrait.

Finally as the cloud cover formed the Lesser whitethroat put in an appearance. A brief jouney inland allowed me to finally connect with the Green-winged Teal (found by BD and DD at the weekend) and some other goodies including 12+ Wheatears on the green tree tubes.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Glorious Grasshopper

Easily located, this Grasshopper Warbler didn't make it easy for me to get photographs.

First obscured by branches, then it sang in the shade.

Finally in the open, and in the light the branch shadows got in the way.

After 10 minutes of watching my shadow it finally decided to head for cover.

It was good to meet NEBirder at Widdington Moor, he's already turning up good birds just a stones throw from my house and I keep missing them (I Must try harder!).

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Arriving and Departing

5+ White wagtails on the rocks at Newbiggin, fresh in?

16 Pink feet at Chev and 32 Whoopers at Widdington Moor about to leave?

New yesterday Common Tern, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap at Chev. Grasshopper Warbler this morning and lots of Blackcaps.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Not Yet

The news from the South indicates lots of early migrants and good numbers too. Northumberland however seems to be struggling. 20+ Sandwich Terns, Wheaears and Willow Warblers the best I could manage. The local wildlife however continues to provide plenty of interest.

This Peacock in the dunes was in good condition compared to the tattered, drab example that was in my garden.

The male Marsh harrier never came close enough for a good photo (this heavily cropped photo the best I could manage).

Yes I know ... another Wheatear.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


This smart bird was at Widdrington Moor, sadly I missed the Red Kite seen in the area. A shame as raptors were much in evidence today (Sparrowhawk, Peregrine, 3 Marsh Harriers, Buzzard and Kestrel).

Wheatears were at many sites today; Newbiggin (2), Druridge (2) Hauxley and Cresswell.

The goose farm is getting a new fence, has anyone told NWT the birds can fly over it ;-) ?

This smart rat was enjoying the fallen seed from the feeding station.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Local Patches

Lots of brding over the last few days. Too many highlights to mention. A few of note though: Egyptian Goose at Druridge and Chevington, Swallows, Sandwich terns, Willow warblers and Ruff

Shoveler at Druridge

Willow warbler at East Chevington

Chevington feeders supplying a welcome splash of colour.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Walk like an Egyptian

Bananarama methinks?
No it was the Bangles!

1954 LRP

Extract from:

Transactions of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne. Ornithological Report for 1954.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius

On May 1st at a flooded brick-field near Shotton Colliery, Durham, a single bird was seen in company with Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper. It was under observation for three hours with x8 binoculars down to range of c. 10 yards and was seen at rest and in flight. By the following day it had gone and was not seen again. (D.W. Simpson)

From a detailed description and sketches made on the spot, there is no doubt about its correct identification. This is the first record of this species in Co. Durham and it has not yet occurred in Northumberland.  As it is now breeding no further away than Yorkshire, it is possible that it may yet spread further north. It is particularly partial to inland shingle-beds on river banks and to gravel pits.

The status has changed somewhat and it is now an annual passage bird and a rare breeder in the County.

This little beauty was at Cresswell this morning.