Friday, 20 February 2015

Why Wish Away Winter?

This time of year is good for catching up with local birds and refreshing ID knowledge. This was at Amble, a bit sharper than last post. A grey Herring Gull at Widdringon Moor Lake ( a shade darker than its mates) made me consider Yellow-legged Gull, but the bird never left the water). Two days later I found the same bird this time roosting, so after a 30 minute wait (a Peregrine helped the time pass) it woke, stood up and revealed lovely pink legs .. boo hoo.

A trip south of the Tyne (Tunstall Reservoir and Low Barns NR) gave me a chance to study a tricky species. My immediate thoughts were Willow Tit. I hope my ID is correct. Closer inspection shows the pale wing panel which I always thought was the key. However, time of year and wear pattern can make this unreliable. The dull cap and large white cheek patch probably enough to confirm it as a Willow Tit. Please Tweet me if I'm wrong ... we all still have lots to learn.

Sometimes the more experienced you get the more you forget and don't appreciate the commoner birds.

Grey Partridge

These Waxwings in Morpeth (found by TF and JF I think) could prove quite annoying, only showy when the light was poor. So my third trip today allowed me some photo opportunities.

Yet to get a sharp image but they were worth the effort.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Winter Wanderings

A few walks around the county included Warkworth, Bolam Lake and The 
Breamish Valley.

Nothing particularly unusual but great to prepare for the spring which can't be far away now.

Back at the Bay the only new bird was the Ruff (wintered at Cresswell but not easy to connect with until today)

Another bird which is easy to connect with is Mediterranean Gull. This one was at Amble, several frequent Newbiggin and one even turned up at Widdrington Moor yesterday. It is worth checking the gulls at Widdrington Moor, LBB gull today and one or two other interesting birds.

My visit to Chevington was also brightened by meeting two birders from Northern Ireland (Bangor West), very enthusiastic and regular visitors to Northumberland. Hope they connected with all their target birds.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Around the Corner

Fields full of winter Thrushes from Chevington to inland sites like Powburn.

Bullfinches have started pairing up.

The locals are stalking Roe Deer


... I even ventured into the hills. Buzzards, Siskin, Meadow pipits and Crossbills. There seems to be a huge pine crop everywhere which probably explains the lack of Crossbills on the coast this winter.

Well spring isn't far off with Skylarks singing (10 at Chev).

Wednesday, 4 February 2015


This Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull is back on Ladyburn (See Labels for details).

Starting to look 'punkish'


Bean Geese, Hauxley.

Tried to find them again to day without success (weather didn't help) 


Jackdaws raiding my feeders

Very brief sunny spells today meant birding through snow flurries was pretty useless.