Saturday, 30 September 2017

Barred ... you could be?

Interesting Find

This is a Vapourer (moth)
 Look closer and you’ll see it is male mating with a flightless female. The female stays near its cocoon and the male is attracted by pheromones. The eggs are laid nearby and the moth overwinters as eggs. Next time I’m on the Islad I’ll check for eggs.

Bird News

Well Northumberland birders must be the strangest community I know. A Barred Warbler was seen at Newton earlier in the week, around the time I was driving past having been on Holy Island all morning. The news didn’t make it on to RBA until late afternoon (16:04).

A phone call late Friday afternoon to let me know about a Barred Warbler at Newbiggin. A check on RBA and no details of location were given. Another phone call on Saturday and I was given the location and managed some fantastic views spoilt only by the news that the Barred Warbler was first seen on Friday morning. A Rosefinch was seen later also, but didn’t linger.

A fashion has obviously been started. Find a bird, tell your mates and let the birding world know about it some time later, preferably when it has gone. Well as a follower of fashion I intend doing the same.  I will try and capture snaps of the next few birds I find then I’ll post them the following day with vague directions e.g. Druridge. Ha! Happy Days.

3 Scaup on sea with Common Scoter

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Red-legged Shieldbug

A couple of visits to Holy Island this week and maybe another to come. Yellow-browed Warblers were the star birds with at least 7 scattered over the island. Other species made both visits very enjoyable: Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Song Thrushes (arriving all day in small numbers), Goldcrests and Lesser Whitethroat.
Barn Owl and Roe Deer in the mist added to the enjoyment.

Gull Update

Thank you for reporting your sightings of colour ringed Gulls.
They are birds which were colour-ringed ringed at Harewood Whin landfill site, to the west of York, (53.960 -1.177). The birds were caught using a Cannon Net and are some of around 1750 Gulls which have been caught and colour ringed to date.
Harewood Whin is one of the decreasing number of Landfill sites in the UK where it is possible to operate for the catching and ringing of gulls. Whilst with us the gulls feed on the Landfill site during the day and roost on the floods in Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve or on the Humber Estuary.
Individual details of the birds are given below.
I hope you find this of interest and many thanks for taking the time to report your sightings.
Best Regards
Mike Jackson

Colour ring number Y:117
BTO ring number GV31797
Age when rung BTO code 5
Site, Harewood Whin, York  (53.960 -1.177)
Date of ringing 26th October 2015
Previously reported from Bain in Leicestershire on 27th January 2017

Colour ring number Y:814
BTO ring number GV52783
Age when rung BTO code 3
Site, Harewood Whin, York  (53.960 -1.177)
Date of ringing 4th November 2016
Previously seen at Pitsea Landfill Site, Essex on 28th January 201

Colour ring number Y:061
BTO ring number GV31741
Age when rung BTO code 3
Site, Harewood Whin, York  (53.960 -1.177)
Date of ringing 26th October 2015
Yours is the first sighting since it was rung

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

What a difference a day makes ...

...24 little hours

After a dismal trip to Holy Island yesterday I was amazed at how different it was today (18/09/2017) in Druridge Bay. A brief stop at the Budge Fields to see what looked like a drake Green-winged Teal emerging from its eclipse (moult) plumage. Goldcrests were moving through the trees and Redpolls dropping in to join the other finches.
 On to Cresswell and the willows behind the hide were alive with birds. Immediately I got on a Yellow-browed Warbler and decided it was worth hanging around to get a picture. The Yellow-browed warbler was unusually quiet and constantly chased by the vocal Chiffchaff. After an hour all I had were pictures of its belly. Two people arrived and I pointed out the area where the YBW was. They seemed unconcerned and headed for the hide? There were Goldcrests, Reed Buntings and Redpolls moving through the willows by now and the YBW was calling. Another Phylloscopus w.was present but not identified.
 At about 09:30 I eventually abandoned my efforts to get a decent photograph. As I left, a group birders were assembling in the car park and I let one of them know about the YBW.
 On to my patch and Redpolls were more numerous (50+) from Chev to Hadston. A Whinchat at Hadston and a Greenshank on the N Pool Chev made it a special day. I returned to Cresswell early afternoon but sadly there were too many people and  I drove by. If it doesn’t disappear overnight I’ll try for a proper photo tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

So Close ...

A very interesting few days. Birds seen included: Kingfishers, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Little Stint, Ruff, Pink-footed Geese, Marsh Harriers, Redpolls, Pochard, Pintail and Black-necked Grebe.

Good numbers of American waders are being found all around the country and like most people I'm on heightened alert. This morning I almost got my reward. A flock of 14 Golden Plover circled over the Causeway Pool at Cresswell. Immediately one darker bird stood out. I was studying it carefully as the birds circled at least 4 times gradually getting lower, as if to land. It had grey/dull underwings and grey armpits. It was darker above and it was slightly (but noticeably) smaller. The light was very good and the comparison very easy as they wheeled in formation. It was almost certainly an American Golden Plover but I will not be counting this bird as they suddenly changed direction and headed high North. I never saw the bird on the ground.  I failed to relocate the birds but will keep checking the local spots just in case.

Lots of visible migration; Meadow Pipits, Wagtails, Hirundines and a few more Redpolls. Check Goldfinch locks because some are joining them when feeding.

Opened the curtains early morning to find this Sparrowhawk with (apropriately) a House Sparrow.

Little Stint still on the beach at Hauxley today (Wednesday).

To very smelly areas in the bay. DBCP having problems with Blue-green Algae and a dead Deer near the path to the hide at Chevington.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

* the Gall

Hauxley would be proud of this one!
Cape Shelduck

Maedow Pipit
During the last wee 100s of these have been moving South along with Swallows, Sand martin, a few Grey Wagtails and recently some Redpolls.

A trip to Wallington (again) ...

... and Seaton Delaval Hall

Spangle Gall
(Caused by the gall wasp Neuroterus quercusbaccarum)

Knopper Galls
(Caused by the gall wasp Andricus quercuscalicis)

No Comment!

Sweet Chestnut

Tried this Camo outfit for some garden photography.



Tickell's wannabe ...

Hare's-foot Clover

Robins Pincushion
(Caused by gall wasp Dipoloepis rosae)