Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Dipping Again ...

An early start at Low Newton on Monday looking for a Little Bunting. The early morning skies were quite striking. 

First bird on show as the light hit the tops of the trees was a Reed Bunting (although this one appears to have a crest (probably just the twig behind)).

After 2-3 hours of trying to ignore the Yellow-browed Warblers, Blackcaps, Godcrests, and incoming Thrushes, couple nearby were on a bird, it was a Bunting and I got a brief view. The bird that flew off according to PS looked too large. I was happy to accept the couples ID but after considering my view and the fact it was never seen again I have to admit I didn't see a Little Bunting. The only birds returning to the Sycamore were Reed Buntings.

The whole morning was not a complete wash out because of the birds mentioned earlier. In addition; Bramblings, Short-eared Owl, Merlin and Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen.

When I got home I noticed a huge flock of Gulls over a ploughed field just yards from my house.  checked the skies for a predator. Then noticed this Juvenile Peregrine on the ground with what looks like a Common Gull.

At first I thought it might be a Saker with all the pale feathering on the head  but eventually decided it was a Peregrine.

Looks like it is trying a new pair of wings.

Eventually it carried its kill to the other end of the field away from the road.

This Twite was sheltering from the wind at Newbiggin. It didn't budge as it was surrounded by food.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Autumn Excitement

Twite on the beach at Chevington (40+ one day).

Lots of Thrushes arriving and most heading straight inland. Blackbirds hang around a little longer , stripping the Hawthorns of their berries.

Redwing, Fieldfare and Ring Ouzel all seen in the Druridge Bay area.

A trip to Hoy Island brought mixed emotions on Monday. A scattering of common migrants and news of a Bee-eater 30 miles South in the Bay. I didn't expect it to linger (especially I missed the 2 birds at Chevington the previous day when I was less than half a mile away)

Well I left Holy Island at 11am and headed South. Thanks to news updates from JA and JB  I thought I had a chance. To my surprise it was still there.

Redpoll feeding on the path at Druridge.

News on Thursday night that a Bee-eater was at Druridge late evening was interesting and I guessed it would still be there on Friday morning with a large crowd following it.


I spent the morning birding East Chevington. A splendid Yellow-browed Warbler was my reward. Then as I headed back to my car I noticed the Bee-eater feeding above my car. As I moved past the bushes I lost sight of it but at east I had my record shot. I count most of the bay as my patch but East Chevington is my favourite part of the patch so birds seen here are extra special.

As I neared the car I spotted the Bee-eater on the fence line. I put the news on Twitter and RBA and expected to be joined by a small crowd.

The only crowd to arrive were inquisitive birds and Cows. Most of the birders and photographers waited for the Bee-eater to return to Druridge which it did a couple of hours later.

I was able to watch this bird for exactly one hour, on my patch, feeding, preening, resting and giving its flight call. 

Later on Friday there were Bramblings, Blackcap and Great-spotted Woodpeckers at DBCP.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Shorely Not This Early?

19th November last year I came across six Shore Larks on the beach at East Chevington. This morning one was present (a month earlier than last year)! Hard Winter coming?

The only problem I have with these fabulous birds is that I keep typing Shorelark instead of Shore Lark. Memo to Self!

Hopefully it will not be a cold Winter, as a Cetti's Warbler was singing again at East Chevington. RBA were a little tardy at getting the information out (I had to ring them a second time) and when the first birders arrived it was the same story as Saturday ... the wind picked up and the Warbler fell silent. To my relief, JB, sent me a tweet to say it started singing again later this morning. I managed a brief view early morning in the company of a wren and a short flight above the reeds. It appears there have been several seen, in the North of England this week, so hopefully some will stay and expand their range. (About time we had a similar dispersal of Bearded Tits although they tend to disperse earlier in the year I think.)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

More Phalarope(y) Pictures

Still distant but the light was a little better today.

The Phalarope followed this Shoveler and picked up food stirred up from the mud.

The Shoveler was very tolerant until the Phalarope got a bit too close!

A quick dash to the patch during afternoon showers was rewarded with this fabulous Merlin. It didn't linger when it spotted a tasty morsel. Peregrine and Marsh Harrier made it quite a day!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

It's a Wild Life!

This fab bird was found by JD at Druridge.

Sadly it was never close, so these heavily cropped photos were all I could manage.

The next few photos show why I'll never get bored waking my patch day after day. You never know what you will see.

Don't you just love computers. The original was taken leaning out of the car window. The next after rotating and cropping. (I prefer the first one ... ha!)