Sunday, 24 March 2019

Wood you believe it?

A brilliant few days. Swallow over Cresswell and Siskins (and Greenfinch) on the garden feeders.

This is always an exciting time as birds are returning from their warm winter migration spots. Today was a classic day of the unexpected.

A Jay near the North Pool feeders was a nice start. An adult female Marsh Harrier hunting along the reed edge and so the WeBS count was underway. No surprises but probably a lowish count as the wind picked up. I headed back to the car and hear a bird calling above me ... I knew it was a good one. Over my head and away from the sun I recognised the bird matching the call. Broad-winged, short tailed bright white belly and under-tail. Woodlark! Bonkers ... but so pleased after failing with the Lindisfarne bird last year. 

At the south hide AC and I saw an egret flying north. Size was difficult to judge but I assumed it was a Little Egret (probably without taking much notice, Then I received a text from JA to let me know about a GWE on the Budge field flying off North, which matched the timing of our egret. (Note to self ... take more time with the commoner IDs!)

The Widdrington Moor  and Stobswood counts were unimpressive because most of the wildfowl were sheltering from the wind.

Druridge Pools next and a Sand Martin feeding over the deep pool was a first for the year for me and on leaving TF and JF pointed out a Juv Glaucous Gull heading North towards East Chevington.

Time for a rest!

Thursday, 21 March 2019


North Shields

Little Ringed Plover

Great to see this summer visitor. Very easy to ID when you get a bird with a bold eye-ring. Some of the autumn birds can be trickier but of course the lack of a wingbar in flight is a clincher.

A fresh supply of Tapioca on the supermarket shelves soon.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Marching On

The Green-winged Teal gave betters views eventually.

The warm southerly winds didn't last and now we're back to chilly winds, cold temperatures and rain. That's more like it.

Nevertheless up to six Chiffchaffs have been seen in the bay and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls put in an appearance. The Avocets are wandering around the bay area and someone has kindly dug out the channel again at Cresswell. It will get blocked regularly at this time of year so it is essential to keep working on clearing it.


Common Teal for comparison. Barn Owls are putting on a great show some mornings and if you stand still and wait they may give very close views as they fly past.

Newbiggin this morning and plenty of Rock pipits. Most were very flighty which was a shame because some are showing the colouring of the Littoralis sub species (not this one though).

Egyptian Goose

Friday, 1 March 2019

Read the Small (i) Print

Cracking Caudatus caudatus

A still morning with this Owl hunting within a few metres of me and what a joy!


A lovely morning around Gateshead and great views of a couple of Red Kites

Small Tortoiseshell
(First butterfly of the year)

Lovely Grey Wagtail

(Don't panic, the Northern Long Tailed Tit was photographed in the garden by a neighbour of my niece in Helsinki.  ;-)  )