Wednesday, 30 September 2020

End of the Month

Well September is all but over. Plenty of bird movement still but the Mega is eluding me.

This week it was a Redpoll joining the Goldfinch flock (last week Siskin).

Skylarks on the move along with Meadow Pipits still (Where are they all coming from?) and Grey Wagtails.


Several flocks of Barnacle Geese heading West and big numbers of Pink-footed Geese at Cresswell and Widdrington Moor.

Robins and Blackbirds becoming more noticeable.

This wing barred bird with the Crossbill had me going for a second or two until I  realised it was a Chaffinch.

Well what will October bring? Don't think I'll catch up with anything next week so I hope the excitement stays on hold until the second half of the month.

(By the way the lack of Twitter and RBA has made me realise how much I used to look at my phone ...)


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Autumn Starts

Drinker moth early stage of development. Super colourful and not the usual fat, brown, hairy caterpillar I associate with this species.

A couple of weeks where the Mammals seem to take centre stage, Not many photos though, most being too quick or seen in the early morning.

Foxes at Cambois and South Shields
Roe Deer (5 together in one field.)

The country park has a small population of Crossbills (6-8) which will hopefully overwinter here.

Steady passage of Siskin and Redpoll each day. Some of them stopping to join the large flocks of Goldfinches along the bay.

Good numbers of migrant birds arriving along the east coast. Dotterel, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Flycatchers, Lapland Buntings and Yellow-browed Warblers. I finally saw brief glimpses of the latter yesterday at Druridge.

Any of my Twitter followers reading this may have noticed I've started a self imposed break from social media. This time gets busy with all sorts of messages about birds and the temptation is to go and see them. I much prefer to find them myself and so I will just go out birding (with fingers crossed) and not worry about missing anything elsewhere.


Thursday, 10 September 2020


A bit of time to kill in Newcastle this week so I decided to  have a walk along the quayside. Not as scary as I expected. Not many people and all keeping their distance.

Bird wise a Peregrine was a nice surprise gaining height as it flew West along the South bank of the Tyne. No doubt looking for an unsuspecting wader feeding as the tide was falling.








Not a bridge I know but the silver slug is a magnificent building (imho).

This bird did not get the scrutiny it deserved. I noticed the darker plumage compare to the nearby Herring Gull (Which I failed to photograph.). When I put the images on the computer I realised it had deep yellow legs. Immediately I thought Yellow-legged Gull. So out with the books and I'm afraid I wasn't convinced. I posted images on Twitter and only two people commented. Both were happy with Lesser Black-backed Gull (although I was not convinced) another friend I sent the photos to suggested a hybrid. Well I doubt we'll ever find out but it just shows how important it is to take more time in the field to get more information.

(Bridges 1- Millennium, 2- Swing, 3- Tyne, 4- High Level, 5- Queen Elizabeth (Metro), 6- King Edward (Railway) and 7- Redheugh. (Hope I'm right with these names)


Friday, 4 September 2020


Japanese Rose

(I think?)


Sea Buckthorn





A messy eater!


Wednesday, 2 September 2020

A Canny Few Days

AP found a Greenish Warbler on Sunday (30th Aug) and I enjoyed close up views but sadly my little camera couldn't cope with its busy activity. Needless to say those with good cameras were able to get some stunning pictures. I returned on Tuesday to try again but  unfortunately it had moved on.

Consolation however was a few snaps of the more common birds.

Lesser Whitethroat (above)
Common Whitethroat (below)

Meadow Pipits were on the move South and there has been a steady passage for the last three mornings. In amongst them there were a few Wagtails including the Grey Wagtail above.

Ducks were moving North along the coast and numbers of Teal and Wigeon have increased on the North Pool at East Chevington. In addition 8 Pintail dropped in.

A few Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers are still present on the reserve.

House Martins and Swallows are gathering around the village and again some visible migration to be seen along with a smattering of Sand Martins and Swifts.

This un-ringed Marsh Harrier has been staying in the area (not one of the Chevington birds). Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, Merlin and a couple of Peregrines are also in the area currently.

Today I stumbled across this Cattle Egret. It wont be long before they are a much  more common site and even a breeding bird of the near future.

Spotted Redshank and Wood Sandpiper have been the star waders at East Chevington but the supporting cast of Ruff, Golden Plovers, Lapwing, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Knot should not be overlooked.

My prediction for the next good wader is Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Chev.

Guillemot off the Power Station and my first proper migrant Wheatear today were a bonus.