Thursday, 26 November 2020

Early Morning Magic


Oops Video Fail

An early visit to see the Starlings leave the roost was well worth it. The sound of several thousand starlings stirring is amazing. Two harriers then took flight and the nearby starlings moved along the reeds. Then a flock of c500 left the roost. A Barn Owl was nearby and the harriers continued to stretch their wings. Eventually a flock of 3000+ starlings left the roost. The video above showing a part of that flock.

Excitement over I took the telescope to the other pool. Another Barn Owl did a close flyby and the Cetti's burst into song. 14 Whoopers whooping! A flock of 14 Long-tailed Tits left the roost near the hide. Ah, excitement over now?

Well not quite. A return to the North Pool had a Barn Owl perched opposite with a drooping wing. I met up with a local photographer who had witnessed a raptor attack the owl. I looked at his photo and it revealed a Buzzard pinning down the owl. The Barn Owl made it to the trees and was 'licking its wounds'. It later flew off unseen. I hope the injuries were not too bad.

Finally I went to the beach and scanned a flock of Common Scoter. Nearby, there were Red-throated Divers, a single Black-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebes, Razorbills and Red-breasted Mergansers. On the shore a mixed flock of Ringed Plover and Sanderling fed along the receding tide line.

Beat that for a morning! (Then back home for a coffee at 10 am)

A few pictures from earlier in the week.

An amazing year for me not seeing the rarities. 
A visit to Amble the day after the AB-bP left :(

I wonder how many of these star birds I photographed this year. There are lots of Stonechats along the coast. I hope it isn't too severe a winter for them.

Grey Heron

A dull name for such a magnificent bird.


Monday, 9 November 2020

November in the Bay



Velvet Scoter

Some fabulous mornings in the Bay during the last few days. The advice to stay at home (except for ...) had me looking forward to my daily exercise from home. However with broken stiles, overgrown footpaths and nearby Pheasant Shooting it makes me think I will be using my car to do short trips to a starting point for my walks.

Bar-tailed Godwit

It still amazes me how many people, so wrapped up in their own little worlds, still refuse to make space when passing by on footpaths. They don't respond favourably when I ask them for more space.

Grey Plover

Birders and Photographers are just as much to blame. How many of them have been to see the Newbiggin Shorelark, Newbiggin Black Redstart and the Morpeth Hawfinches? Goodness knows what will happen when a rarer bird is discovered. Well if it is on my patch you won't hear it from me.


One morning recently I had the good fortune to get brief views of Bittern, a close (and I mean close) encounter with a Barn Owl, three different Kingfishers, a hunting Marsh Harrier and a Singing Cetti's Warbler.