Friday, 28 October 2022



Well what an exciting few days. News wise some very exciting birds turning up. In my area it has been a bit frustrating. Still time for something unusual (in fact rarities turn up every month of the year) so I'll keep looking.

And of course enjoying the common stuff.

Whitburn Steel

Apart from the leftover fireworks and the yappy dogs, this is a great place at present. A lot of washed up seaweed providing insect/crustacean pickings for a good number of pipits, wagtails and starlings.

This pale Stonechat has caused lots of debate.

Originally ID Whinchat
Then Pale Common Stonechat
Then Siberian Stonechat (maurus)
Then Whinchat x Eastern Stonechat hybrid.

ID still to be confirmed


Tuesday, 25 October 2022


Well a good couple of weeks along the coast. Weather conditions pretty good and plenty of reports coming from the bird news services. Long-tailed Tits, always a good flock to follow. Often small warblers and Goldcrests loosely associate with them.

Thousands of thrushes arrived along with Long- eared and Short-eared Owls. Strangely I never saw big numbers of thrushes and only 2 SEO and 1LEO?


Grey Wagtail, looks like it will spend the winter near the Pier End car park.

A late Whinchat, always worth checking in case it is a Sibe Stonechat. This was at Trow and another was at Marsden.

A couple of Black Redstarts, always great to watch.

Brambling, amazingly well camouflaged in sycamore trees. This one did hop onto the path and gave prolonged views. Thank you Mr Brambling, much appreciated!

Now this Stonechat had me excited. It was at the location of the Marsden Whinchat. That's what I thought it was initially. Then I realised it was a Stonechat. Surely it had to be a Sibe. Well it looked very pale. However the light was very strong and it could change appearance when it moved to a different position. Later I saw a bog standard male and female Stonechat in the same area and the pale bird had disappeared or was it just the normal female in different light. Hopefully someone will have a look over the next few days.

Of course when 'rarity fever' sets in everything takes on a different look.

A lovely clean Reed Bunting.


Other Peoples

I remember my New Years Resolution/Prediction was I wouldn't find a rarity in 2022. Well that seems to be the case. I've seen Pallas' W. Yellow Brows, Red-backed Shrike but none of them my finds. Not much time left to get my resolution wrong.


Tuesday, 4 October 2022

More of the Locals

Grey Partridge

Swallows enjoying one of the amusement park rides.


Two family parties on the patch so lots of activity and noise to enjoy


Yellow-browed Warbler

The easterlies in September provided a lot of common migrants. Still more giving themselves up when the wind dropped. Goldcrests and Chaffinches being more numerous now. Thrushes still to arrive in big numbers although many have overshot the coast and headed straight inland. An incoming Mistle thrush was a heart stopper until I realised it didn't have a black and white underwing.


Three for a Girl???


My visit to Saltholme this week coincided with the presence of this Lanky Yankee.


Lesser Yellowlegs

Sadly it always remained distant and had to be viewed through a mesh fence.

Snow Bunting

No doubt the toggers will be there in force if the Snow Buntings arrive in decent numbers.

Black-headed Gull

This bird was quite adept at catching fish. No sooner had it swallowed this Sand Eel and it was plucking a small Sprat from the water.


Well with westerlies set in for a little while looks like the excitement is over for now. Although a Vireo would be a possibility? (Ever the optimist!) Reading tweets from Shetland and the Scilly Isles I'm a bit envious although I'd rather have a place to find my own stuff. Who knows I might venture to one of those places in the future.