Tuesday, 28 March 2023

More Migrants


Look closely and you will see there are two bills.


(Black-throated or a little worn ;)  )

Several new birds arrived yesterday (28/03) along with Goldcrests.


A rainy day trip to Gibside didn't add many birds to the snapshot gallery.

Marsh Marigold


Despite plenty of flowers, the rain and cold wind kept the Insects out of sight. So far just a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees seen.



Boldon Flats scored with Garganey, Little Ringed Plovers and a Sand Martin.



Monday, 20 March 2023

The End of Winter


Well it is the Spring Equinox today and Spring is definitely on show with good numbers of common migrants, very early dawn chorus, and displaying raptors.


Chiffchaffs arrived in good numbers in the last few days. Early birds rarely give good photo opportunities but in a couple of weeks they will be much more confiding.


Duck species are looking terrific (there s nothing worse than autumn eclipse plumage duck ... aagh.)

Great Tit




Their brief return on 20th February was similar to the behaviour of Coquet Puffins. A quick check to make sure the breeding sites are available then back out to sea for a few weeks feeding. Now they're back in numbers on the cliffs.

Roe Deer

Sand Martin

Small cliff colony at Whitburn and this lone bird was first back to check an old nest hole. Maybe thinking of it as a roost site.


Again a sudden influx of early birds. (This one on Newbiggin Golf Course.) Then there can be a few weeks before we get another significant influx.

Bean Geese

Aaagh! How did I put the wrong photo here? I've deleted and replaced with the proper Bean Geese.

Tundra variety. East Chevington.


At least three pairs near the Power Station gate. Lynemouth/Newbiggin


Sunday, 12 March 2023



A Waxwing has been reported several times from King George Road this year. Unfortunately I failed to find it and presumed it was feeding on Ivy and difficult to see. Yesterday I received a call from DG (Thank You!) to tell me about one at Westoe. I couldn't go straight away so decided to go early this morning.

I was expecting to find it deep in the Cemetery  but, as I parked the car, I heard it right above me. There was no one else there and it was so tame. I enjoyed  watching it for well over an hour and took plenty of snaps as it ate some shrivelled berries.

At times it would rest near the top of the tree but then return to the lower branches to feed. I guess the dry berries will mean it will also be visiting this puddle regularly to rehydrate.


Thursday, 9 March 2023



Struggled for ne bird photos this week. So I stuck in a few plants. Plenty of the cultivated forms in the park. Crocuses, Snowdrops, Winter Heliotrope and Winter Aconite.


Red Dead-nettle

I always find this flowering on the New Year plant search so no surprise to see lots of it in flowers in March.


Fishing Boats attracting Gulls, Cormorants and Gannets. Thought a few White-winged Gulls might be found amongst them. No reports so far.

.White-fronted Geese

Current weather systems suggest there will be little northerly movement of small migrants for some time yet. Pink-footed Geese and Whooper Swans have started heading north but I guess  they won't travel too far.


Wednesday, 1 March 2023

End of the Month (February)



It is nice to be concentrating on the common, overlooked species. It will soon be the migration season and attention will be drawn to new arrivals and the possibility of unearthing a rarity. (These days however a rarity can be found any month of the year, so sifting through the commoner birds can always be rewarding.)


Grey Heron

Wall Screw-moss

Tufted Duck


It is only when you zoom in on this image do you fully appreciated the subtle colours.


Most of these snaps were taken at WWT Washington and there seemed to be a black and white theme until ...

Common Snipe

I walked into the hide and came eyeball to eyeball with this snipe. We both froze. I knew if I lifted my camera it would be gone. So I stood still and eventually it decided to walk a little further from the hide. I was then able to spend a few minutes taking lots of pictures. Several other visitors entered the hide and I slipped away as they enjoyed the same terrific views as I had.


Three returning birds. Several have been reported over the last two weeks. I wonder if they are just short distance migrants wintering in the South East of England and making an early return.