Monday, 30 June 2008
Sunday, 29 June 2008
I don't really mind raves on the beach as long as they clear away their shit after them, and to be fair, there were some guys with bin liners picking stuff up. I reckon the countryside is there for us all to enjoy, some people enjoy it differently to others, so let them be, as long as they don't spoil it for others who follow them.
Anyhoo, bird wise it was v.quiet, although I did flush a pair of grey partridge and six small young, only just big enough to fly....they were in the dunes. A little egret was still on the budge fields....
Common spotted orchid
130 roseate tern
Friday, 27 June 2008
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Bonxies - top - causing havoc at the seabird cliffs, middle - in flight, bottom - a bonxie bath!
After Handa stopped in Durness but it rained and rained and rained so on Sunday headed south for Speyside, staying at the Lazy Duck near Nethy Bridge - a fine Hostel if you're by that way http://www.lazyduck.co.uk/ . Visited RSPB Osprey World at Garten (you've got to really...) then had a look up glen feshie, it was a bit showery though, so didn't see much.
The flow country...Fantastic!
TB had a little egret at Dru on Sunday when he called me about the garganeys, there were two there today, so after work and after ringing barn owls around Amble, I called in. They weren't there, but soon arrived, flying in from the south. They had a bit of chase about - nice!
mute swan and cygnets - last week at dru
129 little egret
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Saturday - was supposed to be ringing with JF, but it was too bright/breezy so we did some management works on the net rides, this showery weather doesn't half make the veg grow!
The (potential) highlight was the (potential) confirmed breeding of garganey. We only had bins, but saw the drake garg looking a bit drab, going into eclipse? and the back of a female type small duck (presumably the female garg, but really crap views through deepening veg) and two tiny ducklings for seconds.....and no further sign since. But there are two broods of mallard (8 and 10) and one brood of 8 gadwall and I haven't seen them again much either, the veg is so deep stuff disappears. So here's a plea to all those who get down to the pools - keep your eyes pealed for juv garganey -it would be great to get breeding confirmed...and don't forget to put a roving record into the atlas!
Other than that, a first winter little gull was all of note and handful of manxies offshore.
Visited both last night (7-9pm) and tonight (after ringing barn owls) for 30 minutes. Highlights yesterday were LRP (year tick) and drake pintail on the Budge fields, ringed plover and sanderling on the beach and a brood of 5 mute swan (pics to follow) on the pool, and lots of swifts about. A barn owl was at cresswell on the way home.
Tonight there was greenshank on the budge fields.
128 little ringed plover
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
2 whimbrel flew north up, low, up the beach, joined by a third offuv the beach. 4 sanderlings were on the waters edge, one in top breeding nick. Sanderlings are a fantastic looking bird when seen in this plumage.
Elsewhere on the patch, starling numbers have increased, but no pink-jobs! One of the three stonechat pairs in the dunes had two young fledged and there were also fledgling blackbirds, chaffinches, carrion crow, magpie and linnet. There were three mistle thrush, not sure if this is a family party as I didn't see them well, I expect it is as one of the adults has been seen on my last few visits, so I expect they are local breeders.
Saw my first brood of gadwall chicks this evening too, not an exact count as they scooted across the water between the rushes, but there were at least 8, probably 2 or 3 more. Finally as I was leaving, the long eared owl was hunting along the back of the woods. All in all a pleasant evening....until the rain stopped play.
I took some flower shots at the weekend and have just found time to post them, they were all taken on the path to the Oddie Hide, the top one is northern marsh orchid, then a partly opened common spotted orchid and finally vipers buglos, which is now suffering from being star-struck (it is also on boulmer birder and abbey meadows)
123 manx shearwater
125 common tern
126 arctic tern
127 arctic skua
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Friday, 6 June 2008
a happy family- the first shelduck young - brood of 10
A turd (toad for those not from Ashington or Stobswood)
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Still flat calm, overcast and with overnight rain....would've been great for ringing, sadly JF is working away.
No sign of the great snipe on Holy Island, it's either gone or commited suicide...sick of it's life by now no doubt's.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
So all thoughts of lunch abandoned, Tom was on his way to County Hell, which was lucky cos I still have no windscreen wipers, Mike Carr couldn't wait and was off, no sign of Biggsy. It was 1210 and Tom and I had to be back at CH for a 2 o'clock meeting - it was going to be VERY tight, but we had to go for it! A quick zoom up the A1, catching an anxious Mike Carr at Rennington and off to Link House Car Park (several birders, including BB, scrabbling for coins for the car park machine). TAC and I legged it along the dunes, Newton Stringer (who found the bird) had a scope on it when we arrived, a quick look (but good views) - bird ticked, a quick banter and we were off, back to Morpeth, making it to County Hell for 1357 (few....)
Congratulations to Newton Stringer for finding such a cracking bird and thanks to SS for the call and TAC for driving. Second British tick in three days - off to Dru first thing tomorrow to see if owts dropped in there.
Monday, 2 June 2008
Found a sedgies nest with one egg in, so will keep an eye on that and the only other highlights were 2 whimbrel on the beach and year-ticking Tim Cleeves on the patch.
Reports from Dru today on birdguides and from the Newton Stringer included marsh harrier, garganey and LRP - no sign of any tonight - even the sedgies were quiet.
I have so far not been tempted to go and join the masses kicking the great snipe from arsehole to breakfast time on Holy Island...seemingly the twitch on Sunday was well behaved, I just hope it's the same today for the birds' sake, but I fear the worst...... maybe I am taking unnecessary high ground, maybe because I haven't seen it...whatever...I don't like the concept of repeated organised bootings of rare birds. Rant over!
Sunday, 1 June 2008
On Friday morning, when Janet and I were putting up the nets, the bird was again singing in the same place, we were both sure it was marsh warbler, so I phoned the only person who be out and about at this ungodly hour - Dave Elliott - who had already done a lap of Chev. By the time DE had arrived and we got back down there it had shut up - maybe we had disturbed it? We hoped we might catch it, but didn't.
So a text from DE on my mobile which I left in the car and only rediscovered at lunchtime today reads...marsh warbler singing in same place you had it (Saturday evening)...So, in a car with buggered windscreen wipers, I heads down there, Neil Osbourne had been there 40 minutes without luck, he and Tony went, I gave it another 20 minutes or so, then went back towards the road were JF and I had first heard it, shortly after I heard it, once the several sedgies had piped down, singing from the alders and hawthorns near the small pond (yes Stewart...the one were the travellers shit...). Get in! I would never offuv ticked it on song alone, so it was great to see it and nail it. First patch tick of 2008
Recent year ticks
117 spotted flycatcher
119 little tern
122 MARSH WARBLER
One of Thursday's spotfly's
chaffinch (2 ringed, 1 retrap)
redstart 2 (m, f)
common whitethroat 1f
reed bunting 1f
sedge warbler 1
Friday's reed bunting