Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22 2011

That’s work done with till after Christmas. But today was (will be) the only birding of my time off.  There is a beer or two with my name on it “darn sarf”!

I was slightly late for a planned meet up with Roger this morning, probably due to me having to drive the last, last bus, last night. I didn’t finish till one, that’s 01:00.

So, anyway Cresswell was quiet, only a sinensis Cormorant alongside a carbo to brighten the day, so we tried Maiden’s Hall, which was even quieter. So we went to Chevington. Plenty of Gadwall and Pochard and a single Pintail and two Short-eared Owl.

While here, Roger got a call from Mike, who had seen the Iceland Gull at Amble, so that was the next stop.

Our first stop at the harbour gave us plenty of close Common Eider, which were calling constantly. I even went as far as to record them!

Common Eider

And then at the next car park, before we had even stopped the cars, the Iceland Gull is seen in flight.

Iceland GullIceland Gull Iceland Gull

while here, this brute of a Great Black-backed Gull flew past

Great Black-backed Gull

Around the car parks, plenty of Common Starling waiting for someone to throw away their unwanted chips.

vulgaris by name, vulgar by nature, a spitting Starling!

Common Starling

Sunday, December 04, 2011

December 4 2011

First stop today was at Druridge Bay Country Park, where there was no sign at all of the Greater Yellowlegs, or during another four quick stops there through the day. But I did see a second winter Glaucous Gull which flew in from the North heading for Chevington I think, as it didn't land on the pool.

Just down the road, at West Chevington, a huge Northumberland count of Eurasian White-fronted Geese are present, with Greylag,
Greylag Goose 
and Pink-footed Goose.
Pink-footed Goose Pink-footed Goose
White-fronted Goose albifrons
White-fronted Goose White-fronted Goose White-fronted Goose
Most of the flock was distant, but these two on the deck were just off the road.

While having a last look for the yellowlegs at Hauxley, I heard of a Desert Wheatear at Beacon Point, Newbiggin.

So I had to go and have a look!

I think that’s my fifth in Northumberland.
Desert Wheatear Desert WheatearDesert Wheatear Desert Wheatear
At times, the wheatear came as close as five feet. I was on the “cliff” top (it’s about eight feet high!) path and the bird was on the cliff below me. Far too close for pictures.

Also here, five Short-eared Owl and a Snow Bunting. The sun had set when I took this shot, this is at 1/50 sec at  F/5.6. With a little tweak in photoshop, it looks not too bad
Snow Bunting