Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27 2012

A few from today…

Iceland Gull

First winter

Iceland Gull

two of the three, near adult and first winter

Iceland GullIceland Gull  Iceland Gull

the near adult

An early finish from work this afternoon, gave me the chance for another look at the Iceland Gulls at North Shields. Initially just the adult was about, then the first winter appeared and later the second winter did a very brief fly-by. Ian also had the same idea, so a canny chat was had.

I did point the camera at some other things, like this Kittiwake…


…and this Great Black-backed Gull.

Great Black-backed Gull

Now I just need to time a visit that coincides with some decent light!

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 22 2012

First stop this morning after collecting Alan, was North Shields Fish Quay, where there were two Iceland Gulls on show for us.

This first Winter was a bit elusive and this was the best I could get

Iceland Gull

This bird is a near adult…

Iceland Gull

A Grey Seal wasn’t in the least bit bothered by all the fuss about the white-winged gulls…

Grey Seal

Further up the coast, the goose flock was at Maiden’s Hall, but again very distant. So we went to Chevington, where I did a bit of dodgy-scoping, with my new point and shoot, through Alan’s scope. Two Bewick’s Swans (later six were claimed). We had a good scan of the area before we left, but apparently it wasn’t good enough; an hour after we left, there was a White Stork here!

Bewick's Swan

So, we arrive at the road down to Fenham le Moor, and there is a sizeable small passerine flock flitting through the hedges. A closer look reveals that nearly all of the birds are Yellowhammer, Greenfinch and Linnet, with smaller numbers of Tree Sparrow and Reed Bunting.

Looking over Fenham Flats from the hide was no good; the tide was all the way in, and very little was on view, other than Common Shelduck and a Guillemot in front of the hide!

We stopped at Harpers Heugh on the way to Budle Bay. The geese were off in the distance, but we could pick out Barnacle, about two hundred and a handful of Pink-feet. At Budle Bay, it was almost bird-less, the tide was that high; five Red-breasted Merganser was it!

Stag Rocks next, where I couldn’t resist a black and white shot of the castle!

Bamburgh Castle-P1010033

The sea was fairly rough, so finding birds was hard work. A single Red-throated Diver, four Long-tailed Duck and thirty Common Eider. On the rocks eighty-ish Purple Sandpiper were roosting.

As there are white-winged gulls everywhere this year, we stop at Seahouses on the way back, just for a look, you never know… We don’t find any, but we do have a Slavonian Grebe just off the harbour wall.

We leave here and head south, to try for the stork, but unfortunately it’s gone before we get anywhere near Cresswell, where it had turned up at. We hand around in the hope of the Whooper Swans coming in to roost (they don’t) and while we wait we have a Short-eared Owl hunting the dunes. And that was it, it’s now dark!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

January 1 2012

Not quite first thing, but I was out this morning, chasing some of the best birds to be had.

First stop, Marden Quarry, where the Lesser Scaup showed after a bit of a wait. Can’t get too excited about this bird, I afraid!

From here I travelled North to join the crowds on the beach at Newbiggin, where after a long walk along the beach to the Alcan power station and back, the Desert Wheatear showed on it’s original beach! Two adult Mediterranean Gull’s showed in the car park on the way back.

Just up the road at Woodhorn, the Tundra Bean Goose was on show, with four Greenland White-fronted Geese in the same goose flock.

Cresswell next, the pond very quiet, but the dunes and field to the north had loads of geese and on the other side of the road, the finch flock had Twite.

On to Chevington, where the highlights were two Short-eared Owl and a Bittern in flight, sadly I was the only one to see it.

No pictures today, and by the end of the day I was too cold, severe shivering in the car on the way home. By the time I got to Ellington the car was nice and warm, so I didn’t get out to have a look at the twelve Whooper Swans in the field at the entrance to the caravan park