Sunday, 25 September 2016

Rosy Starling...

Just my second Rose-coloured Starling after last year's bird in Prudhoe, with this individual being a smart juvenile. Not the easiest of viewing by the A697 this afternoon however we were eventually treated to some good views as it sat (mostly) in the open for a few minutes...

Video best viewed in HD at 1080p

Saturday, 17 September 2016

RB Fly and a Franklin's

With yesterday's Pallid Harrier at Holy Island that was our first port of call this morning. There was no sign of our target although a showy Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Half Moon Slack was good compensation. A Yellow-browed Warbler was also here. Other birds on the island included 4 Whinchats, a Redstart, 3 Chiffchaff and a Wheatear.

From Holy Island we headed straight to Whittle Dene Reservoir where we had more success with the Franklin's Gull as it was picked up in a field at the south end. The bird lingered for about an hour, giving some good scope views although the light and heat haze ruined any photos. 2 Greenshanks were also around the lakes along with a Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail and several Grey Wagtails.

Franklin's Gull

Red-breasted Flycatcher - a very nice bird!
Yellow-browed Warbler

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Great White hat-trick

The highlight of this morning's birding was a Great White Egret at Druridge Pools which was our third of the year. Other birds here included a Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, a Greenshank and Bar-tailed Godwit as well as 3 Little Egrets.

A further 14 Little Egrets were at Cresswell along with 3 at Amble and 6 at Castle Island. Other birds at Cresswell Pond included 4 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and 2 Black-tailed Godwits. 5 more Black-tailed Godwits came in off the sea here and continued west. While Castle Island held 3 Ruff and 20 Black-tailed Godwits.

A flock of 12 Ruff were stood ankle deep in water at the south end of the north pool at Chevington so hopefully some mud may appear there soon. 4 Pintail were also here.

The water level at Bothal Pond is starting to look good and it had attracted a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Green Sandpiper as well as 5 Dunlin and 5 Black-tailed Godwits when we visited today.

Great White Egret

Tuesday, 30 August 2016


We were visiting relatives on Teesside this afternoon so decided to leave a bit early and stop at RSPB Saltholme on the way. Before we arrived a Marsh Harrier flew west over our car on the A689 near Wynyard.

On reaching the reserve we headed to the Saltholme Pools Hide where 3 Little Stints were feeding in front of the hide, however two of these birds flew off. At least 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Ruff and 10 Little Egrets were also visible from here along with 2 Pintail and a juvenile Garganey.

Someone strimming in front of the Phil Stead Hide meant that no birds were on show from here, however 2 Greenshank were on the Fire Station Fields along with 2 Green Sandpipers which flew towards the visitor centre.

Our final stop was the hide at Dorman's Pool. A further 6 juvenile Little Stints were here along with 4 juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, 7 Ruff and 2 Black Swan.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Quiet on Holy Island...

Back up to Holy Island this morning with the overnight rain and light south easterlies, however these once again failed to produce a scarcity. Here's the migrant counts...

11 Willow Warbler
2 Whitethroat
1 Spotted Flycatcher
1 Redstart
1 Goldcrest
1 Chiffchaff

Other highlights included a flock of at least 150 Goosander visible off the north shore of the island from the Excavations and an Osprey sat on the Pilgrim's Way marker posts with a fish.

We took a slight detour on the way back and stopped at Budle Bay where the highlight was 2 Spotted Redshanks (a moulting adult and a juvenile). Other birds included 7 Black-tailed Godwit, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Pintail, Knot, 3 Little Egrets and 2 Goosanders.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Another good morning...

We suspected that the juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was still around Amble so headed there this morning...

On the way we called in at QEII where the juvenile Black Tern was showing really well, however the poor light prevented any really good photos. We arrived at Amble where an adult Curlew Sandpiper was feeding in the seaweed and the returning adult Caspian Gull dropped in.

It was a while before my Dad picked up an interesting gull sat on one of the staithes. We walked to the marina to get a better look and when we got there it was quickly apparent this was the bird. Whether it is a Yellow-legged or not we're not sure about.

While watching the gull the adult White-rumped Sandpiper which I found yesterday was spotted which also gave great views near the lifeboat station before flying upstream. A really good looking bird and my dad even managed to photograph it's white rump in one of three photos he took of it!

On the way back we called in at Druridge Pools for an hour. 5 Curlew Sandpipers and 2 Little Stints remained on the Budge Fields and 2 Spotted Flycatchers were in the pine plantation by the entrance along with a number of Willow Warblers and a few Goldcrests. A Redstart was also feeding along the fence on the east side of the farm building.

Just as we were driving home to get some lunch we spotted an Osprey flying low over the road between Druridge Pools and Widdrington village. It headed off in a south-west direction. A patch tick and an excellent end to a decent day!

PWC 2016
Species: 105
Points: 203

The Amble gull
Caspian Gull

White-rumped Sandpiper

Black Tern


Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sunday sandpiper...

Our intention this morning was to have a family walk on the beach and see the Yellow-legged Gull in Amble harbour on the journey there. It didn't quite go to plan, but not in a bad way...

When we arrived at Amble Harbour it was soon apparent the Yellow-legged Gull had moved off, however the returning adult Caspian Gull was snoozing on the mud and there were also 17 Goosanders on the river. In the distance we could see a number of gulls near the braid so we headed there for a brief look...

I had a quick scan of the gulls and couldn't see the YLG so decided to look at the waders. No sign of any Curlew Sands but looking east I spotted a very interesting looking wader. Despite it being quite distant the grey and long-bodied appearance as well as the obvious supercilium meant I already suspected its identity.

We walked east and stood right in front of the Coquet Yacht Club where the bird was showing really well just across the river and we were able to get final confirmation that it was an adult White-rumped Sandpiper. It continued to show well for the next hour while we were there and showed its rump several times in flight. A great day and nice to get a decent find!

White-rumped Sandpiper

The bird as feeding across the river just behind the boat with the large sail