Wednesday, 9 August 2017


We've had a couple of mornings out since returning from the Outer Hebrides. This morning a seawatch at Newbiggin was quiet with the highlights being a group of three Velvet Scoters and a dozen Manx Shearwaters.

On our way to Druridge Pools, a stop at the north end of Cresswell produced the adult White-rumped Sandpiper on the beach opposite. Upon reaching the Budge Fields, the number of Black-tailed Godwits had increased to 56.

There was a greater variety here on Monday, including a Spotted Redshank, 3 Green Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpiper and a juvenile Garganey.

Finally, at Hadston it felt a bit like autumn with a Redstart among a few phylloscs and Robins flitting around the hawthorns...


White-rumped Sandpiper - not quite the kind of views we had a week ago on North Uist but still good to see!
Great Skua passing Newbiggin
Sparrowhawk - briefly sat on a fence post just metres from the Budge Screen!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Birding at its best - White-rumped Sand on North Uist

Last Wednesday we spent the day at RSPB Balnarald on North Uist. We were nearing the car so I decided to have a last go at photographing the waders on the beach. I see one quite close to me and got a bit of a surprise to see an adult White-rumped Sandpiper just a few metres away from me...

Over the next hour we were treated to some amazing views of the bird as it completely ignored us and fed at just a few metres range. We were expecting it to be the same bird as seen on a different part of the island three days ago, but comparing photos proved them to be different birds, with ours having very few obvious dark chevrons on the flanks and much less dark feathering on the upperparts. It was great to find a good bird and then get such good views of it; birding at its best!

White-rumped Sandpiper

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Back again...

Yesterday morning we relocated the adult Caspian Gull 'PKCS' back in Amble Harbour for its fifth summer running. A smart juvenile Wood Sandpiper was also on the reserve at Hauxley...

Caspian Gull

Wood Sandpiper

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Showy Dowitcher...

An evening trip to Boulmer today proved very successful with superb views of the adult summer Long-billed Dowitcher on the beach below the village, as well as 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 juvenile Yellow Wagtails, a Whimbrel, 32 Goosanders and a surprise fly-over Wood Sandpiper...

Long-billed Dowitcher

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Sabine's Gull in North Yorkshire...

A visit to relatives in Yorkshire yesterday afternoon also gave us the chance to catch up with the first-summer Sabine's Gull at the nearby Nosterfield reserve. For most of the time it was giving very close views on Kiln Lake, although the light was very poor, and it did occasionally fly around...

Other wildlife seen around the reserve included a Scaup, Avocets, Black-tailed Skimmers, an Emperor Dragonfly and both Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks...

First-summer Sabine's Gull
Purple Hairstreak

Wood Sandpiper at Druridge Pools on Tuesday evening - video best viewed in HD at 720p/1080p

Monday, 3 July 2017

Patch Pec...

Had another trip to the patch yesterday evening, which again proved to be surprisingly successful. Druridge Pools held another nice selection of waders, the best of which was an adult Pectoral Sandpiper. Four different Wood Sandpipers were visible at the same time, while other waders included a Little Ringed Plover, Ruff and 16 Black-tailed Godwit.

Other highlights included three species of owl, a stunning adult summer Little Gull, 4 flyover Whimbrels and a couple of Arctic Skuas.

Over the past couple of nights I have also photographed some great displays of noctilucent clouds, and I've attached my best efforts below...

Pectoral Sandpiper - best viewed in HD at 720p/1080p

Noctilucent clouds

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Great start to July...

I have to say we didn't really have great expectations for today when we first set off, but it turned out to be a really good day of summer birding...

First up was Druridge Pools (via Bell's Farm where there was a couple of Little Gulls). A Green Sandpiper was showing well in front of the screen and the number of Black-tailed Godwits had increased to 19. The three Spoonbills also flew off heading west. We then heard news of a possible Pacific Golden Plover, so, given it would be a lifer for both of us and presented a bit of an ID challenge, we decided to go for a look. My dad may also be able to catch up with the Corn Bunting...

Unfortunately it was quickly apparent when we arrived that our target was no longer in the Golden Plover flock, but the lingering second-summer Glaucous Gull was snoozing on the rocks and the Corn Bunting was still around.

Just as we were getting ready to leave, news came on of a White-winged Black Tern at Chevington so we headed back that way. By the time we got to the bay, the stunning adult summer White-winged Black Tern had moved to Druridge Pools where it showed nicely on and off for the next hour or so. Such good birds! Two Greenshank and a Ruff also appeared here.

Finally we had a look for orchids in the dunes at Chevington, which resulted in 5 different types being seen, and we also got onto a Red Kite moving inland which had been spotted just to the north by other observers, providing me with a very welcome patch tick!

Other good birds seen today included Avocets, Little Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpipers and a Little Owl.

PWC 2017
Species: 156
Points: 218

White-winged Black Tern
Red Kite

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Surprise Slavonian...

An unexpected addition to our Bothal lists this morning and my first in summer plumage... What a stunner!

Slavonian Grebe