Sunday, 7 August 2022

Pacific Swift - East Chevington, June 2021

 Only narrowly beaten by the Albatross for my birding highlight of 2021 was this Pacific Swift at East Chevington on 12th June. After watching it distantly for half an hour, it gradually drifted closer until it was feeding just a few metres overhead. One of my all time birding highlights in Northumberland!

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Back to life...

Now that my busy final year of university is over and I'm back in Northumberland, I have decided to restart posting some of my photos on my blog. My posts may not be as regular as they once were but I am hoping to post any notable sightings and images that I get.   

However, for now, here's arguably the highlight of the excellent selection of birds I've been lucky enough to see since my last blog post back in April 2021. I also plan to gradually do more posts with some of the other highlights. There's been quite a few!

Black-browed Albatross at Bempton Cliffs

Friday, 9 April 2021

Spring underway in style...

 Despite less than ideal winds, spring has slowly started to get going since my last blog post. The undoubted highlight was the male Citrine Wagtail at Lynemouth Flash on the 3rd. An usual record being so early in the spring, and also because it turned up at exactly the same place as the showy female in 2017

Other nice sightings have included the Todd's Canada Goose again, as well as an adult Greenland White-front and 3 Russian White-fronts, all in the Cresswell area, a Black Redstart at Snab Point, Glaucous Gull past East Chevington and my first Willow Warbler of the year. 

Citrine Wagtail - please view the video in HD at 1080p

Todd's Canada Goose with the Pink-feet west of the hide at Cresswell

Black Redstart

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Back in business...

After restrictions were loosened earlier in the week I was keen to get back out to Druridge. I visited both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, with the latter being especially enjoyable with a nice selection of migrants around...

My first stop on Tuesday was at the north end of Cresswell Pond. A couple of smart male Wheatears were immediately on view, and a group of 6 Barnacle Geese were among the Pink-feet in the field north-west of the causeway. A scan of the rest of the pond from the north end provided a nice surprise in the form a pair of Garganey snoozing in the south-west corner, although, despite eventually going for a swim, remained out of view from the hide. 

Heading north to Druridge Pools, a look from the south-facing hide provided some nice views of the Water Pipit seen earlier in the day. A smart individual, starting to show some pink and blue tones to its plumage. Some of the 23 Black-tailed Godwits present were also starting to show some summer plumage, and my first Little Ringed Plover of the year was nice to see. 

Continuing to East Chevington, the number of Sand Martins feeding over the North Pool was impressive, perhaps numbering as many as 200, and I eventually managed to pick out a Swallow. A female Scaup was on the pool, while a lone Whooper Swan dropped into roost. I noticed that the sea was extremely calm so decided to have a scan from the dunes. This proved to be a good decision as a Black-throated Diver was offshore, and as many as 54 Red-throated Divers and 16 Red-breasted Mergansers were visible on the glassy water. Three more Wheatears were a nice way to round Tuesday off. 

On Wednesday a sea fret had arrived, giving a much more wintery feel to the weather. The highlight was a group of 44 Whooper Swans on Cresswell Pond, as well as a couple of Sandwich Terns flying over.

Water Pipit

Whooper Swan coming into land at East Chevington

Sand Martins


Whooper Swans on Cresswell Pond

A few phonescoped photos...



Distant Garganey!

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Bothal waders...

It was nice to round off my 5 mile list with a Knot on the east side of Bothal Pond on Friday, especially as it gave some really good views close to the hedge on the south side. Just the second one I've seen there in 10 years of regular visits. The long-staying Spotted Redshank was present too. 

Saturday also gave a final surprise with an Osprey over Morpeth...


Spotted Redshank (with Common Redshank in the last photo)


Thursday, 18 March 2021

Still going...

 It's been over a month since my last blog post and, while still largely limited in where I can go, it's been another decent month for local birding. Here are some of the best bits since mid-February, the first two taken with my DSLR...

Woodcock during the cold spell in mid-February

Tawny Owl

And some phonescoped pics of varying quality...

The really smart drake Bufflehead at Cresswell Pond 

Bothal Pond's first Red-necked Grebe

Tundra Bean Goose with the Pink-feet at Longhirst Flash...

...later joined by a group of 7 Russian White-fronted Geese

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Lockdown images

Here are a few of my highlights from the current lockdown (some taken with my DSLR and some phonescoped). It has been surprisingly productive despite having not been outside the five mile radius of my house!

Todd's Canada Goose with Pink-feet in the fields near Longhirst Flash on the 29th of January - likely the same bird that I found at Hadston in December. I didn't expect to come across it again!

A nice juvenile Iceland Gull along with the returning Hooded Crow near the entrance to Linton Pond this morning. 

One of at least six Twite with the Linnets at West Shield Hill.


Female Goosander