Saturday, 26 November 2016

Shore Larks & Water Pipits...

Headed straight to Chevington this morning for another go at the Shore Larks, and at first it seemed we were in for another dip, as the birds flew off minutes before we got there. However, we needn't have worried as within forty minutes the seven Shore Larks had reappeared at the burn mouth. They showed well throughout the morning and we're still around when we returned in the evening. Great birds as ever, and my first flock in Northumberland! 2 Great Crested Grebes were also offshore.

While watching the Larks my dad mentioned that quite a lot of pipits were flying around the sea pool, so we wandered over, and he managed to pick up a Water Pipit among the 20+ Meadow Pipits. All the birds then flew towards the south pool. 7 Whooper Swans also flew over along with 3 Long-tailed Ducks

Next we went to Druridge Pools where I picked up a Water Pipit from the screen. It was joined by another and they gave great views for a while, before a Hen Harrier flew across the fields flushing all the birds. Cresswell was quiet with 2 Little Egrets, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Kingfisher the best on offer.

Shore Larks - second photo only included to show all seven together!

Water Pipits at Druridge Pools - the last two photos show the two different birds.

Hen Harrier - still haven't managed a decent photo of this bird!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The autumn that keeps on giving...

We were visiting relatives in Teesside yesterday afternoon so decided to call in at Hartlepool Headland and Saltholme on the way down. As soon as we arrived at Hartlepool the extremely smart first-winter male Eastern Black Redstart was showing well in the memorial gardens, and at one point it approached to within a few metres of us on the grass at the Heugh. We were also able to watch 7 Whooper Swans fly over the sea and into the Tees Bay. Saltholme provided a Long-tailed Duck, Long-eared Owl and a probable fly-over Water Pipit.

This morning it was back to the patch, and we stayed for the whole time at Chevington north pool. The number of wildfowl was once again impressive, including lots of Goldeneye, 3 Long-tailed Ducks, 8 Pintail and an incredible 20 Scaup! My dad spotted a ringtail Hen Harrier flying south through the dunes, a Kingfisher flew along the east edge and 16 Black-tailed Godwits flew over south. I then heard an almost sparrrow like "shreep!" come from above us and looked up to see a long-tailed, long-winged, sandy coloured bird flying north. Somehow ADMc managed to get the bird in his scope and confirm it was a large pipit. A Richard's Pipit!! Just my second in Northumberland and a very welcome self found tick.

We drove home via Ashington, where there were 6 Waxwings by the police station and c.25 more flying over North Seaton Cemetery before disappearing into the nearby housing estate.

PWC 2016
Species: 165
Points: 230

Eastern Black Redstart

Long-tailed Ducks and Scaup

Tufted Ducks, Goldeneye, Pochard and at least five Scaup

Hen Harrier at Chevington