Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Sooty Tern!

This morning I was pretty relaxed when I got up, even when reports of a Sooty Tern moving north in Yorkshire started to emerge. I felt that even if it did make it to Northumberland then it wouldn't be until later in the day. However, the speed of the reports coming in from different locations perhaps suggested that the bird was moving faster than I expected.

Soon the report I was waiting for came through - it had been seen at Whitburn. I got straight into the car and set off to Newbiggin. The drive felt a lot longer than usual and I seemed to get stuck behind slow moving traffic for the whole journey, but thankfully I reached the small crowd at Church Point at around 10:50.

I had just enough time to set up my scope and have a couple of scans before, out of nowhere, the SOOTY TERN was flying in front of us at incredibly close range. The views were stunning and the bird unmistakable with its head pattern, bill and colouration being very striking.

By the time I had reached for my camera the bird was more distant so the photo below is pretty rubbish, with much better being taken by others when the bird was at its closest (these can be seen on Twitter). However, this was one of those moments when photos were an afterthought and I just enjoyed such an awesome view of a much wanted lifer!

Monday, 8 July 2019

Canary Islands Stonechats

Canary Islands Stonechats - taken at Barranco de Rio Cabras, Fuerteventura - 20th February 2019

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Friday, 28 June 2019

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Spanish Sparrows...

Now exams are over and the birding has quietened down a bit, I have more time to go over the rest of my photos from Fuerteventura earlier in the year...

Spanish Sparrows - Los Molinos Reservoir, Fuerteventura, 20th February

Monday, 10 June 2019

An exciting couple of weeks...

So, having complained a lot about how poor this spring has been for birding, the last few weeks (basically since our day on Holy Island on the 18th) have been much better. Here's a few of the best bits, excluding the Baillon's Crake I posted about previously...

On the 2nd of June we had a day down on Teesside. The highlight was getting a brief view of the singing Great Reed Warbler, although this was proving difficult in the wind. There were also impressive number of Avocets in the area and we had our first Little Terns of the year.

The next day, the roaming Baikal Teal turned up at East Chevington. We headed up to see it for insurance as much as anything! I'm not overly keen on its credentials so will be keeping it off my list for now. If it gets accepted in the end then I may well put it on however! I have also seen the Teal at Druridge Pools where my first Little Gull of the year was present.

On Saturday, we got up ready for a day on Holy Island, but on seeing the weather outside, decided to go out in the evening instead. However, word came through of a White-billed Diver passing Whitburn so I made the short journey to Newbiggin. A short wait ensued before I picked up the White-billed Diver flying north, and while a bit distant, it was still distinctive.

We did head up to Holy Island mid-afternoon but failed to find a single migrant. A Spoonbill from the causeway was some consolation. On the way home we called into Cresswell Pond where we got some decent views of the Marsh Warbler in the north end willows. Another Spoonbill was here too.

Finally, yesterday I made an evening trip to Druridge Pools after IR relocated the male Red-backed Shrike seen there earlier in the day. It gave stunning views as it sang from the bushes just north of the turning circle and providing me with my best ever views of a male bird.

Red-backed Shrike at Druridge Pools

Marsh Warbler at Cresswell Pond
Baikal Teal
Spoonbill at Cresswell
Little Gull at Druridge