Saturday, 18 October 2014

Olive-backed Pipit, Sunderland

 A long overdue world (!) tick for me...

Not the easiest bird to photograph, with a short early morning venture out of the undergrowth and onto the roadside grass, then spending the day in what perhaps could be described as a shady dell.

Finally, a favoured route was identified and a hand held rapid succession of photographs obtained.

So the pictures... in non-timely order.

A smashing bird to see.

Image from first sequence out on roadside grass... bad position for me with the pipit just over a ridge!

In the dark, dark dell. ISO 1600, 1/80th second exposure...

As above, in the "dell"

Finally in a better position for better images... handheld 500mm, ISO 1250!

and we're off!....
In addition - a putative Blythii Lesser Whitethroat... called just like a great tit!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sunny Days

Great weather continues, and a smattering of birds to see too - yellow-browed warbler at the entrance to Druridge, shore lark still on the beach at East Chevington and just inland on newly created pools, a Slavonian grebe, a thousand or so pink footed geese and a single peregrine.

Spot the shore lark...

Friday, 10 October 2014


... the bikes back tyre, not me.

Finally made the effort to head to West Hartford this morning - stonechat secured on the northern edge of the patch. More pleasing were seven tree sparrow flying west and an abundance of meadow pipit and skylark.

To the north, too far away for id with bins were c150 geese - most probably pink-feet or perhaps barnacle - heading steadily west.

At East Hartford 39 skylark lifted from the stubble fields near the water treatment plant and a couple of buzzard patrolled the delightfully bright blue skies.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Horns and Vire-no's

It's been a while since I last saw Shorelark in Northumberland, and today it prove to be compensatory for a lack of Red-eyed Vireo at Newton.

Very dapper.

Newton, along with a nice meal at The Ship, provided another Yellow-browed Warbler.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

A little blue

A venture out in the rain this morning provides encounters with the immature blue-winged real on the river Wansbeck, less convincing wildfowl at Hauxley and a little stint at Cresswell. We didn't bump into the caspian gull at Amble, but at least the chips were there.

Sunday, 21 September 2014


Newbiggin a few minutes ago!!!

Can't quite believe that that happened... Great crack waiting for the Fea's to fly past having watched updates from the east coast. An adult Sabine's gull and a steady passage of sooty / Manx shearwater were good too, along with1 great skua and 4 Brent geese.

Did that just happen?...

Tracked on the phone...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Winging it.

Headed back to Amble this afternoon to have another look at the third year Caspian Gull. Ever-present but again frustrating as it opted to stand up a height, be it on rooftops or flag poles.

Tricky to locate in the car park...

No Blue-winged Teal for me this afternoon - although the Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Common Sands were compensatory. May try again tomorrow...

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mid evening Med

Some sky watching from the garden this evening as hundreds of black-headed gull fed on flying ants. A couple of highlights during the hour (1830-1930): my first "over the house" Mediterranean Gull (and only my third in Cramlington!), and a single Swift. Also "note worthy" is a garden perspective were 100s of Barn Swallow, lesser numbers of House Martin and a few Sand Martin, perhaps 6 Meadow Pipit. Pulse quickened with the appearance of a falcon with the Swallow - alas just a Kestrel.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A few from the triangle

Great Kiskadee

White-tailed Tropicbird - "long tail" to the locals

Grey Catbird

Immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron & Green Heron

Friday, 15 August 2014

County Casp Catchup...

Flew back from Bermuda on Thursday evening, arriving London on Friday morning - a couple of train journeys, a ride on the metro to pick the car up - home for a couple of cups of coffee then up the road for an evening visit to Amble.

Greater Black-backed Gull, Black headed Gull and Herring Gull, along with Starlings and Jackdaw very much enjoyed the slightly stale croissant (courtesy of British Airways) and cheesy wotsit crisps... Caspian Gull did not.

Frustrating views as the Casp sat on top of a telegraph pole watching the feeding melee - assumed to already be content with chips throughout the day.

Still, a County tick and only my second in the UK - so a happy, if somewhat jet-lagged, chap.

Hopefully, as others have already stated, it'll hang round and complete its moult. Raggy could certainly be a term to describe this bird!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Territory birding

A casual week or so in Bermuda is resulting in few birds - while white-tailed tropic birds cruise the coast like black-headed gulls, there isn't much else of note so far! Lesser and greater yellowlegs and a semi p sand on the hotel golf course have been nice and the great kiskidee are very entertaining - noisy, inquisitive and colourful to boot.

Good job the scenary is decent...

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Legs and Co

Entirely unexpected, not the bird, the views.

"Showing Well"


Still, nice to get another go at the Stilt Sandpiper this morning, tucked in with Lapwing on the Budge Field. A few Snipe and  a Little Egret too.