Thursday, 14 March 2019

Thug Life

Impressive immature Glaucous Gull at North Shields on 13th March ...

(Click images for better viewing).

Sunday, 24 February 2019


Late afternoon observations of a static Short-eared Owl... a tad too distant really, perhaps as a result of the noisy "togger" crew.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Morning and evening ventures

Sunday morning, 03 February 2019 was spent in the north of the county - half a rivers width south of Scotland.

A very snowy journey north, then immediately after Wooler - no snow!

Target was the wintering Common Crane - and my arrival was timed well, with the bird feeding in the narrow roadside field.

The previous evening was spent more local, and after 5 owls (three short-eared and two barn) it was time to defrost. The first barn came as a bit of a surprise, as it flew right up to me as it hunted in the demising afternoon light...  (ISO 1600, not quite in focus)

Wednesday, 30 January 2019


All of a sudden, 2018 ends and the first month of 2019 is almost over... some highlights and some images...

Snow Bunting, St Mary's Promenade December 2018. A chance to try an alternative camera body - 5D mark IV. Full frame, so some magnification lost ... but pleasing detail. 

Little Owl

Black Redstart

Glaucous Gull, Norfolk

January was busy with a good variety of species picked up in Northumberland... highlights including Firecrest, four species of Owl, Smew, Marsh Tit, Black Redstart, Snow Bunting, Chiffchaff and local Little Egrets. The final weekend was spent in Norfolk - a great place to boost the earliest and an abundance of good quality species. Highlights included Bewick's swan, Red-necked Grebe, Cattle/Great Egret, 11 species of BOP (inc Owl sp number 5, Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard), Water Pipits, Dartford Warbler, Brambling, Hawfinch and Arctic Redpoll

Rough-legged Buzzard... distant...

Saturday, 17 November 2018


Nice to finally catch up with the Warkworth Bewick's swan pair this afternoon, attempt 3... and a decent herd of Whooper too.

A good species in Northumberland, hopefully they'll hang on till the new year.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018


Storm Petrel would be more expected off Hartlepool Promenade...

Waiting for the rain to clear at South Shields... waiting for a Pallid Swift to re-appear.
No sign.
Phone buzzes...
"Hartlepool: Little Swift at the battery"
Phone buzzes again. An image. Of a Little Swift....

Dilemma. It's 14.11, its very dull and Hartlepool is 40 minutes away. Would there be any light?

One way to find out...

Arrived in Hartlepool. Don't know where the action is. Dump car and walk round coastal path... Birders, walking north.

Pallid Swift appears overhead. Like they do...

A few meters further and there's a line of folk looking over the promenade.
Theres a Little Swift zooming to and fro... a few feet away! It's joined by the Pallid. Is this really happening?


So the next hour or so is spend mainly fruitlessly locking focus on the two swifts (with an imbalance of attempts prioritised on the Little)... a huge percentage of non-focused shutter releases later and the sun sets.


1 swift sp. in November is unexpected. 2? Really...

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Spotting Gulls

A timely exit from work on Monday coincided with news that there was a Spotted Sandpiper nearby at Jarrow - fortuitous that the trusty Bins' are living in the car, I headed straight there.

As the working week progressed news broke of something much more meaty - in the form of two Gull-billed Terns, inland at Haughton Strother GP. Further, they'd been there since the start of the month!

Lots of discussion on Twitter and the like suggested that parking was to be interesting and that views would be distant - and indeed, Friday afternoons trip there confirmed that to be the case. However, a full fat UK and County tick for me, so more than content. Some incredible iPhone hand held to 'scope images follow...

All pictures video-stills!

Terns photographed on the island!

Friday, 21 September 2018


As the build up for Autumn commences, Arcot scores its first Avocet - an immature to boot (a first record of both autumn and immature for Cramlington).

Still a rare in Cramlington, with all other records from West Hartford in Spring.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Swiss Cheese

A week walking the confines of Zermatt in Switzerland produced a couple of welcome sightings, with Lammergeier and Wallcreeper being new. In addition a few other padders, with Golden Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, Black Kite, Alpine Chough, Nutcracker, Red-backed Shrike, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Wood Warbler, Crested Tit and Willow Tit adding to the excitement.

Oh, and the views...