Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Big (r)egrets


Some numpties in the fields of West Hartford curtailed an evening visit, so Arcot seemed a good bet for sand Martin - and indeed it was, with perhaps 20 hawking the pond.

A few pochard (no ferruginous!) and tufted duck were joined by 2 Canada geese, which, to their merit, managed to flush a hidden GREAT WHITE EGRET from the south west corner. The egret flew up and landed in the dead trees frequented by the early 2000s osprey and proceeded to survey the surrounds for a mere 10 - 12 minutes, sufficient time for STH & GM to arrive before it flew off north west.

No camera, just the phone, and a flat battery - incredibly frustrating as I'd just manged to line the iPhone camera to the fence-mounted binoculars with the egret in frame as the battery died! The picture above was just the phone shakely held!

My 3rd time finding this grand egret species in Cramlington...




Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Ferruginous Luck

After Sundays belated news of a possible drake Ferruginous Duck at Gosforth Park, it was a pleasant surprise to hear that it was still there today.

A nice bright sunny afternoon and a little wait before reasonable views on the main pool. A tricky county bird, only my second, the last being way back in the 1980s!

Pictures with the digital "bridge" camera...






Saturday, 22 March 2014

SW, N, then E. Grindon Lough


An early start on a fresh March morning saw Mark and I head to the south west of the county... a good start with a Red Kite just east of Corbridge on the A69, followed by 11 Black Grouse just below the snow line, red grouse too... No Ring Ouzel nor Wheatear.

Further north, the two Greenland White-fronted Geese remain at Grindon (along with large groups of Fieldfare), and at Whittle Dene, two Sand Martin were nice too see.

Grindon Lough

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Beard, Neck, Throat etc.

Spent an hour or two up at East Chevington on a blustery "spring" morning with Mark. Some decent birding was had, with the long staying Red-necked Grebe, three Long-tailed Duck, a quick visit from the Black-throated Diver and, more surprisingly a fly-by Bearded Tit.

On the beach, a couple of Snow Bunting provided entertainment, with a lonesome Whooper Swan on the sea..

iPhoned male Snow Bunting...

And some iphoned video...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Half Way / Amnesia

Spent a very enjoyable weekend on "trip 5 of 10" with John B, Mark A, Rob L and special guest Ian R in the wilds of Norfolk and Suffolk.

This trip is one of 10 planned to see as many species of bird in the UK, visiting destinations for a weekend once a year. Here are the tales from trip 1 to 4:

http://birdingsometimes.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/crex-crex.html (Mull)
http://birdingsometimes.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/mull.html (Mull)
http://birdingsometimes.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/another-journey.html (Norfolk)
http://birdingsometimes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/northumberland-tour.html (Northumberland)
http://birdingsometimes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/touring-east.html (NE Scotland/Speyside)

The original concept was to try and see 200 species in the UK over 10 trips. That target has subsequently been revised - see the list at the end of this post.

This time I managed not to take a memory card for the camera! All pics from this trip were with the iPhone.

So, the trip...

We were based in Norwich, arriving late on Friday 28th Feb - no birding just beering.

Saturday 01 March - a circular trip visiting Lynford Arboretum, Santham Downham, Roydon Common, Wolferton, Thornham, Titchwell, Salthouse, Edgefield, Stubb Mill.

Sunday 02 March - Norwich (UEA/John Innes Centre), Acle, Ormsby Broad, Waveney Forest, Oulton Broad, Dunwich and Sizewell.

Targets? Anything that hadn't been seen on previous trips... so nice year ticks like Corn Bunting were a distraction not an attraction - tricky to handle, but a necessary evil for such a "challenge"

The crew - Mark, Me, Rob, John and Ian - we'd just hit the project target of 200 species!

Species 200 of the project - Spoonbill. iPhone-scoped at Salthouse

Common Crossbill, Edgefield - no Parrot for us, with a timetable taking us East for dusk...

Snooze time enroute to Stubb Mill

Stubb Mill - Dusk till Dark: Hods of Marsh Harrier & 2 Hen (1m), Merlin, Tawny Owl, 2 Woodcock, and as darkness fell approx 7 Common Crane more "heard than seen"

Morning 2 - 1 of the Common Crane near Acle, feeding in roadside fields

Same bird as above... iPhone-scoped from inside the car

Parrot Crossbill - Waveney Forest - nice catch up on dipped birds the previous day (and the previous years trip to Speyside)


And another Glossy Ibis - my 5th of 2014! This time at Oulton Broad

Finishing the trip at Sizewell with a pair of Black Redstart (and Peregrine)

Highlights? - Woodlark, Spotted Redshank, Rough-legged Buzzard, Spoonbill, The Stubb Mill "spectacle", Mealy Redpoll, Waxwing, close encounters with Common Crane, Parrot Crossbill, Glossy Ibis, Dartford Warbler and Black Redstart. All in a day or twos birding in East Anglia...

The lists... trip 1 - 5, individual and cumulative totals... Note the missing "easy species" for trips 6 - 10.



Trip Totals 81 117 115 99 112
Cumulating Totals 81 145 181 193 211
           
Species Mull/Iona 8/9 May 2010 Norfolk 27/29 May 2011 Northumberland 23/24/25 Mar 2012 Speyside and Scotland Tour 3/4/5 May 2013 Norfolk and Suffolk 1/2 Mar 2014
Mute Swan Cygnus olor AC 1 1 1 1 1
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus A     1    
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus A     1 1 1
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons A     1    
Greylag Goose Anser anser AC 1 1 1 1 1
Canada Goose Branta canadensis AC 1 1 1 1 1
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis A     1    
Brent Goose Branta bernicla A     1   1
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus C   1     1
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna A 1 1 1 1 1
Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata C     1    
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope A   1 1 1 1
Gadwall Anas strepera AC   1 1   1
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca A     1 1 1
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos AC 1 1 1 1 1
Northern Pintail Anas acuta A     1   1
Garganey Anas querquedula A   1      
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata A   1 1   1
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina A   1      
Common Pochard Aythya ferina A   1 1    
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula A 1 1 1 1 1
Greater Scaup Aythya marila A     1    
Common Eider Somateria mollissima A 1   1 1  
King Eider* Somateria spectabilis A       1  
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis A     1 1  
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra A     1   1
Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata A       1  
Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca A       1 1
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula A     1 1 1
Smew Mergellus albellus A     1    
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator A 1   1 1 1
Goosander Mergus merganser A     1 1  
Willow Ptarmigan (Red Grouse) Lagopus lagopus A     1 1  
Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus A       1  
Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix A     1 1  
Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus BC       1  
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa C   1     1
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix AC   1 1    
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix A   1      
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus C   1 1 1 1
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata A     1 1 1
Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica A       1  
Great Northern Diver Gavia immer A 1        
Yellow-billed Diver* Gavia adamsii A       1  
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis A   1 1 1 1
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus A   1     1
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena A     1    
Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus A     1 1  
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis A     1 1  
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus A 1        
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus A 1   1 1 1
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo A 1 1 1 1 1
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis A 1   1 1  
Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris A   1      
Little Egret Egretta garzetta A   1     1
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea A 1 1 1 1 1
Glossy Ibis* Plegadis falcinellus A         1
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia A         1
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus A   1      
Red Kite Milvus milvus AC   1     1
White-tailed Eagle* Haliaeetus albicilla A 1        
Eurasian Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus A   1     1
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus A         1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus A     1 1  
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo A 1 1 1 1 1
Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus A         1
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos A 1     1  
Osprey Pandion haliaetus A       1  
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus A   1 1 1 1
Merlin Falco columbarius A         1
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo A   1      
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus A     1   1
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus A     1   1
Corn Crake Crex crex A 1        
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus A   1 1   1
Common Coot Fulica atra A   1 1 1 1
Common Crane Grus grus A         1
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus A 1 1 1 1 1
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta A   1     1
Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus A   1      
Little Plover Charadrius dubius A   1      
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula A   1 1 1 1
European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria A   1 1 1 1
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola A     1   1
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus A   1 1 1 1
Red Knot Calidris canutus A         1
Sanderling Calidris alba A         1
Little Stint Calidris minuta A   1      
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea A   1      
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima A     1    
Dunlin Calidris alpina A   1 1 1 1
Ruff Philomachus pugnax A         1
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus A     1    
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago A 1   1   1
Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola A   1 1   1
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa A   1     1
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica A     1   1
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus A 1        
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata A 1 1 1 1 1
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus A         1
Common Redshank Tringa totanus A 1 1 1 1  
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia A 1 1 1    
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos A 1     1  
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres A   1 1 1 1
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus A   1      
Little Gull Larus minutus A   1      
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus A 1 1 1 1 1
Mew Gull Larus canus A 1 1 1 1 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus A 1 1 1 1 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus A 1 1 1 1 1
Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides A     1    
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus A 1 1 1   1
Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla A 1   1 1 1
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis A   1   1  
Common Tern Sterna hirundo A   1      
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea A       1  
Common Guillemot Uria aalge A 1     1  
Razorbill Alca torda A 1   1 1  
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle A 1        
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica A 1        
Rock Pigeon Columba livia AC 1     1  
Stock Pigeon Columba oenas A   1 1   1
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus A 1 1 1 1 1
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto A 1 1 1 1 1
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus A 1 1      
Barn Owl Tyto alba A   1      
Little Owl Athene noctua C   1      
Tawny Owl Strix aluco A         1
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus A     1    
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus A   1      
Common Swift Apus apus A   1   1  
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis A   1      
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis A   1     1
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major A   1 1 1 1
Wood Lark Lullula arborea A         1
Sky Lark Alauda arvensis A 1 1 1   1
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris A   1      
Sand Martin Riparia riparia A 1 1   1  
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica A 1 1   1  
House Martin Delichon urbica A 1 1   1  
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis A   1   1  
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis A 1 1 1 1 1
Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus A 1   1    
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea A 1   1    
White / Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba A 1 1 1 1 1
Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus A         1
White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus A     1    
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes A 1 1 1 1 1
Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis A 1   1 1 1
European Robin Erithacus rubecula A 1 1 1 1 1
Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos A   1      
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros A         1
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus A   1   1  
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra A 1        
Stonechat Saxicola torquata A 1 1 1   1
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe A 1 1   1  
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus A     1    
Common Blackbird Turdus merula A 1 1 1 1 1
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris A     1   1
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos A 1 1 1 1 1
Redwing Turdus iliacus A     1   1
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus A 1 1 1 1 1
Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti A   1      
Common Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia A 1        
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus A 1 1      
Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus A 1 1      
Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata A         1
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis A 1 1      
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin A   1      
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla A   1      
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita A 1 1 1 1  
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus A 1 1   1  
Goldcrest Regulus regulus A 1 1 1 1 1
Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus A   1      
Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus A   1     1
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus A 1 1 1 1 1
Marsh Tit Parus palustris A   1     1
Crested Tit Parus cristatus A       1  
Coal Tit Parus ater A   1 1 1 1
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus A 1 1 1 1 1
Great Tit Parus major A 1 1 1 1 1
Wood Nuthatch Sitta europaea A   1 1   1
Wallcreeper* Tichodroma muraria A       1  
Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris A         1
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus A   1      
Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor A     1    
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius A   1     1
Black-billed Magpie Pica pica A   1 1 1 1
Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula A 1 1 1 1 1
Rook Corvus frugilegus A 1 1 1 1 1
Carrion Crow Corvus corone A 1 1 1 1 1
Hooded Crow Corvus corvix A 1        
Common Raven Corvus corax A 1     1  
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris A 1 1 1 1 1
House Sparrow Passer domesticus A 1 1 1 1 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus A     1    
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs A 1 1 1 1 1
European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris A 1 1 1 1 1
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis A 1 1 1 1 1
Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus A 1 1 1 1 1
Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina A 1 1 1   1
Twite Carduelis flavirostris A     1    
Lesser Redpoll Carduelis cabaret 1   1 1 1
Mealy Redpoll Carduelis flammea A         1
Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra A 1   1   1
Parrot Crossbill* Loxia pytyopsittacus A         1
Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula A 1     1  
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis A       1  
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella A   1 1 1 1
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus A   1 1    
Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra A   1