Sunday, 15 May 2016


A week away with work saw me cavorting around Derwent Water - so bonus birds in the form of Osprey, Tawny Owl, Tree Pipit, Common Sandpiper and Redstart were appreciated.

Today I ventured north to Lindisfarne - no camera - batteries flat...

Highlights - female Bluethroat, Western Sub-alpine Warbler and a distant female Dotterel. Fantastic stuff!

On the way back - 1 BNG.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Spring Ice

The Iceland Gull remains at QEII, and was perhaps more apt given the cold conditions today. Otherwise, new birds for the year included Blackcap, House Martin, Swift (including an aberrant bird at DBCP - white bellied and white streaked on upper parts). 

The now dapper Long-billed Dowitcher continues at Cresswell, albeit a tad too far for the camera this  morning.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


Digital zoom on an iPhone isn't the best...

Female black redstart wasn't expected in the garden on Sunday - and by the time I'd grabbed the first recording device, the iPhone, she'd flown across the other side of the neighbours garden. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Mainly misses

Potterings mid day - no sign of the Iceland gull at QEII, a smart great created grebe though. 

Cresswell - a hastily retreating LRP and no northern pool dowitcher as a lady with no field craft but a shiny white lens marched up, sorry, encroached. Nice one.

Back on the patch only LBBGs at West Hartford & at A, 3 shoveler and a chiff.

It doesn't get better.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Nice day for it

Headed north west this morning for some raptor viewing - 2 - 3 Goshawk were appreciated - with one closer than the others. 

Popped into Capheaton - one lone Whooper Swan with the Mutes on a distinctly Spring-like morning.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Through the looking glass

... or window.

Failed raid by the Sparrowhawk this afternoon...

ISO1250, 700mm handheld.

Friday, 12 February 2016


Not quite playing the game today, the Black Redstart fed just out of range and down on the shore... Fulmar are back on the cliffs though...

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

- 1 + 1

Black Scoter seems unfavourable given the recent images showing an overly yellow billed common, and given the tricky viewing conditions it'll be better to remain sceptical until better views/images can be obtained.

On a brighter note, the journey to Killingworth was spruced up with news of a second Smew present on the larger lake - so one on each of the sides of the road now.

Only the smaller pool favourable for pics, albeit in windy conditions and dull light (and poor cameraman skills for that matter...)

However, a blog pic at least.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Off the rocks

Another venture North - again up to Stag for a look out over the extremely choppy sea. Patience is a virtue - and what seemed an age looking at the same group of Scoter, the Black eventually gave itself up.

3rd in County for me, but perhaps the same bird each time.

45 Whooper Swan just north of the "Arctic Redpoll field" at Birling Carrs on the route home...

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Fowls, Un-seasonals and a Yank

Started the day at Killingworth where the showy female Smew continues to perform on the smaller lake.

Willow Tit at Hackworth then onto Holywell to check out the geese - the two Eurasian White-fronts were flying around the fields upon our arrival, while the Tundra Bean Goose resided on the pond with the Grey-lags. No sign of the Mandarin. Soon after our arrival in the public hide, the two airborne White-fronts circled the pool and managed to attract the attention of the other geese, taking them off to the western fields, permitting a couple of iPhone/scope images...

Blyth didn't provide a Black Redstart (Chips at South Beach did show briefly).

Up the road to QEII lake for another Slavonian Grebe (no sign of the Iceland Gull), then onto Cresswell, where a Ruff and female Marsh Harrier complimented the long staying (and long distance) Long-billed Dowitcher.

Completed the coastal visit with a look out from Druridge's Budge screen - no Water Pipit, but three more Eurasian White Fronted Geese over the back.

Closer to home, 4 Little Egret on the burn along with a single Grey Wagtail

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Scott of the Ant...

..."Arctic" Redpoll, an interesting bird up at Birling Carrs today... this bird has caused a lot of discussion over the last week...

Some images - 500mm & 2.0 extender... rather distant. Missed it on the fence line, and later too distant to photograph when the huge rump patch was fluffed out in the western hedge line.

Note the out of focus splodge on the LHS - Lesser Redpoll to compare tones....

Also present - Lesser Redpoll, 1 Mealy Redpoll (perhaps the "second" bird people may have been observing?), Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Linnet, Reed Bunting, 1 Woodcock, Grey Partridge.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Up & Down

Migrated north late morning to check out the low tide across Fenham Flats... thousands of waders on view and a hundred or so Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a single Little Egret and outside the hide, a flock containing Tree Sparrow and Twite. No sign of the Hooded Crow, it appears to have been around Holy Island.

Budle Bay was also busy, with an equal number of Brent Geese also present. Single Peregrine on fence posts to the north.

Stag Rocks produced two Great Northern Diver and several Shags, Long-tailed Duck etc.... and the delightful view to the south...

Monks House Pool, increased in size from the wet weather, provided nice views of the Red-necked Grebe that was picked up a week ago - no Water Pipit in the quick soiree, but not a concern given the Druridge bird last week.

No sign of the Black-necked Grebe at Drudge Bay CP (Little only noted), while Cresswell provided, at last, the Long-billed Dowitcher, along with Barn Owl, plenty of Wigeon and Teal.