July 2010 was enlightened with a self-found Cramlington tick - a cracking hobby that ended up spending a week or so touring West Hartford, Arcot and probably Wallsend Swallow Pond. The image above was taken at Arcot, when the hobby spent and hour or so hawking insects over the pool. A cuckoo was also seen during the visit, my first in Cramlington since the early 1990s'!
The first part of August had been spent in Malaysia on a fantastic trip taking in Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands and Pangkor Laut. Many a good bird was seen, but it was upon my return when the star of August appeared - in the plain, unassuming form of syke's warbler at Hadston!
Another month, another tick - September provided what is probably destined to be my last UK newbie for 2010 ~ a distant sharp-tailed sandpiper in Cleveland. A bit of a quickie this one, with a quick visit prior to a late-shift at work. I managed to miss the good fall of September 2010, so I was lucky to be able to get the most significant bird of the month.
I visited Cleveland again in September to see the obliging woodchat shrike at Hartlepools' Croft Park...
October 2010 was great - with a steady stream of rare's brightening up the north east coast. I make no apology for another slice of the St Mary's red-flanked bluetail - a stunner!
So November came, dark nights descended on the north and birding became limited ~ Waxwing arrived in great numbers and a squacco heron spent it's last days on the unlikely setting of the River Wansbeck in Morpeth town centre. Bird of the month for me was the woodlark on Inner Farne. A tricky bird to catch up with in Northumberland, this was a county tick for most of the hardy souls who made the crossing at the end of November.
December arrived somewhat early this year ~ time flies and birding for me was very limited. The bittern at Cresswell is probably the highlight, tho I suspect there may be some more interesting species for me to see in the last few days...