Tuesday, 31 December 2013

From 13 to 31.

Despite having some time off work, and the availability of 2 significant UK "ticks" in, er, the UK ... I haven't ventured far at all - in fact it's all been done on the bike round the doors. 

Waxwing were a bonus on Christmas Day - with six on Horton Drive in the morning, then later outside the house in what seems to be a favoured tree. 

Greater black backed gull have been more numerous than other times (and can actually be tricky in Cramlington), while the resident lesser black back is still at the other end of town.

Today's venture took me to he usual sites, with kingfisher and 2 grey wagtail on the burn (no little egret - good reports of one yesterday morning), a jack snipe, two coveys of grey partridge and, almost as darkness closed in, a short-eared owl and fox combo - quality on the door step.

Onwards to 14 - 13 provided two UK ticks (both in county too - bridled tern and ivory gulls!), plus approx 8 new for the county list, including a long awaited catch up with purple heron and the unprecedented male collared flycatcher. I think it goes without saying that Northumberland has been quality in 2013... (Not forgetting Cramlington - a blissful year if ever there was one - refer to Gordon's blog for more of that - great to see a team effort with Phil, Steve, Dee and Lindsay producing a record parish haul).

Trips away have been limited, with Speyside featuring strongly in the great weekend category - together with Mark, John B, Rob and Ian we had a clean sweep from beginning to end - surf scoter, king eider and white billed diver en route to the "starting point" of the trip was superb - I look forward to our next weekend, not to long to wait for that ...

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