Friday, 18 June 2010

It's going a bit quiet now...

It's been a quite week for me, with night shift curtailing any real birding opportunities. Thankfully (?) the drift migrants are starting to dry up, with only a single male red-backed shrike being of note in Northumberland... so nothing too good missed. The quail did not linger at West Hartford.

This afternoon the garden has been a hive of activity, with the female blackbird clearly having to tend to a second brood, while the family of dunnock are fledged and being fed in the shade of the garden border...

Hopefully I'll get out over the weekend.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Pit pil-it...

This evenings visit to West Hartford was enlightened by the presence of a new Cramlington bird species...


A single bird was initially heard singing from the A192 near the West Hartford farm buildings... then Gordon called to say he could hear one, if not two from the road end to the east of the pools!

A Cramlington birders "semi-twitch" ensued, resulting in a count of 2 to 4 birds singing.

All the birds can easily be heard from the roadside / business park road. There is no need to walk into the fields. If you walk in the field you will not see them, so don't bother!!!! (Please, there is enough hassle for the breeding reed bunting, sky lark, meadow pipit, grey partridge etc from the fox and dog walkers that frequent the area... size 10 boots need not venture on a fruitless mission......)

A great result for the patch.

A great start to the weekend.

Saturday morning update: Already the infamous mp3 player has been and failed. Why bother????

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Marsh acro...

I really struggled to get anything decent on the Druridge marsh warbler this afternoon - a combination of dull light and a very tricky and elusive bird, so a record shot it is... While I was there he mimicked chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch and an alarm calling blackbird!
First time I've seen one in reeds, although in fairness it was commuting between the reeds and the willows, often associating with a single reed warbler.

(Image updated on 11 June...)

Monday, 7 June 2010

Neat Neat Neat

Sunday 6th June: spent a quiet and relaxing evening with THE DAMNED!!!!!!

Captain Sensible: stole the show!!

Wait For The Blackout

Disco Man

I Just Can't Be Happy Today

Perfect Sunday

Thrill Kill

Love Song


Gun Fury


Limit Club

New Rose


Bad Time For Bonzo

Shadow of Love

Neat Neat Neat

Stretcher Case

Fan Club

Melody Lee

Satisfy You

Thanks For The Night

Happy Talk

Smash It Up

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Bank holiday Monday saw me at West Hartford a few times.

The morning visit was dominated by the return of the immature marsh harrier, albeit very briefly at 08:15, putting all the gulls up off the flash and being chased off by the carrion crows. The harrier drifted north-east and appeared to follow the River Blyth. I guess it may stick around.

Three ringed plover  increased to four by the evening, a number that I was happy with until I saw an email off LMcD this afternoon - he had 14 (site record, probably) later on Monday evening. Two grasshopper warbler continue to "reel" and the Crowhall Lane roundabout is holding at least one singing garden warbler. The evening visit included a fly-over common buzzard, but no sign of the barn owl.

Tuesday afternoon included a brief visit after work, shelduck numbered 4, lapwing 28, ringed plover 2 and a few lbbg, hg, bhg and a single common gull.


As I write this I receive a few text message from my mate Sacha in Norfolk, he's just dipped the East Bank trumpeter finch after a long convoluted trip on public transport. (And its come back after he has left.....) Bit of a pain that, though he'll not be too disappointed as he found the Blakeney Point bird a couple of years back! If this bird does remain, it will be tempting to take a trip down at the weekend, especially if other drift migrants are available.

The bird in the photograph here is that of the June 2005 individual at Dungeness, Kent - seen after a long overnight drive south with Tom, photographed early morning under a garden feed station.