Saturday, 27 December 2014


Usual suspects "round the doors"...

Great grey shrike, 4 little egret, kingfisher, 2 moorhen, 7 mallard. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Round the doors.

Potter on the bike this morning was productive:

Great Grey Shrike still distant at West Hartford. Plus Stonechat and 60 Lapwing over.

On the Horton Burn an incredible 4 Little Egret together on the middle (park) section, plus one of the group (or another) near the old fire station.

Also on the burn, six Mallard, 1 Teal, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Moorhen and an obliging Kingfisher.

Friday, 19 December 2014

The egrets have landed

Well, 3 have.

Nice to have on our urban doorstep- three frequenting the Horton Burn, with occasional "from the house" and "from the car" views as we go about our turgid business.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Great Grey Day

A bonus upon return from a brief Dublin 24hrs trip, with a phone call from Phil: Great Grey Shrike at West Hartford.

Jolly good it was too, albeit very distant.

My 2nd in Cramlington.

Friday, 5 December 2014


Not a great deal at West Hartford at dusk - 3 grey heron, 2 buzzard and 1 (male) stonechat...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Isabelline Wheatear, Seaton Carew

A week of work and a late UK record of Isabelline Wheatear. Convenient as it was "just down the road".

Rather confiding, approaching the gathered...

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The weekend

Little birding this weekend but a couple of highlights -

Saturday afternoon saw a last hour of sunlight trip to Briardene for the vocal Hume's Warbler - it had been a while since my last, but constituted my 5th in the county.

Sunday afternoon saw a house tick in the form of Little Egret, flying up and down the Horton Burn at dusk. Hopefully to become a regular sight along the burn as temperatures drop for winter. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Tree Sparrow...

Only the second in the garden, following the first in October - perhaps the same bird. Simple pleasures...

It was only a couple of years ago that had my first in Cramlington!

Saturday, 8 November 2014


Black Red variety. In Cramlington of all places! Nice surprise on a sunny November morning at the Sporting Club.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


A quick late afternoon trip to South Beach, Blyth - 30 mins.

21 Little Auk (bolstered by a party of 17)
2 Velvet Scoter
4 Red-breasted Merganser
3 Long-tailed Duck
1 Arctic Skua
Hods of Kittiwake
Several Red-throated Diver...


Freezing mind.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Conspiracy of Ravens...

No large corvids on two consecutive visits to Tynemouth...

Compensatory avian treats with a single woodcock at the priory, two Brent geese flying out of the Tyne on Friday, while Saturday's bonus birds were further north at St Mary's - a relatively showy yellow-browed warbler at the top of the wetland and a brief black redstart on the beach 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Olive-backed Pipit, Sunderland

 A long overdue world (!) tick for me...

Not the easiest bird to photograph, with a short early morning venture out of the undergrowth and onto the roadside grass, then spending the day in what perhaps could be described as a shady dell.

Finally, a favoured route was identified and a hand held rapid succession of photographs obtained.

So the pictures... in non-timely order.

A smashing bird to see.

Image from first sequence out on roadside grass... bad position for me with the pipit just over a ridge!

In the dark, dark dell. ISO 1600, 1/80th second exposure...

As above, in the "dell"

Finally in a better position for better images... handheld 500mm, ISO 1250!

and we're off!....
In addition - a putative Blythii Lesser Whitethroat... called just like a great tit!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sunny Days

Great weather continues, and a smattering of birds to see too - yellow-browed warbler at the entrance to Druridge, shore lark still on the beach at East Chevington and just inland on newly created pools, a Slavonian grebe, a thousand or so pink footed geese and a single peregrine.

Spot the shore lark...

Friday, 10 October 2014


... the bikes back tyre, not me.

Finally made the effort to head to West Hartford this morning - stonechat secured on the northern edge of the patch. More pleasing were seven tree sparrow flying west and an abundance of meadow pipit and skylark.

To the north, too far away for id with bins were c150 geese - most probably pink-feet or perhaps barnacle - heading steadily west.

At East Hartford 39 skylark lifted from the stubble fields near the water treatment plant and a couple of buzzard patrolled the delightfully bright blue skies.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Horns and Vire-no's

It's been a while since I last saw Shorelark in Northumberland, and today it prove to be compensatory for a lack of Red-eyed Vireo at Newton.

Very dapper.

Newton, along with a nice meal at The Ship, provided another Yellow-browed Warbler.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

A little blue

A venture out in the rain this morning provides encounters with the immature blue-winged real on the river Wansbeck, less convincing wildfowl at Hauxley and a little stint at Cresswell. We didn't bump into the caspian gull at Amble, but at least the chips were there.

Sunday, 21 September 2014


Newbiggin a few minutes ago!!!

Can't quite believe that that happened... Great crack waiting for the Fea's to fly past having watched updates from the east coast. An adult Sabine's gull and a steady passage of sooty / Manx shearwater were good too, along with1 great skua and 4 Brent geese.

Did that just happen?...

Tracked on the phone...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Winging it.

Headed back to Amble this afternoon to have another look at the third year Caspian Gull. Ever-present but again frustrating as it opted to stand up a height, be it on rooftops or flag poles.

Tricky to locate in the car park...

No Blue-winged Teal for me this afternoon - although the Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Common Sands were compensatory. May try again tomorrow...

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mid evening Med

Some sky watching from the garden this evening as hundreds of black-headed gull fed on flying ants. A couple of highlights during the hour (1830-1930): my first "over the house" Mediterranean Gull (and only my third in Cramlington!), and a single Swift. Also "note worthy" is a garden perspective were 100s of Barn Swallow, lesser numbers of House Martin and a few Sand Martin, perhaps 6 Meadow Pipit. Pulse quickened with the appearance of a falcon with the Swallow - alas just a Kestrel.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A few from the triangle

Great Kiskadee

White-tailed Tropicbird - "long tail" to the locals

Grey Catbird

Immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron & Green Heron