Interrupted some coursework (42 and still studying...) to visit Arcot on Thursday afternoon after another Gordon tip-off - a drake Pintail was probably my first in Cramlington for 5+ years, and the accompanying Pochard and Shelduck were new for the 2015 Cramlington list.
The early drive to work this morning produced another new addition, with a Tawny Owl sat out on a roadside tree close to home.
Friday, 13 March 2015
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
A surprisingly productive afternoon birding after an early shift at work...
Thoughts of where to start were put to one side when Gordon texted through news of a tricky Cramlington year-tick - a single Whooper Swan on Arcot provided a good start.
Further north, a brief stop provided nice views of a drake Mandarin at Sheepish - a couple of picture taken with the bridge camera and then I was off...
The good fortune continued further north - Widdrington Moor Lake provided a large herd of Pink-feet, but still no Ross's for me, preventing a double plastic wildfowl trip. Compensation came in much the preferred form of a scarce birdie the region this winter - Short-eared Owl.
Not untypical there was more than one bird - I happily texted out the news of two birds, to find the next scan revealing four. Then five, then six and finally, seven!
East Chevington north pool provided black-necked, great created and little grebe but no beardies...
Cresswell is clearly popular in the evenings, with a "crowd" watching the Barn Owl late afternoon.
Heading back it was apparent that I could have a final pit stop near home - and rewarding it was too, with 2 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, a Fox, a Hare and the final owl of the day (and ninth owl at that!), with grand views of a Long-eared perched on a fence line.
That'll do nicely.
Sunday, 1 March 2015
Trip south toTeesside to meet up with John B.
Looked in the wrong places for a couple of species - solved that error with a nice cooked breakfast at Saltholme before having a better 2nd half - a much unexpected good view of roosting long-eared owl sunning itself on the edge of a hawthorn and later, a drake green-winged teal elsewhere.
The return journey was uneventful with a pit stop near Coxhoe not providing any buzzards of the rough legged variety.