Saturday, 7 November 2009

Dogs B*llocks!

Having read Alan Tilmouth's blog, and with his County Year Ticks being Lifers for me, it was off up north 'early doors'. Crackin' idea, for a change. En route to Bamburgh to see the Black Guillemot first. A few Buzzards silhouetted against the rising sun (I am sounding like the Boulmer Birder a bit here. Not that that's a bad thing!). Plenty on the well lit mill pond as viewed from Stag Rock's dewy benches. At least three Slavs, half a dozen RTDs, several Common Guillemots and more Shags and Cormorants than I have ever seen on the sea before - rafts of them! Fifty Purple Sandpipers, four Brents north, three LTDs on the sea and numerous gulls. But no BG!.

Ah well, off to Budle Bay. No Snow Goose, but loads of Barnacle Geese, a few Greylags, Wigeon, Shelduck and Redshank a plenty, 20 Whoopers, two Mutes, and a few Bar-tailed Godwits.

Thought I would try for the Bearded Tit at Holy Island. Always good to arrive a find a few big lenses there (the iconic Colin Pears and equally talented Venetia), as well as Andy Cowell, Alan the Butcher and one or two others. And as I neared the throng, the bird lifted and settled in the reeds to the north of the Lough hide just over my shoulder. This preceded a minute or two of birding XTC. Great albeit brief views, but very close. Doubtless, Birguides will have the fruits of CP/V's labours on later.

And on the way back to the car, AC told me the BG had been seen again at Stag, so back there where AtB put me in the right direction and voila, Lifer No. 2 for today.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Practice What You Preach!

I want this blog to be a combination of birding and humour and often these are linked and sometimes expose my frailties.

Take yesterday, for example. 

Good start, as there were a few 'scopers' when I arrived at the Beehive to tick the Pec. Sand.  Even better, a nice guy who I have seen countless times before but do not know his name (drives a small red Mitsubishi on an 05 plate and he is 5'8", 50's, dark brown hair and a full set) put me on to the bird as it was doing a Pheasant impression by hiding in the long grass!  Magic!

Then off to Holywell to see if the GWT was about.  Always a good sign when other birdres' cars are there and Northumbrian Birder's was plus a few others.  At the 5-bar gate I met a guy who had been at the Members' Hide and was now en route to the Public one.
"Just seen a Goosander fly over this way."
(ME) "Nice birds.  Smart lookers.  Quite common and under-rated."
"A flock of Greylags has flown over that way too."
(Me) "Lots of them about.  Always worth a look in case something else is with them."

And did I have a look?  No!  And should I?  Yes!  And would it have been only my second ever White-fronted Goose?  Too right!  And am I bitter?  Absolutely!!