Yesterday started poorly, disproportionate to the excitement and expectation of Friday evening when Birdguides was dissected and digested and plans laid for a 7:30 start. And start on time it did, with a 90 minute spell at Tynemouth Haven.
Haven? Asylum more like! A place for the orithologically frustrated as nothing was seen or heard of a Radde's (is it pronounced Rads or Raddies (I prefer the latter)?)/Dusky persuasion.
At 9 bells (car park fee commencement time), I decided to venture south to Whitburn and give the CP a try. Boy was it busy in the shrubs to the east side. But the Barred quarry was not seen. This little fella was tho':
And there were lots more. And for once, or so it seemed, right place:right time (No. 1) as at 10:09, a Red-breasted Flycatcher was seen north of the Shearwater Estate and I was 50 yards away. So I ran, and ran, and ran, and got there, and looked, and looked and looked. And as fast as it appeared, it was gone.
So back off to the busy path in the hope of a Bogey Barred, and after another 3/4 hour, and thoughts of a swift leap into the briny to end it all, as I walked back for one last attempt at the R-b F, right place:right time (No.2) as one had been caught and ringed and was ready for freedom. So again I ran, and ran, and ran and got there, and voila!
You know you're sh*te at photography when you can't even get a decent snap of a bird from SIX FEET away when it is held still for you! And to prove it, here's another!
So Lifer 260, and off to The Haven again to see the newly-id'd Dusky. And within 10 minutes, 261. And on a roll now, so N-b-t-Sea for the R-f Bluetail, and after another 20 minutes, 262, albeit the views were very brief.
So today, chores completed, it was off the Tynemouth yet again, this time for the Shore Lark and with my guiding light, Mrs Liverbirder for company.
Compared to the confounded Dusky and its Yellow-browed cousin last week, this chap (or chappess) was a doddle to locate, but to capture 'on film', challenging as ever!
And so, off to St Mary's, recently described by Sir Tim of Whitley in his world-reknowned blog as, '...carpeted with Goldcrests this morning.' Never a truer word (or series of words) has ever been written, it was heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeavin'! heavin' with the wee birds, and Robins, and Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. And with views of the Bluetail that were superbly captured (by others), and with rumour of a Barred Warbler (my bogey, and still so).
And Howdon Blogger has been stalking me all weekend, waiting for me at The Haven yesterday morning, and at St. Mary's this afternoon, with, I assume, Mrs HB as a cover story! Scary!