Friday, 20 August 2010

Spotted the Blogger Spotter

Arrived at Snab Point at 07:30 to be met by an active, female Sparrowhawk over the cottages to the north, heading beachward.  It was seen again over the rocks half an hour later spooking the waders.

Flocks of Kittiwakes south, Sarnie Terns too, one distant diver, and three Arctics north (two dark and one pale).  Gannets up and down in small numbers and hods of GBBGs south.

Pale skua north at 08:30, slightly larger and flying slightly slower than an Arctic but no tail 'spoons'.  I still await my first Pom.

Cresswell had the Spotty Redshank at 08:50 (north of the causeway) along with a few Dunlin, at least one Pintail duck and one Knot.

The Pools were very quiet.  Saw a male of the species Blogger Prestwickcarrii near the Oddie, after amazingly close views of a female Marsh Harrier from the south-facing hide.  On the sea, many RTDs and one Darctic Skua, predictably harrying a tern and a group of six RBMs.

East Chev was dead (I am fast becoming a Vanellusaphobe), you can only take so many Lapwings (over 300 o/s the main hide on the North Pool), and half a dozen Swifts over the path to it (PC Wanderings take note).

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


  • Gettng spot-on directions from Newton Stringer - Free
  • Taking half a day off work - Have to work twice as hard tomorrow to catch up
  • Fuel for journey - £10
  • Eighty five miles of car depreciation  - U/K
  • Standing on top of a dune south of Newton Pool at 1:55pm today, with optics and cameras ready, scanning the 'naked' hawthorn bushes all around whilst reading on your web-enabled phone that at 1:18pm Birdguides said the RBS had not been seen all morning and so feeling like a right twat - Priceless.
Thank God I already have a Mastercard!

Two Ruff on what I believe is the scrape at Newton (where the yellow digger is, north of Newton Pool).

Did 'bag' yet another BTD amongst the RTDs and Common Scoters off The Pools on my way back tho', as well as a Darctic Skua (but that doesn't address my pissedoffedness).

Monday, 16 August 2010

Feck Me! I've been rumbled!

Scary McClary, I nearly did a triple-take!  During my nightly trawl of local blogs, I was rocked on my seat by this!  Whilst the ee-jut in the second photo is me (and I have tried for years to keep my fascination with 'the outdoors' secret) there is now a new craze - Blog The Blogger (BTB).  See how many birders you can secretly 'tick' every year. 


BTB - easier to i/d than a Sykes'/Booted, markedly bigger than a Firecrest but not to be undertaken in Arcot.  If I had known, I'd have worn my DJ!

More! More!

Delivered in the style of the late/great Harry Secombe as Mr Bumble in Oliver (bear with me, dear reader), yesterday's Lifer was surpassed 'early doors' with the Sykes' Warbler at Druridge Bay CP dunes (less than 21 hours later).  So my alternative title to this item may have been 'Sykes?  Bullseye!' and in so doing, two other characters from the same film would have been recorded here (Bill and his faithful, if not over-abused, Bull Terrier).  So there you are, a right Dickensian theme to an outstanding 24 hours in the world of 'extreme birding'.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Very Well Spotted

What a crackin' couple of hours this afternoon. 

Tried for the Spotted Crake at Shibdon Pond first and was rewarded within a matter of minutes, thanks to Andrew Kinghorn who arrived at the hide as I did, and just as a couple of more mature birders were leaving (I don't have a key, which would have made watching a little tricky!).  What an obliging and smart-looking little bird it was/is.  How it made it across the North Sea is a miracle in itself.  But Andrew and I were very glad it did.  It was frequenting the reeds to the back of the floating island opposite the hide (to the right of the white depth marker post).

Off north to Arcot (it looks very Shibdon-esque and so ripe for a crake too).  Nothing much noted in the short time I was there, but two other bona fide birders told me of a Spotted Redshank on the Blyth and so off there asap.  And continuing the day's luck, I dropped onto it straight away.  And what a super bird too, with its incessant wading and feeding, only punctuated to chase off its Common cousins.

So 200 for the year, and only ten more required to break my year's best.  Next!