Friday, 3 September 2010

RBS reduces deficit

With Gary - The Fluke - Smith at 204 for the year, it was time to get closer (NOT in the pink and fluffy sense) and so this afternoon I hot-tailed up to Bamburgh to seek the Red-backed Shrike.

After an hour of watching the top of every bush between there and Seahouses, or so it seemed, I bumped into a local birder who confirmed where it should have been and was seen earlier today.  After a minute or two of joint bins-craft, voila!

What a stunner!  I must admit that shrikes are one of my absolute favourite birds and this juvenile was quite superb.

My 'assistant' was the guy who located the Barred Warbler at Budle Point yesterday, and what a great bloke.  Didn't get his name tho'.

So, Vipers, 204 - 202 and my first pelagic tomorrow.

Here's to a score draw or even an away win by close of play tomorrow! 

Unless you are taking the kindergarten on a field trip again!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Avian Enemy or Feathered Friend?

A present, the former.

Just got back from yet another hour looking a shrubs at St. Mary's.  This afternoon, I spent yet another hour looking at shrubs at Newbiggin.

Groundhog Day!


Greenish?  Lights!  Camera! Action?  Nope.  Arrived at St. Mary's at 07:10 (for those who subscribe to Birdguides, note that time).

I was beckoned over with all due haste to the NW willows and so ran gazelle-like to be told it was 'there'.  But it was not.  The little bleeder is clearly competition to Usain Bolt and had darted into cover.

And, not surprisingly, for the next 110 minutes, it sat out of view, flicking me the ornithological 'v's.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Some you win.......................

...............many/most you don't!

Thought I would try again for the feckin' Greenish Warbler this evening but checkin' Birdguides there was an often helpful 'hasn't been seen since.....' report.

Whilst Harry Hill advises a a fight to determine between two choices, the Barred v Greenish debate was settled by the internet - Barred it was!

Barred shmarred!  Not a sniff at Newbiggin, just a Blackbird, a Whitethroat and an u/k.

And then on Birdguides, voila, the little green bugger was back, and it was too dim to start travelling!

What a(nother) pisser!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Good-ish Day

Well, dear Reader, the first-footing post-Italy was a mixed bag.  Snook in an hour before work at The Pools.  Nice to have to halt my drive north from Cresswell by a dozen Grey Partridge crossing L:R.  My quarry was the Red-necked Grebe seen yesterday, but like all my troubles in The Beatles' song, it was clearly far away.  Plenty of activity on the water, but nothing too exciting. 

On the sea, various silhouettes, many from Red-throated Divers, but the bright sun was stifling identifying anything else definitively.  Five Arctic Skuas were teaming up to 'rob' terns of their breakfast - I have never seen that many in one scope view.

Passing Cresswell on the way back, the lone figure of Mr McLevy warranted a quick chat, and as ever, his wisdom pointed me towards a Curlew Sandpiper in with a dozen Dunlin north of the causeway.  After ticking it, it was off south to earn a penny or two to keep the wolf from the door and a Barn Owl was sitting on a fence post near the Hide.  It lifted and flew west such that had there been anyone in the Hide, they would have had an unprecedented view as it flew level with the windows and only feet away.  Magic!

At base, a quick internet 'hit' on Birdguides showed a Greenish Warbler at St. Mary's and so an early departure from the office gave me time for a quick prod of a few bushes without success.  The hike back to the car did yield a Merlin that disappeared west over the fields towards the caravan park.

And I see that this evening, the little green blighter is back, but tomorrow will have little chance of a return visit. 

Bring on Saturday's pelagic!!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Roman Four (of) 'Em

Some of the non-archeological sights!  Possibly a juvenile YLG?

Hooded Crow (they were everywhere)

Little Egret

Adult YLG