Saturday, 11 September 2010


From Birdguides this morning.  What a foursome; and all in THREE minutes!  A dream come true for the lucky birder(s), no doubt.

08:56 11/09/10 Pectoral Sandpiper Mayo Leam Lough

two juveniles on The Mullet this morning

08:55 11/09/10 Buff-breasted Sandpiper Mayo Leam Lough

one still on The Mullet this morning

08:54 11/09/10 White-rumped Sandpiper Mayo Leam Lough

juvenile still on The Mullet this morning

08:53 11/09/10 Spotted Sandpiper Mayo Leam Lough

Friday, 10 September 2010

Lazy Birding

No point in typing an update, BS has done it for me (and his 'snaps' are a bit better than mine too)!

And for those wondering what 206 for the year was, from the Cottage Drain Hide at Potteric Carr YWT (Doncaster) on Wednesday afternoon, whilst watching a crackin' Kingfisher, a Bittern left the reedbed behind and flew low over them and into another part of the same bed.


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Hat T(r)ick

Yesterday started slow (chores to do).  Off work this week (was 21 again on Monday and off to Ladies' Day at the St. Leger meeting today).  Managed to get out at 3:30pm and needed a Harry Hill moment - South Tyneside or Newbiggin Golf Course?  The latter won the fight.

Headed to the Barred Warbler's place, the golf gorse (golf gorse!  Golf course!  Almost poetic!).  En route, noted it was Wheatear frenzy across the SW corner, and at least two Whinchats.

Wandered to the gorse, and saw little until I met a great guy with a collie (Priest, I believe his name was (the bloke, not the dog).  And readers of this blog will know I could often do with some religious intervention!). 

We chatted about what had been seen and what was sought and he explained that The Big Guns (Messrs McElwee, Dack (x2), Cleeve, McLevy and others) were on their way here to look for an odd warbler.  So like one of those irritating school kid autograph hunters who follow the celebs about, I waited and followed.

And behold, stars from the east, and tales of Lapland Buntings, Wrynecks and warblers.  And then, the intervention from a higher being (Mr McL) and the Wryneck was in the burnt gorse (fka the burning bush?).  But after a few seconds, it was up and off towards Barreds-ville at the side of the ash lagoon.

And more plodging in the foliage revealed Redstarts and Willow Warblers and a Pied Flycatcher and more Wheatears and Whinchats.  Magic!

But, in the words of the comedy icon Jimmy Cricket, 'There's more.'

Mr McL had had word of a Whiskered Tern at East Chev, so it was time for more gazelle-like lollopping (is that a word?) and in the car heading north.  And on arrival, my tripod had mysteriously become a bipod (hence the retort, 'I had one but the leg fell off') but nonetheless it still afforded me views of what was speedily converted into a WwB Tern, and with it, at least four if not five Black Terns.

And on the way home, my lost leg was recovered from the SW corner of the course and is now glued back on!

The End (thank the Lord).

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Jeux Sans Frontieres

Those as old as me will recall the late Eddie Waring and the great Stuart Hall and It's A Knockout.  I hated it but it's relevant here, not because I dress up in a huge foam suit and wear large shoes whilst sliding down a slope and carrying buckets of water, but because yesterday I played my joker.

In the competition that is Brunswick v Cramlington. the former contestant has silently (ish) edged ahead and I had high hopes that yesterday's pelagic would at least get me level or, dare I say, sneak to the front.

Not a hope. 

Despite a well organised trip, with perfect weather (for the first half anyway), the birds were pre-ticked and so no additions were made.

The thrill was not the variety nor quantity but the proximity.  Fulmars, Gannets, GBBGs and Kittiwakes close enough to almost touch, and the best views of Sooties and Bonxies I have had.  Excellent.

But the Lifers and 'Yearers' that kept me awake as the big day neared failed to appear (unless you were on land, that is).

Sea watching is bad enough as your quarry appears then disappears as the swell goes up and down.  But when you are going up and down too, it's infuriating.

And you know you are getting too attached to Skuas when the sight of one makes you regurgitate your lunch (three times)!

So all in all, I returned to base, eight hours after setting sail with high hopes, wet, cold, ill and with 'him' still ahead.

And an audit of my lists this morning showed a school boy error (no, that's not something a shamed MP makes.  Or is it!) and so it's now 204 v 202.