Saturday, 23 October 2010

Little Success

'The kind of weather that makes you want to stay in bed is the exact weather you should be getting out of it and getting your a*se to the sea', I was once told.  And today was one of those.

07:40 @ Snab, McDonalds latte with a shot of espresso already consumed, and tripod and scope positioned as usual to the south of the point on the rocks to afford some shelter.

100s of Gannets and Kittiwakes (N), only Eiders, Oystercatchers and Curlews south.  In the two hours I was there, 12 Sooties all north, but the highlight was one Little Auk close in (N) at 08:40, then another 'very likely' 15 minutes later (N) (if it wasn't for the wind and the waves, sea watching would be a doddle!), then 09:10 another nailed-on (N) followed by another 'high-likely'.  And two more probables at 09:20.

As I left, I noticed Andy 'Lewoc' pulling into the car park north of the point and Andy McLevy's motor already there.  I hope they had as good a morning as I did.

Cresswell was busy but nothing to report and The Pools equally so.

Four excellent views of a Merlin (the same one, I bet), twice in the bay south of Snab(once putting all the gulls and waders up before off across the sea towards Beacon Point and the other chasing a small grey bird (who got away) in the same area), then over the white house just north of Cresswell village and finally over the hide at Cresswell.  Crackin'

High tide at half three, and the sun coming out just now, so a little dog walking and then part two!


14:50 > 16:10 - Church Point - on the wrong side of the brick house so with hat on and hood up could not hear the (very) wise men on the right side and so missed a Grey Phalarope.  Bit of a p*sser, really!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Sea-watching? G-watching more like!

Yesterday, I took an hour out and pottered off to Snab Point, after a brief look-see from my favourite big dune at The Pools.  To be honest, it was largely the same as the last time I looked (last Friday), with Common Scoters, Gc Grebe and Rt Divers.  Not a sniff of a GN Diver nor skua.

Today, a repeat of the time and location, but a change in the weather, now brighter, a tad warmer and sea like Hawaii 5 0!  Let the G's begin!  There was a steady trickle of Gannets, close in and far out, all going N.  Four Goldeneye, a distant Great Skua (N), a few north-bound Guillemots (could have been Razorbills but that would have fecked the semi-humorous title of this post), numerous gulls (GBB/H/Bh/C).

No GND nor Pom!  One day..........................................................................

20:15 20/10/10 - Looking at Birdguides just now, should have stayed longer or looked harder.  Some better birders at Blyth and N-b-t-S did much better than I (again).

(Also saw several non-Gs - Rb Mergansers (4 N), one Manxie (N)), half dozen Eiders (S) and a dozen Fieldfare in off the sea)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Mealy Nearly

Well, this weekend has been nothing short of a p*sser. 

Yesterday (all my troubles did not seem so far away, more's the pity) as some poor decision making had me looking for gulls at Newburn and not getting 'Pommed' into oblivion on the coast.  And to make matters worse, I cocked the tides up and so the Board Inn mudflats were covered in water, and the gulls were on the south bank on the building site and out of sight.  Still, a nice stroll in the sun around the place netted about 20 species (at this point the sea watchers had not posted and so I was blissfully unaware).

Dropped in at Arcot to try and locate a Redpoll or two, and true to form, dipped.

So, like failing on the last part of Bullseye, I logged on to BirdGuides and looked at what I could have won!

And today, Whitburn Obs. at 7:45 and until 9:30, not a lot.  The highlight was a northbound Little Gull.  And then another text from SH re. Pallas's at St. Mary's and off north.

From 10:10 to 11:30, glimpses for most, and needless to say, nothing for me.  It was getting a bit frustrating, to say the least.  Home, chores and back for 3:10 and within minutes more snatches for some of the crowd. 

And then the dilemma, dear Reader, as a small, green bird dropped from the top of a tree into another, lower bush, and a declaration that it was, indeed, the PW.  And between then and 16:30, the briefest of views, sometimes accompanied by a call, and sometimes not.  And the question - Do I count this?

Well, my conscience would not be clear, so despite having seen it, I have not classed the odd frame or two as anything.

The Mealy Redpoll in the NW corner of the willows, on the other hand, was close and lingering and without doubt a tick.

NB - 09:30/19/10/10 - I note that the Mealy is now recorded as a Lesser.  I did think it looked a bit too buff in parts, but the 'Great and the Good' (and there were many of them) called Mealy so I was happy to accept their judgement.  Lesson No. 1 - don't be afraid to question.