Thursday, 28 October 2010

Large shoes, over-sized suit, revolving bow tie and a car with loose doors!!

Dear Reader - today had a large element of irony about it.

All started well with Bamburgh at sunrise.  I'm no Malloy, or Pears, or Goulding or any of the other birding David Bailleys, but one can but try.

Straight into a Black-throated Diver (S) and hopes of a good morning; best summed up as routine, with Eiders, Shags, Common Scoters and Red-throated Divers on the sea, and Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Purple Sandpiper on the shore.  Gulls of many denominations were all over.

And so checking BirdGuides on my Blackberry showed the Pectoral Sandpiper back/still at Newton on the scrape.  So into my crazy car and off south via Seahouses and Monks' House Pool in the hope of a white-winged gull.  Alas, this was not to be.

And after parking on the double-yellows, it was a quick look-see.  Redshank and Curlew abounded, as well as Lapwing and then voila, the Pec. Sand.  What a little belter.

The irony?  Given my birding 'style' of often using t'interweb to follow birds spotted by others (not 100% of the time as I love sea watching) and adding them to a year list, and my 'style' being likened to that of a clown, to be directed by technology to tick a bird on the patch of the Coulraphobic himself was somewhat bizzarre.

I hope he hasn't taken offence at my invasion, albeit a wee one, nor this post, as one day we may meet (given we appear to live only a few miles apart) and hopefully have a grin at this nonsense!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Dear Reader, there are some birding experiences that simply take your breath away.  Being ahead of Vipers is one (I jest, of course), and seeing a Lifer is another.  And within that latter ornithologically orgasmic state must be some Lifers above others.  This year has seen (so far) 18, and, yes Gaz, some have been better than the rest.  The Hobby at West Hartford was up there, as was Nightjar at Slaley and Woodchat Shrike at Hartlepool to name but three.  And today's addition was probably the best.  As the Geordie Diva Cheryl Cole would say, it was 'utt-lee stunn-in'!

But what a palava! 

A SEVENTY mile one-way journey to a place so close to Whitby I am surprised I didn't see Aidensfield CID there with Alf Ventress, taking over 1 hr 45 minutes, a few wrong turns, a few locals putting the train back on the tracks, and eventually, the sacred place described by Sir Foghorn of Durham (many thanks, the directions were spot-on) was located and as I neared, view No. 1, distant and to the north.  And a duo of lady cyclists were duly consulted about my being at the correct place (as per the map) and as they confirmed I was, the second view as the bird banked to the north showing underwing and tail pattern.  Su-f*ckin-perb!

After politely explaining why my advancing trousers were so excited, and apologising for my bad manners as the scope took precedence over the conversation, another couple of northerly views.

The fifth glimpse was over my right shoulder (SE) as the bird was being mobbed by a crow:gull combo over what the map says is an old quarry.

And that was it.  Five all-too-brief glimpses of what was a top-notch bird, and one I will, in the future, drop everything to go and see again.

The terrain was VERY similar to Harthope, so a visit there with more time (and less miles) is called for ASAP.

If you can get there, do so, it's fan-f*ckin-tastic!

Monday, 25 October 2010


12:30 > 2:30 pm today at Snab Point, most of the 'action' northbound and beyond the flags and nearer the horizon.  Even with my scope on full throttle most was quick across the surf and either white or black or black and white!

Nonetheless, four Rt Divers on the sea with the odd Eider and GBBG, and a GN Diver above it at 13:00 hrs.  Several RT Divers also flying north, along with Gannets and Scoters.

More than 50 Knot on the rocks too!