Saturday, 26 March 2011

Today's Highlights

Druridge Pools - Male Stonechat looking very dapper in the dunes opposite the Budge.

East Chev. - Male Northern Wheatear in the grassy field to the west of the path running south from the South Pool at the first metal five-bar gate.

On the sea, Gannets moving north.

Beacon Lane, Cramlington - more than 800 Golden Plover, some in summer plumage.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Birding: a black and white pursuit

The last 24 hours have really been rather good.

Last night, walked 'Herself' from 5 to 6pm and had to be out for an awards evening at 6:15.  Whilst speedily donning the old 'whistle', the phone goes and by the time Mrs M gets to it, it's gone silent.

And then the 121 message from John - Nice New Car - Malloy that there's a Great White Egret at West Hartford.  So I tell the Gruppenfuhrer, she looks at her watch, I try and spell out the alternative route to the event venue via WH, she looks at me as if I am stupid, I admit I am, and then she transfers bins from my car to hers.  Winner!  And en route, news that there are two - Crikey!

So, the award for The Best Dressed Birder 2011 goes to..........................

Today, Raven Hunting in Kielder, and a glorious morning got foggier the nearer I got to Big K.  Arriving at 8:40, it was a pea-souper.  Bugger!

But the sun was out, and trying to break through, so the East Kielder Farm area was useless, but Bakethin was better.

It was very busy, especially with Nuthatch and Chaffinch.  A Green Woodpecker yaffled repeatedly but remained elusive, and there were plenty of Great Tits too.

Back to Forest Drive and after half an hour, several minutes of Corvus corax, just the one, but a belter!

Apart from loads of Common Buzzard pairs (and one with nesting material 'billed up'), not much else (Mippits and Skylarks), back to hunt the woody.  And again, no joy.

But, three Sand Martin flew NW, and a solitary Swallow.

And en route home, 40 Whoopers on Kielder Water was good to see.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Fancied a Quickie (or Two)

Arcot this pm - one Mute Swan, half a dozen Coot, a dozen Teal, a Mallard or two and little else.

Thanks to Crammy Birder, West Hartford at tea time, one SEO hunting the fields to the south and west of the larger flash, which 'contained' Mallard, Teal, two Greylags, Oystercatchers, Reed Bunting, two Common Buzzard (sparing with the owl) and a Crow (also sparing but overhead, which was very nice indeed).

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Number Sequence

19, 21, ?

The answer to the date in March when the first Chiffchaff turns up in my part of Cramlington for this year is today.  So the ? above is 20.

Not a squeak yesterday, but this morning, at the east end of the footpath from Crosland Way to the A1171, at least two singing their little lungs out.

Shame that in the months they have been away, the local authority's laughingly called Tree Maintenance Team ('maintenance' my arse!), have destroyed about 75% of the trees in that area!