Saturday, 23 April 2011


On the fifth attempt, captured Redstarts at Beacon Hill.  Worth the wait as there were three (2M:1F).

And a quiet spell on the moor located a Tree Pipit.


Good migrant walk with the derg this morning, especially the wee wood/clearing to the SW of the r/about at the west end of N/brian Road (over the road from Nelson Hill).

Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and a reeling Gropper. Add to that Blue and Great Tit, Dunnock, a GSW over north and three Canada Geese south.

Loads of Whitethroats throughout NIE and WH, and a Green Sandpiper and Redshank too.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Moralee Right!

Had a waxing couple of hours today 'Out West'.  Never been to Allenbanks, but thanks to Steve - The BirdMeister - Holliday (It's 'Sir' to you!), me and Mrs M headed off to that locality and Moralee Woods in search of Redstart, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher.  Despite the place heaving with Bank Holiday 'types', as we neared the suspension bridge, two birds flew from west bank to east and then the familiar babbling of WWs.  Magnificent!  I would guess four in that vicinity, with the best views just over the bridge.

And better still, within a few minutes of parting company with the WWs, Pied Flycatchers.  Nothing is surely better than watching PFs to the soundtrack of WWs!

Redstarts are still evading me but it's early days.  Hods of Willow Warblers, Blue Tits and Nuthatches too, and a few Bullfinches and ChiffchaffsDippers and Grey and Pied Wagtails up and down the river too!

Off to Sipton Burn next in search of Ring Ouzel and Red and Black Grouse.  One from three ain't bad, Red Grouse present but no sign of the other two.  As we waited, Lesser Redpoll, Crosssbill, Gold and Greenfinch, Mistle and Song Thrush and plenty of Chaffinches acted as entertainment.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bolam Blank

Tried the old railway line this morning, the place other than Berkeley Square where the Nightingale sang in June 2009.

Green Woodpecker yaffling in the wooded area on the east side of the access road from the main road, and another to the NE.  The famous hay bales on the west side were gone, and the surface of the 'waggonway' is not now what it was when I was there last year (25th April 2010).  It looks like at some time a nice farmer with a fancy machine has taken the top layer off.  All the wild grasses and plants have gone to be replaced by dry earth and some of the bushes have been trimmed.  The 'rustic' charm has gone!

Birdwise, two Wheatears looking pristine, hods of Willow Warblers, Great and Blue Tits, Chaffinches aplenty and Yellowhammers too.

Alas, no obvious Redstarts, but one calling from the small copse to the north of the line, about half a mile along where the small, metal-railed bridge is.  Despite some loitering, it did not appear.

And no warblers either, such as Whitethroats.  All in all, pretty quiet.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Nice to see ya - to see ya, nice!

Quick walk north from Mayfair Cottage at Prestwick Carr this lunchtime; and well worth it too!

Two Whitethroats seen and heard, one 30 yards north on the east side, and another 30 yards further on on the west.

Groppers to the east (two heard), but no sight nor sound of the Redstart and the Owl was not in its usual placed (the second time I have drawn a blank).

Monday, 18 April 2011

n(Ice) Find

Strolled around St. Mary's this evening in the hope of a migrant or two.

It was dead; chilly, breezy and very quiet.  The wetland had a couple of Teal and a Mute Swan!

On the rocks in the south bay, with a flock of Herring and GBB Gulls, a juvenile Iceland Gull

It looked exactly like this.  The primaries were a buffy colour.

The camera was in the boot!