Saturday, 15 October 2011

More Of The Same

Enjoying yesterday's route so much, I did it again and in slightly slower mode this morning from 07:40 to 10:40.

Northbound, the North Pool was manic with 1000's of Pink-feet and other wildfowl including Pintail, Shoveler, Barnacle and Greylag Geese, Mallard and Teal.

Along the path, a few of these:

One or two of these:

And boat loads of these:

Hadston had a Yellow-browed Warbler in the SW corner of the Scaur car park, my first self-found one - which was nice!

The sea off The Pools had a crackin' summer plumage Great Northern Diver, and with it, three Little Gulls.

And after a wee spot of cheffing (that's not a euphemism, I love to cook too and this year I shall be mostly eating Moroccan), off for a plodge around West Hartford.

One SEO lit up the afternoon and was last seen dropping into the field north of the fire station (having been in the one to its west initially).

And to end the day, a mystery.  In the field to the east of the firestation (east edge, half way along), after the owl had left, a chocolate brown pipit, larger than a Meadow, with a very dark tail (when viewed flying north) and generally ballanced (the tail was as long as the body - but not wagtail lenghth).  IN the four times I saw the bird, all flying away and never on the ground) it never made a sound, and I believe the outer tailo feathers were pale.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Red-breasted Browntails

Thought I would do a Thomas Hardy and go far from the madding crowd this afternoon.  Yellow-broweds were turning up 'all ower' and having added to the year list already, I thought I would go in search of something exotic and self-found and so 'hot-footed' it to Syke'sville (Druridge Bay to Hauxley).

En route, had a Jay over the road that runs past the QEII park (but at the Linton end), and a GSW over the road from Linton near Houndalee Farm (is that not where Puff the Magic Dragon lived!).

Car parked at the south end of the North Pool at East Chev, the first bird was a Stonechat:

Onward and upward, or rather northward, and the Pool was lifting.  I could have spent ages going through the wildfowl, but ages I did not have.

Beyond the Country Park car park, every bush appeared to have a R-b B/tail (Erithacus rubecula) on it.  All very nice but not quite pulse-racing!

One Wheatear was present:

And further along, another Stonechat:

The sea was not too choppy, with flocks of Teal, Eider and Common Scoter, and with the two Red-throated Divers, a nice Black-throat.  Eureka!

The only embuggerance was the P of PTZ not working on the old scope.  The legacy of too much seawatching?  Anyway, a few blasts of the old UB40 spray and it's now a right as rain (why is rain right?).

And finally, from yesterday, to break up the monotony, a bull with massive bollocks!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

(S)Nabbed by the Bizzies

Plan A - Snab Point at dawn, looking for Divers other than Red-throats.

Plan B - Same objective, different location (the car park opposite the caravan park north of Snab).

The reason?  Filming of an episode of Vera and the car parks either side of the Coastguard's Cottage were for thespians only!  And the road outside (southbound) was down to single carriageway with temporary lights.  Oh, the power of the media.  And I didn't even get a part as an extra!

Anyway, one Bonxie, many auks and ducks, and groups of Gannets (10 - 20 in each) all north. Two R-t Divers on the sea and one south.

Cresswell's north end had hods of Lapwing, Wigeon and Teal, eight Golden Plover, three R-b Mergansers and bits of other 'stuff'.

Nothing out of the ordinary on The Pools, and nothing on the sea, save for a raft of about a hundred Common Scoter.

The Ash Lagoon banks had all the usuals; Robins; Dunnocks; Blackbirds, Wrens and Skylarks (southbound).

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Life through a lens (or rather four of them)

Eye, specs, scope eye-piece and scope lens.  And today, trying to keep the non-anatomical threesome dry in 'that fine rain that soaks you through' (P Kay Esq) was a challenge, to say the least.

No American Golden Plover at Beacon Point (in fact, only a dozen or so Golden Plover there.  And 120 at Cresswell and all of them non-Yankies).

Wheatear with the Starlings, Dunlin and Pied Wagtails on the beach:

And the Ash Lagoon banks were quiet, except for:

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Turtley Fascinating

A hour's dove-spotting was initially deflated by news from those on the road to Big Waters that the bird had not been seen since early morning.

Nonetheless, persistence paid off and eventually the bird left the Wood Pigeons and rejoined the Collared Doves in the mast field.

Monday, 10 October 2011

He Who Laughs Last......... The Guvnor.

A birding tale using the medium of text:

The Guvnor (TG) - Lesser Scaup Juv marden quarry Sun pm.
The Liverbirder (TL) - As in whitley bay!
TG - Yes
TL - BirdGuides has no sign of L Scaup this morning. Boo hiss!  Another Yank with Northumbria-phobia!!
TG - I predict Holywell or Swallow Pond! Worth a look
TL - Indeed.  I will let the traffic die down and have a go.
TG - Plus Tynemouth boating lake
TL - LOL!!!!!
TG - Seriously!
TL - Ok.  In that case I'll check out Northumberland Park to see if it is with the Mandarin!!!!

And then at 2:43pm
TG - Lesser Scaup at Tynemouth boating lake right now!
TL - Kidding.  En route in 10.  And wipe that smug grin off your face!  You're not The Guvnor for nothing!

These are actual events and the names have been (partially) changed to protect the innocent.

If one Swallow doesn't make a summer.............. must be autumn!

Damp, drizzle, chilly and generally 'orrible, the single Swallow circling the large dune at Druridge Pools had clearly missed the flight south.

Two Stonechats on the shrub at the top of the same dune were pleasing on the eye, as were the Red-throated Divers and Common Scoters on the sea.

The Oddie Hide gave good views of Snipe, and loads of wildfowl on the lake,with a fare few Goldeneye.

Off to Cresswell, and from the car park, again, loads of wildfowl, and 11 Red-breasted Mergansers were impressive.  Dunlin and Redshank added to the wader tally, and Lapwing and Golden Plover too.

Arcot had not a lot more, the welcoming Bullfinches in the hedgerow near the entrance gate being the highlight!