Saturday, 12 May 2012

Throat Fine, a bit Red but Couldn't Swallow

At 5:30 am today, West H was bright, cold, breezy and dead.  Despite a half hour of wishful thinking, nothing to raise the heart rate nor temperature, other than perhaps a brief glimpse of the back of a Whinchat south of the main pool, just as it dropped into the reeded area.

Arcot was, well, as Arcot is at present, dead.  Even the Mute Swans left SW towards Big Waters' probable comparative excitement.

9:00 am and off the Newton-by-the-Sea as the Bluethroat had been seen twice and this would be a Lifer.  Parking the Mirthmobile near the Tin Church, I asked a bloke if it was showing still, and indeed it was.  First tick of the day, as the bloke was none other than the Stringer himself (We're not worthy!  We're not worthy!).

And then the ornithologically orgasmic experience that is the Lifer.  Unbeatable (say nowt to Mrs Liverbirder!)!!:

After the bird was spooked from the wall by two local equestrians, it went high and down into the corn field, a good few yards in from the ploughed strip, so off the Hauxley on the way home to see the Red-backed Shrike.  Bumping into Tim Dean and then Morgan, the bird's exact whereabouts were unknown, but then Alan Jack, Joe Dobison, Michael Frankis and another chap whose name is still a mystery pointed to where the bird was (across a field) and voila!

News from Mr Sometimes and his lieutenant indicated that the Red-rumped Swallows remain at Lynemouth, off south, but alas, despite the birding surveillance from two Dacks, a McLevy, and a few unknowns, nowt. 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Swift Threesome!

This title'll generate a few 'hits' on t'interweb, and some equally deflated chicken-chokers!

Happy days!

Anyways, call from the Guv'nor as I drove home from work that he had the Wessie H Cuckoo in his sights.  Bargain!  Then a text to say that after he had ticked it, he had mysteriously lost it!  Hmmmm, 'creative accounting' afoot me thought.  But no, within a few minutes of my arrival and the world's biggest frown, voila!

Digiscoped over 150 yards:

Home in time for tea, with lashings and lashings of ginger beer, another Guv'nor message, this time a Whinchat.  Off we go again, this time with my trusty hound in tow to 'bag' 100 for the patch for the year:

And added Swift for good measure as there was a fly eruption on the larger Flash and it was Swallow/House Martin/Swift frenzy!

Plenty of these about (any floraholics know what it is?):

And this egg, found stone cold along the side of a wet field, and left there.  Laid by?

Utt-lee, Utt-lee Gutt-ed!

As oft used in the rantings of a Liverpudlian madman, the 'words' of that local songstress and cultural icon, Ms Cheryl - You nailed it! You made it your own! I believe in you! - Cole.

Picture if you will Saturday and Sunday in the comparative warmth and dryness of the Cramlington weekend climate and me and the wee derg enjoying the sounds of a local Sylvia curruca in the bushes at a factory at the Nelson Industrial Estate.

Compare this with last night's damper and cooler and devastating scenario as I neared said location and silence.  And nearer and nearer and still quiet.  And closer still to see the bushes where the wee chap had been entertaining The Liverbirder and Birding Sometimes had been 'managed'.  I say 'managed'; I mean pruned.  I say 'pruned'; I mean chopped to ground-level and then pulped.

I will be on the phone at 9am.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


My public sector pension, highlighted today as being at risk, has been well and truly earned this week with a 14-hour day starting at 6:40 am on Turesday, and then a 12-hour day starting at 5:00 am yesterday.  No sympathy sought nor expected, but whilst locked-in to an all-day meeting, Phil - The (Birding) Power - Allott located a Garganey at West Hartford, followed by a calling Cuckoo

The texts were killing me!

Needless to say, by tea-time, only the former, a stunning drake was there.  And nothing was calling 'early doors' today.