Saturday, 31 October 2009

Saturday's Shields Sabine's

I went to North Shields Fish Quay in search of the juvenile Sabine's Gull. I had never seen one which gave me even more reason to go to see it! When we arrived we saw the group of birders looking around so we went and asked them and they pointed out my first ever Sabine's Gull. I took a few photos but unfortunately it didn't land but it was still great to see a new species and so close (about 10 feet away to be precise!)

166 - Sabine's Gull

Sabine's Gull

Friday, 30 October 2009

A Good Raptor Day

Today I went to Druridge Pools, Cresswell and St. Mary’s. Cresswell didn’t produce much except 20 redshank and some snipe. There were a few Canada geese on the pond but not much else. We left the hide only to be greeted by a female kestrel hovering outside but it flew off as soon as we got there but only as far as a tree near the car so we crept up and got some photos before it flew off once again. Then we headed up to Druridge. When we arrived in the Oddie Hide, there was very little to see except 2 greenshank. We stayed for 15 minutes with nothing showing so we were just leaving when a female merlin flew across the pond and through the trees. We ran out and into the other hide next to the Oddie hide and scanned the posts on the far side and eventually, we found it sitting on a post quite far away but still a brilliant sighting. A first for the year! St. Mary’s produced 300+ golden plover, 2 purple sandpiper and a woodcock which we flushed from the rocks accidently but none the less it is a life tick!! A good end to a good day!!
Kestrel Merlin
Golden Plover

Saturday, 17 October 2009

All Over The Place (Plus 1 Life Tick)

We have been all around Northumberland today looking for birds. We started very locally at St. Mary’s to see if we could find the firecrest. After looking around for 30 mins we decided to give up and start on the waders. The North Bay produced 3 oystercatchers, 3 dunlin, 2 turnstone, 1 curlew, 17 redshank and a bar-tailed godwit (now in its 3rd week at St. Mary’s). Just as we started to leave, a peregrine flew over getting all the waders to fly. It soon landed somewhere near Seaton Sluice and not quite out of view. We left after that. However, on our way out, we saw a short-eared owl fly over the south bay sending all the gulls up. Not bad so far!! Then we went to Holywell for the guided tour. We went to the members hide first which didn’t give us anything until a report came in about a pectoral sandpiper at the public hide so we all left and went there. Just before we got there, Bob Dack (a friend of Holywell Pond) came out and gave the dreadful words of ‘it’s just flown that way’. We couldn’t believe it, just our luck but we went in the hide and waited. We saw 5 snipe, loads of geese and gulls, 50+ lapwing and eventually after 40 minutes, a pectoral sandpiper! Hooray!! We then went to Druridge Pools to finish the day with a glossy ibis. When we arrived in the Oddie Hide, everybody was around the windows to the right of the hide. The Ibis was there feeding. We watched that for a while before a heron flew in landed very close to the hide. It produced brilliant views without chasing the ibis! There was an amazing amount of shoveler at Druridge today but only females. Just as we were leaving, a greenshank flew over and landed on the mud. A very successful day! 164 – Pectoral Sandpiper (another life tick!) Pectoral Sandpiper Grey Heron
Glossy Ibis Greenshank

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A good hour of birding 6/10/09

Just come back from St. Mary’s. The tide was coming in fast so I just got 10 minutes but it was worth it. The North Bay contained a bar-tailed godwit, 2 curlews, 3 redshank, 24 sanderling, 9 turnstone, 3 ringed plover, 50 golden plover and a cormorant fishing. I tried to get photos of all of them in the short time that the tide let me have! I called into Briar Dene Car Park on the way back, no sign of med gull but there were 2 common gulls present. We also saw a grey wagtail fly over then land quite close to the car park down under the bridge in the little stream. As this was a first at St. Mary’s for me we went and got a few photos before moving on. After that we went to Tynemouth Boating Lake to see the barnacle goose. When we arrived there was only one goose there and it was the barnacle goose. Quite easy to spot! The wind picked up a bit while we were there but it soon settled letting me get some photos. A good hour of birding! Cormorant Curlew
Bar-Tailed GodwitRinged Plover Grey Wagtail
Common Gull
Barnacle Goose