Sunday, 22 November 2009

A nice surprise at Killingworth Lake

We went to Killingworth Lake and St. Mary's today. We went to look for the goosander at Killingworth and when we got there, we saw them straight away in all different places. As we were walking along to watch a male goosander at the other end of the lake, I was watching the ducks sitting on the bank next to the road and then a smaller duck left the bank and swam past us within 3 feet. I knew as soon as I saw it that it was a female mandarin duck. It was brilliant to watch it in the water then it climbed onto the bank again in front of us. After getting loads of photos of it, we went to see the goosander and then off to St. Mary's. The tide was nearly in at St. Mary's and there was very little rock but there was still quite a variety of waders. These included over 50 ringed plover, redshank, turnstone, curlew, oystercatcher and also 3 knot which were a little different. A nice end to the day!
Mandarin DuckGoosander Group of Waders: Top Left (Ringed Plover) Middle Top (Dunlin) Top Right (Redshank) Front (Knot)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

A life tick day!

Today we were looking for a life tick - snow goose. We started of the day at Holy Island for the bearded tit. We watched for about 30 minutes and after no luck we went back to the car to beat the tide. On the way back we saw 3 sparrowhawks, a kestrel and a peregrine which was lovely to see after no bearded tit! On the way off the island, we saw a baby seal lying in the sun on the sand really close to the causeway which was lovely to see. Next we headed to Budle Bay. Unfortunately, the tide was right in and everything was on the sandbanks miles away. That wasn't much good so we went onto the best place of all - Stag Rocks. First we went to the rock itself to see 60 purple sandpiper which was brilliant and very photogenic. Next we scanned the sea after being told there was 2 slavonian grebes. I scanned it with my scope and saw them straight away. Two birds birds which were slavonian grebes. While we were watching them, I saw a little black and white bird and when I showed my dad, we decided that was the black guillemot that had been around for a while. We also got told there was 3 red-throated divers. SO we looked for them and eventually I did see 1. And right at the end of the sea watch, I saw a duck with a black and white head flying in towards the shore and when it landed I identified it as my first long-tailed duck. A very good session of sea watching in a new spot! And on the way out we saw a Brent goose fly past the shore which was very close but I only saw it at the last minute so no photos but good purple sands! No snow goose but better!
167 - LT Duck
168 - Slavonian Grebe
Purple Sandpiper Grey Seal