Monday, 11 October 2010

A lifer weekend

My weekend started on Friday at Tynemouth with the great grey shrike very fleetingly. It was on the priory for a couple of seconds then flew off and I didn't see it again. The goldcrests and other warblers were putting in a performance as well but nothing unusual.
On Saturday, we went to Hartlepool to see the woodchat shrike which was a new bird for me. A very handsome and approachable bird along with a lot of other things: redwings, goldcrests and a lot of other birds. Unfortunately I didn't get any birding in on Sunday because I was ringing all day which was also a success. 2 GS Woodpeckers, Redwings, Stonechat and a pied flycatcher were all ringed. There was a lot of other good birds ringed too. See the photos for details.
And yesterday, I was at St. Mary's getting my second lifer of the weekend, the red-flanked bluetail which was showing very well on the fence posts and stiles. There was plenty of other things too, goldcrest, redstart and a garden warbler which is a patch tick. I think it is a garden warbler but I have aphoto of it on this blog so feel free to tell me if it's not.
Overall, I think that is a pretty impressive weekend, shame about the light though.
Woodchat Shrike Garden WarblerRed-Flanked Bluetail
Redwing Meadow PipitGS Woodpecker Stonechat SiskinWillow Tit

Saturday, 2 October 2010

A Dark-Bellied Day

I've just come back from St. Mary's Island, there was quite a bit there. In the north bay there was a Dark-Bellied Brent Goose, 2 bar-tailed godwits and plenty of ther waders like redshank, dunlin, sanderling and ringed plover. The golden plover numbers were higher than I've ever seen. Then as I looked round, there was a merlin that I just caught sight of as it flew over the rocks and out of sight. I've never seen a merlin there before. That's about all really, the merlin was the highlight with the brent goose a close second!
Brent Goose Bar-Tailed Godwit