Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cattle Egret

Whilst standing on my patch yesterday with Dan, a report came through of a cattle egret on Holy Island, which took us by surprise! I thought I was seeing things but I wasn't - Northumberland's first twitchable Cattle Egret and we couldn't say no! As Alan Tilmouth said on his recent post, this was the first real bird of note so far this winter, apart from the odd bean goose! So this morning, Andrew Kinghorn kindly took me and Dan, with Michael Murphy and Kieran Lawrence to see it. Arriving at 9:15, we were greeted by a long line of birders, most of which I knew and it was nice to see everyone reunited for this county mega! It was also nice to finally meet Stewart today!

Anyway, when we arrived the egret was in the garden and unfortunately out of sight, however after about half an hour of standing freezing our arses off, it finally walked out into the 'open' and I managed to get my first British and County Cattle Egret! After watching it for about an hour, it finally stopped and stood in a decent place where I could get a phone-scoped shot of it, very record shot-style again but what a bird! Did not do it justice at all with the shot and hopefully there will be a up!

True County Mega!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year all, this year I will be blogging mainly about my patch as I am in a patch yearlist competition with a few mates, so will be spending a lot of my time there! Most of my birding so far this year has been patch birding, with the exception of the Green-winged Teal twitch at Saltholme with Kieran which we eventually connected with! Other than that, not a whole lot to report apart from a new seawatching spot that I thought may be good, and it turned out that it was!

On the 13th, I visited my patch and went to the north end to Old Hartley, within 10 minutes of setting up my scope, I had picked out 20+ Fulmars, a Velvet Scoter and 2 Brent Geese flying by, and also 2 Black-throated divers, one Red-Throated Diver and a grebe sp. on the sea (probably red-necked from the brief views it gave). Other highlights so far have been Med Gull and lots of pink-feet (which I have looked through several times for bean goose, no such luck).

However today the cold weather reminded me why I love my patch so much, with one over due patch tick in the form of 9 yellowhammers, and 6 patch yearticks with wigeon, drake pintail on the wetland and the sea which was a nice surprise! Also got a male peregrine over the wetland early on, and Alan Curry later told me it took a woodcock over the fields! I also got another text off Alan telling me about only my second patch merlin in the fields sitting down with it's back to us, showed well for me before flying low over the field and putting all the yellowhammer, skylarks and meadow pipits up! 

Poor Phone-Scoped Record Shot of the Pintail (trust me, it is one!).

However my overall highlight of the day was late on in the day after I came back to see if I could find any white winged gulls in the roost, and as I arrived, a 1st-winter Glaucous Gull flew over me, MEGA! Great patch yeartick and self found as well! Takes me up to 72 for the year on patch so far. 

Probably the same bird as this one in November?