Thursday, 19 December 2013

Summary of 2013.

2013 has been an excellent year all round, Northumberland has been incredible! I've had a total of 32 British Ticks and have managed to put a top 10 together, the top 2 was a battle in my mind, but the Bridled Tern can't possibly be beaten I'm afraid, best bird I have ever seen by far. Spent the year in some fantastic company, thanks to everyone who made it so. Here it is!
  • 10 - Bluethroat, St. Mary's Island - 25/9/13
  • 9 - Long-Tailed Skua, St. Mary's Island - 24/5/13
  • 8 - Siberian Stonechat, Howick - 21/10/13
  • 7 - Dotterel, Cairn Gorm - 25/5/13
  • 6 - Spotted Sandpiper, Alnmouth - 27/7/13
  • 5 - Sardinian Warbler, Mire Loch - 6/10/13
  • 4 - American Golden Plover, St. Mary's Island - 20/9/13
  • 3 - COLLARED FLYCATCHER, Low Newton - 8/5/13
  • 2 - IVORY GULL (2), Seahouses - 7/12/13
  • 1 - BRIDLED TERN, Inner Farne - 1/7/13
Some photos from 2013:

 By far Patch Bird of the Year, American Golden Plover found by James Spencer, quality.
 Black Redstart (1 of 3 seen at St. Mary's this year), this one found by Dan McGibbon.
 Blue-Headed Wagtail found by myself at St. Mary's in April.
 Cracking Bluethroat found by Nick Dales, huge lifer for me, and at St. Mary's again!
WOW. Look at that. No words can describe how good this really was. BRIDLED TERN on the Farnes. Big thanks to Mike Hodgson and Gary Woodburn for gaining me access to this bird! Found by Will Scott, beauty.
 One of my all time favourite birds, Corncrake from North Uist.
 Dotterel found by me and my dad on Cairn Gorm in May, class.
 Firecrest at St. Mary's, another lifer and long overdue! Well found by John Malloy and Phil Allott.

 Impressive Beasts. Golden Eagles on North Uist.
 Great White Egret at Druridge Pools to complete the 3 Egrets in one year in Northumberland!
Hawfinch at Sizergh Castle, another species I have been chasing for a long time and caught up with for the first time this year.
 Hen Harrier on North Uist, always fantastic!

 Very narrowly missing out on Bird(s) of the Year!! 2 IVORY GULLS at Seahouses Golf Course found by Gary Woodburn initially, simply incredible!

Pallid Swift at Hartlepool Headland, found by Simon Parnaby, a record up for discussion but happy to have it myself!
Cairn Gorm Classic! Ptarmigan at the Ski Centre. 
Grip-Back! A bird I have missed 11 times before this one, Red-Backed Shrike FINALLY seen at Seaton Sluice this year, found by Nigel Tinlin. Also had one at St. Mary's later in the month! 
Female Scaup on St. Mary's Wetland found by myself, later on saw 4 on the sea. 
Siberian Stonechat at Howick, been desperate to see one for years now, and got 2 in 2 days with the North Yorkshire bird the day before! 
Western Bonelli's Warbler at Hartlepool, very good NE record! 
A year wouldn't be complete without these beauties, Yellow-Browed Warbler at St. Mary's, another good year for them.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Double Act...

On Friday night, I was set to go to Lancashire for the Baikal Teal, but in a bizarre turn of events involving a faulty burglar alarm in our house that kept me awake until 4 o'clock, I decided to stay at home, and what a decision that turned out to be.. At half 12 on Saturday, I noticed a tweet from Will Scott in a mad panic after coming off the Farnes, saying he was watching an Ivory Gull at Seahouses! Panic set in, and an hour later, me and Dan were there and getting fantastic views of it on the golf course, flying 10 foot away from us at some points!! Then the bird went out of sight for 5 minutes, and after a while it drifted back over from the trees with another gull, I didn't even look at the other one, until I heard the shout 'THERE'S TWO OF THEM!!', followed by many expletives, and there was a second juvenile IVORY GULL with the first!!! They drifted off towards Beadnell, so everyone piled back into their cars and headed along the road, and following another report saying they were both on the seaweed at Beadnell Beach, we were watching them again on the beach!! 2 IVORY GULLS TOGETHER IN NORTHUMBERLAND?! Fantastic day! And a win at Man United, perfect!