Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

My 2014 Gateshead year list is off already with tawny owl calling in the garden :) looking forward to doing the rounds local tomorrow, hope to get some good ones in :) jack snipe, ruff, med gull would be nice for new years day around Gateshead :)
Tawny owl in garden ;) well it was dark :) lol

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Chopwell Crossbills

Spent the morning at Chopwell woods going threw the common crossbills looking for some parrots with no luck :( had about 30+ common, but maybe some were the same birds flying over a few times? might of found a drinking hole aswell which i'll have to keep an eye on. Two birds finally perched in a tree so i could get some records shots, the views were amazing as they perched out in the sun :) The year is at an end soon and what a year its being with plenty of cracking lifers, might have time for one last twitch aswell? parrot crossbill (lifer) and two-barred crossbill which i might do if the weather is ok. Lets hope 2014 brings plenty good birds and all the best for the new year to everyone ;) Here is the crossbill shots from today.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

seen twice list

Ive just added my seen twice list up :0 my total is 297 with the latest addition western bonnelli's warbler, i think i'll try and hit the 300 :0 just for a laugh when nothing is about to go for? But first i need to twitch them parrot crossbills in notts, i should do the 2 barred crossbills for my 2nd list aswell? should hit the 300 easy enough with a little bit effort ;).

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Ivory Gull added to British life list

Twitched the Patrington haven Ivory gull this morning :0 it took 2:45mins to arrive on site and a further 10mins before the bird flew in to feed on the fish birders had put out for it, i couldn't of asked for better views as it flew over our heads before dropping onto the fish :) it hung around for 1 hour before heading back out onto the humber, great day and only 40 more to go before i hit the 400 :0 here is a few shots of this cracking bird.

Top bird :) 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

More Harrier action

2 Hen harriers today, 1w male and a female put on a show, still hundreds of fieldfare about and 4 common buzzard, 2 kestrel and a sparrowhawk.
1w male Hen Harrier

Didn't have time to get tripod out so hand held all shots

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Last year tick?

A ringtail Hen Harrier could be the last tick of the year for me as only a few weeks remain off 2013, a canny year it has being and a great way to finish it with my favorite bird "Hen harrier" 282 for the year. Next year i'm only going for lifers, my target is to get 400 british ticks by the end of 2015, thats 41 species needed :0 Next years holidays which are already booked are 2 weeks in Nepal (250-300 lifers) and 2 weeks on Shetland in Oct which should produce more birds than the past two holidays on the Scillies! ;) lol. Here's a few shots from today and a couple from a Northumberland day out on Monday.

Monday, 2 December 2013

gateshead year tick

A single barnacle goose was at lamesley wm, also 3 wigeon.
Sled lane: 24 wigeon, 38 coot, 8 tufted ducks.
Stargate landfill: 2000+ lrg gulls :0 looking forward to another season of gulling :)

I'm back

My first post for a while, not much about to report in the North east :( anyone on twitter can follow me (steven fryer) ive started to use twitter a lot these days, maybe thats why my blog is suffering? Gateshead the past few days has had:
Shibdon pond: ruff, 3 nordic jackdaws, 1000+ lapwing, 100+ snipe, 2 shelduck.
Clara vale: 2 tree sparrow.
Far pastures: water rail, 20+ snipe, kingfisher.
Foot it challange starts 1st jan for 1 month, radius of 1 mile this year :) i'll give it a bash!

Monday, 18 November 2013

yorkshire serin

Went to flambrough head in yorkshire on sunday to twitch the serin which has being about for 4 days, had to wait a couple of hours before it showed well for 10 mins, cracking little bird :) shame i left camera in car as i would have some cracking shots :( whilst waiting for the serin i found a firecrest in the nearby wood which most got onto, also in area 2 brambling.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Wader shots

Here is some shots of the waders in gateshead, godwit shot was hand held.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

photoless day

4 black-tailed godwits were still at lamesley water meadows along with single meadow pipit, 20+ curlew, 20+ greylags, 100+ lapwing, 20 + teal, buzzard and a green sandpiper was here on sunday.
Shibdon pond held 100+ lapwing,40+teal, kingfisher, red kite, 60+ bh gulls.
Far pastures held water rail, kingfisher, 20+ snipe, willow tit and the juv peregrine was photographed here the other day, no photographs today :( lets hope something is about tomorrow to get the new lens out :0. Winter weekend in norfolk could be on soon? 10 parrotcrossbills at holt cp would be nice along with  two barred crossbill at lynford :) just need a rough legged buzzard and bewicks swan to be settled! Norfolk target birds will be:
Shorelark, hen harrier, golden pheasant, rough legged buzzard, bewicks swan, two barred crossbill, parrot crossbill?, black brant all new for year :)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Waders & Phalarope

Lamesley water meadows had 4 Black-tailed godwits and a Green sandpiper, lets hope they winter? South shields pier had a Grey phalarope which showed very well, well enough for me to try my new lens out again :)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

New lens test

Where else better to test the new lens than far pasture with a bag of bird seed :) and here is the results, not bad for my first attempt :0 had to buy a new tripod and head to cope with the weight, i'm sure i'll get used to humping it about :( lets hope the extra weight is worth it for some better photography? we'll see!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Up North

Went to Bamburgh to dip the Bonaparte's again, but first went to Long nanny to dip the shorelarks :( don't know where this dipping streak has come from but it want to get lost :0 Whilst dipping at long nanny i had 7 snow buntings/60+twite/jack snipe. Bamburgh (stag rocks) had Med gull/velvet scoter/purple sandpiper x 50+/knot x 30+. Here's a few shots from today.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

halloween shocker!

I knew today was going to be a dip when i thought of a title for my latest post whilst on my way to bamburgh for the bonaparte's :( i just didnt know how much of a shocker it would be :( the pager went "bonaparte's gull" stag rocks :0 just before i reached the bamburgh turn off on the a1, when i arrived at stag rocks i was told the bird had just flew off towards budle bay. Budle bay was where i headed and spent a couple of hours with no luck :( i then went back to stag rocks where there was still no sign of the gull, i decided to head off to seahouses for fishcake and chips :) when i got back to the car i got the call that the gull was back but had flew off again :( double dip. I spent another 2 hours at stag rocks watching bh gulls come into feed on the shore hoping the bonaparte's would return, but no luck. Lets hope the next twitch is a little better! Lol.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

twitch on

At last something to go for this week nearby "bonaparte's gull" at bamburgh :0 with a bit luck something else will be found on the way back down :) a hen harrier or snow goose will do ;)

Friday, 25 October 2013

yellow-browed warbler

Here is some shots of the ybw at marden quarry.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

pallas's or yellow browed?

Just checked pager and noticed a ybw at marden quarry mid afternoon :0 i should of took more notice in the field as ive just checked photos on camera and i was taken shots of the ybw at around 1pm :) lol. I was just trying to get a photo instead of looking at the bird threw my bins :) idiot, most of the shots are side on and you cant get the rump or crown stripe, but one shot you can sort of see that there is no crown stripe, maybe just a hint of one. It's only right i withdraw my claim of pallas's and put it down as a ybw. Good job i got a photo for correct id and Glad i got one at st abbs! :)
Finished painting the house this morning then cracked on with picking the leafs and acorns from the driveway :( doing a bit work on the house as im putting it up for sale next week :0 any buyers ;) lol. Thought i would catch up with the pallas's warbler and siberian chiffchaff at marden quarry, a bit elusive but managed to get both birds in the end, i'll post some pallas's photos soon when i get the laptop set up again.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Most wanted bird "ticked"

At last! on tuesday morning i finally ticked Hoopoe :):):) my most wanted bird and what a cracker it was, watched it at close range for a couple of hours in the rain but that didn't put me off watching this stunning bird go about its business. Great morning had to come to an end as i had to get back to finish the painting :( here's a few shots i managed in shocking conditions.
Hoopoe at last

Look at that wing pattern, stunning :)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

1 lifer 3 year ticks :)

Today's plan was to go to St Abbs for the Radde's warbler and Pallas's warbler then come back to Prestwick carr for Great grey shrike, but twitch anything on way back down? The day didn't start well with no sign of the Radde's warbler, there was plenty to see whilst looking for the 2 warblers, 2 ring ouzel-2 yellow browed warblers-10+brambling-whitethroat-chiffs-goldcrests-blackcaps-willow warblers-woodcock-100+pink footed geese-sardinian warbler was about but i didn't see it :( Then with the tit flock a cracking Pallas's Warbler went past showing its yellow rump and striking crown stripe :0 nice! but sadly vanished before i could get the camera out :( a Siberian Stonechat was reported south of Howick burn, i managed to get the bird which was showing well and this was a lifer for me :) next was the Great grey shrike at Prestwick carr which was distant in fading light so couldn't get any photos :( it should stay for a while so there might be another chance to get some shots? my target for the year is 300, but i could do with nothing turning up for a while so i can decorate the house :0 lol. Today's 3 year ticks puts me level with my personal best 277 for the year, and its only oct 20th! i also have a winter trip to Norfolk planned where i hope to get - Hen harrier - Bewick's swan - Snow goose - Rough legged buzzard - Golden pheasant - Shore lark. Should get a few more ticks before i go though, fingers crossed.
Siberian Stonechat at howick

Ring ouzel at Loch Mire, St Abbs

Friday, 18 October 2013

Early bird

Set off for the Pallid swift at 5:30am, the bird had roosted on St Hildas church :0 and sure enough in the dark there it was clinging to the church wall! about 30 birders had turned up for first light, the bird flew off at 7:30am and done a few laps of the church before feeding further away, it did put in an appearance a few more times over the church. Also in the same area a Western bonelli's warbler showed well at times, a nice male brambling finished the morning nicely. A shame about the light first thing for photos but managed to get some record shots, looks like my early depart from the scillies paid off ;) so far? i might be pushing it to say i'll get some more ticks before the date i was due back! but you never know?
Pallid swift roosting on the church wall (a lifer for me)
just managed a few shots in the dark when it left the roost

Western bonelli's warbler also in the dark

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Back home :) with loads to go for!

Back home now after a long long day :( but first a last post from wednesday on St Agnes, made the right choice of where to go birding again as a Pallas's grasshopper warbler turned up on the Gugh!!! About 50+ birders on the island had a controlled flush, a bird flew out of the bush where the pgtips was last seen but no one could id the bird that flew out :( more birders turned up for a few more flushes but with no luck, the bird must of got away, good job i ticked the whitburn bird last year or i would of being in tears :( i was first of the gugh and into the pub for a spot of late lunch, from here i decided enough was enough and changed my flight for 8:30am on thursday morn. I woke up at 6:30am and was ready for the taxi to pick me up at 7:30am, when i was waiting for my flight the attendant announced that the flight was delayed because of fog at lands end :( bugger. They gave me the option to fly to Newquay and they would pay for a taxi to lands end so i could pick my van up, which i agreed to, a 20 min journey turned into a 2 hour one :( sick of my life i was. When i eventually arrived at lands end i had planned to go for chough/cirl bunting, i did try for chough at lizard point but there was no sign :( i couldn't be bothered to even try for the cirl's and just headed straight home arriving at 10pm, very long day! but could i of made another lucky decision? as the weather forecast on the scillies is for heavy rain on fri & sat with gale force winds ;) oh dear, the flights would most likely be cancelled and the only way off would be by boat! in gale force winds! no thanks, good luck lads left on scillies ;) lol. To top it off there is a Pallid swift at Cleveland which has gone to roost in the church tower on the headland! :0 also in area is a Western bonelli's warbler :0 the swift would be a lifer if i get it at first light, fingers crossed. Lets hope i can make one last right decision? :)
Yellow-browed warbler at St Agnes

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

There is hope

Just checked weather forecast and the next few days looks good for some yanks! that has put a smile on my face :)

Ticks needed!!!

Not much to report today :( my head is down now with the lack of birds! looking forward to getting home now, only 3 days to go :/ not that i'm counting. The thought of catching an earlier flight sounds good, if only sw winds were not the forecast for the next three days "we'll see what happens tomorrow". Anyway that's my moan out the way :) lol, birds of today were, rose coloured starling, black redstart, little egret and new for trip list skylark 107.
Black redstart showing well

could be on this soon if nothing hits the scillies tomorrow!