Thursday, 31 January 2013

couple of hours around teeside

thought i'd finish my teeside trip off, started off at dormans pool where i ticked smew off (1 drake 2 duck), then had a look for bean goose at cowpen marsh but no sign, then had a gull watch at seaton common where i ticked off juv glaucous gull and 2nd winter caspian gull, then it was back to gods country (gateshead) before my car was ready to be picked up, checked the tyne and shibdon before heading off home. i was very pleased with the the last day of jan, considering how the rest of the month went :) 4 bou year ticks were, smew-glaucous gull-caspian gull-great crested grebe.
2w caspian gull - seaton common

juv glaucous gull - seaton common
fieldfare - seaton common

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

numbers are up

after only putting the feeders back out a week ago, numbers of common birds visiting my feeding stations have shot up today, here's today's list :-

long tailed tit 10+
coal tit 3
blue tit 20+
great tit 20+
robin 2
willow tit 2
chaffinch 4
nuthatch 2
jay 2
wood pigeon 4
stock dove 2
blackbird 3
sparrowhawk 1
bullfinch 1 new for garden year list
siskin 1 although 20+ did come into garden and flew off
treecreeper 1
gs woodpecker 1
not a bad day garden watching, i almost forgot about the peregrine (new gateshead and bou tick) i had at burdon moor! also skylark and 50+ golden plover.

treecreeper and gs woodpecker taken in garden

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

garden birdwatching

a couple of hours walk around the derwent valley with tilly this am (just the usual stuff), then back to the garden for a spot serious birding :) managed to get a British year tick from my garden 1000+ golden plover flying above fields next to hollinside manor, also managed to tick willow tit x 2 on my bird tables and 2 white doves which were a first. overall it was a bit quiet at the feeders today with only treecreeper-coal tit-blue tit-robin-blackbird-great tit-dunnock-jay x 2-stock dove-wood pigeon-white dove-willow tit-chaffinch-nuthatch-lt tit coming into the garden, the numbers of common birds was low. flyovers included carrion crow-feral pigeon-bh gull-golden plover-redwing-magpie-buzzard-siskin-gs woodpecker-herring gull-jackdaw-house sparrow-song thrush, 27 species seen. here's a few photo's of my feeding stations and birds.

Monday, 28 January 2013

A day to forget

it all started off good aswell, had 11+ ring necked parakeets within 5 mins of entering ward jackson park this am :) headed off to jacksons landing for the black throated diver, there was no sign of the diver in the harbour so i decided to have a walk around in search, spent about 15mins looking but no sign :( so when i got back to the car my fob wouldn't open the doors, so i tried to open the door manually and to my horror the key snapped inside the lock! my greenflag details were inside the car with my money, good job i didn't leave my phone in aswell. i had to call my parents to go to mine and collect my spare keys, then drive to hartlepool, a journey that would only take 45 mins took over 2 hours due to the A19 closed because of a crash :( i was freezing by the time they arrived, i eventually got the doors open :) we all went for a coffee so i could warm up and book the car in to be fixed tomorrow. whilst waiting the bt diver and the Slav grebe both turned up and gave cracking views, i then went to dormarns pool to try for the green winged teal but no sign, but i'm not surprised after the days misfortune :( i did manage 5 new bou ticks for the day and here they are:-

ring necked parakeet
black throated diver
little egret

Letas hope i have a bit more luck on my next outing!!! lol

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cattle egret twitch - holy island

Went to holy island today to twitch a cattle egret, although having seen 2 in Britain i thought its was a good enough reason to have a trip up to Northumberland for a days birding. wasn't long before i was off the mark with a bou tick, barn owl was hunting the fields at beal :) then the pager went ''Cattle egret still at crooked lonnen'' off i went, it only took a few minutes before i was onto the egret, cracking bird :). next i decided to have a nice easy drive down the coast ticking off a few birds on the way, not before stopping to give tilly a quick dip in the sea, rather her than me! ended the day on 69 species 27 of which were new for my bou year list, here's my day list, can't believe i didn't get blue or great tits! next day trip will be teeside sometime this week, target birds green winged teal-black throated diver-caspian gull.

birds in red are new for british year list
1 - bhgull
2 - carrion crow
3 - jackdaw
4 - buzzard
5 - wood pigeon
6 - feral pigeon
7 - magpie
8 - fieldfare
9 - barn owl 83
10-pink footed goose
11-mute swan
13-house sparrow
14-collard dove
18-cattle egret 84
19-long eared owl 85
20-common gull
21-brent goose 86
23-herring gull
26-knot 87
27-eider 88
28-oystercatcher 89
29-bar tailed godwit 90
30-grey plover 91
32-turnstone 92
34-shag 93
36-slavonian grebe 94
37-song thrush
39-fulmar 95
44-linnet 96
45-long tailed duck 97
46-great northern diver 98
47-common scoter 99
48-purple sandpiper 100
50-red breasted merganser 101
52-twite 102
53-red throated diver 103
54-razorbill 104
55-ringed plover 105
57-greylag goose
58-gadwall 106
59-tufted duck
61-sanderling 107
62-pied wagtail
64-whooper swan 108
68-mistle thrush
69-med gull 109

Photos - cattle egret-barn owl-leo-brent goose-purple sandpiper-knot-bar tailed godwit&sanderling-2w med gull.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Garden year tick

Had a single treecreeper (39) in the garden this morning, a single redwing feeding on apples. Topped up the feeders aswell ready for some action, within minutes a jay showed up to grab the peanuts on the bird table, followed by a tribe of long tailed tits on fat balls. I'll have another viewing session this afternoon :)

Friday, 25 January 2013



Council news march 2012 stated ''We will continue to support the countryside by maintaining sites by keeping posts''.

The continued management of all countryside sites by Gateshead Council's Countryside Service is under THREAT OF BEING AXED in this year's spending plans which are being decided now.

Please help save the future of our countryside. Write or e-mail the council or your local Councillor to save this service.

Write to the Chief Executive at Gateshead Council. Civic Centre, Regent street, Gateshead, NE8 1HH.

To help save the Countryside Service please sign the Countryside Volunteers e-petition, click link below.

Thank you from the Gateshead Countryside Volunteers

taken from leaflet threw door, please sign epetition

another list to do!

here we go, another list to do :) this is my 2013 garden list so far, this list will include flyovers ;) this list is not in the order they were seen, added song thrush and goosander today (2 flew up river m+f)

1   cormorant
2   grey heron
3   mute swan
4   mallard
5   gooseander
6   red kite
7   sparrowhawk
8   common buzzard
9   kestrel
10 common gull
11 bh gull
12 herring gull
13 collard dove
14 feral pigeon
15 stock dove
16 wood pigeon
17 tawny owl
18 gs woodpecker
19 dunnock
20 wren
21 robin
22 blackbird
23 redwing
24 song thrush
25 mistle thrush
26 long tailed tit
27 coal tit
28 blue tit
29 great tit
30 nuthatch
31 starling
32 jay
33 magpie
34 jackdaw
35 carrion crow
36 chaffinch
37 siskin
38 goldfinch

just need to top up the feeders now!

shibdon pond

2 woodcock yesterday and 3 fieldfare, 50 + redwing near the hide. hope this snow goes soon! stuck indoors most days, so i'm going to keep a garden list :) just for something to do, i'll post my 2013 list soon.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Birtley sewage works

Had a trip to Birtley sewage works this morning before the snow was due, a lot of birds feeding around the settling pans, 20+reed buntings (80) 2 skylarks (81) 12 greylag geese flew over (82) 50+ meadow pipits, 50 + pied wagtails, 6 grey wagtails, 30+bh gulls, 50+ corvids, 20+ magpies, 2 siskin. Was about to go to reed beds and then the snow arrived  and the fun ended :( i might own a 4x4, but it was time to call it a day, i can always go birding tomorrow ;) lol. Not a bad couple of hours out.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Birding in the snow

Cracking days birding with the centurion today, 3 new ticks were 5 meadow pipits-2 grey wagtails-woodcock (gateshead list 79). Mipits and grey wags were on the settling pans at far pastures which also held 2 chiffchaffs-goldcrest-10+pied wags-5 robins, great place to check when there is a covering of snow, woodcock was in the outlet stream at far pastures.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

new year tick

9:50pm and gave tilly her last walk, when i flushed the resident tawny owl (76) from one of the oak's which align my driveway :) my cottage is joined onto a wood and i was planning a walk in the morning to check the nest hole for a roosting tawny, no need to now. just need to look for woodcock now, all this snow might bring them out into the open? fingers crossed i get one.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

last five bou life

here's some shots of my 5 latest bou life ticks.

the hand over

back to normal birding now :) handed my parents dogs over as they have returned from holiday, just need some birds to tick off now. here's some shots from the past few days.

Monday, 14 January 2013

3 gateshead ticks in the snow

3 new gateshead ticks today from the comfort of my warm 4x4, couldnt get out for a walk around today in the snow :( started at bradley fell where the farmer has put out feeders 20+ tree sparrows, 20 + yellowhammers were the stars of the show, both were new for this year.  Had another brambling in hedge at kibblesworth grange. 50+ house sparrows were at riding lane farm, finished off at the gull roost where 3000+ gulls came in to roost on vickers roof, still nothing interesting with them. A trip to the landfill will be tomorrows outing, wheres the caspo!
72  tree sparrow
73  yellowhammer
74  house sparrow

Sunday, 13 January 2013


Quick look on ravensworth fell this afternoon produced a short eared owl (gateshead 71) hunting over fields, then went to gull roost on vickers roof tops where 5000+ gulls came into roost. Couldnt find any caspians or white winged gulls before the light faded, well theres always tomorrow:) its only a matter of time before a rare gull turns up in gateshead?

lunch time

anyone for woodmouse? got this shot at shibdon today.

2013 targets

Thought i'd set myself some birdwatching targets, 2012 was a great year in gateshead for me :) 146 species i recorded, breaking the previous record by 3. In the process i managed to record my lowest ever british list 225 :( my best been 277 in a year, but i did manage to add 19 new species to my life list :). So my 2013 targets are gateshead year 140 - british year 251 - british lifers 20, ive decided to have a few weekends away and days out to notch up a few british ticks, first day out will be teeside, with birds on offer such as - green winged teal - caspian gull - red necked grebe - black throated diver - smew - spotted redshank, good chance of been joined by the dragon hunter himself? As he still needs red necked grebe. Might try a quick look in northumberland soon aswell as bean goose and iceland gull are on offer.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Dragon hunters new quest

Not much to report from todays outing :( met up with the dragon hunter on his new quest, 100 species of vertebrate in 100 days! Hence the name of the blog good luck centurion :) check out his blog for a good read.Check out these great local blogs aswell and . I'll be adding a links page to this blog soon with sites of interest in gateshead, so if anyone knows or has a local blog or website which they would like to appear on this blog, just send me an email with details.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

As requested

Heres my gateshead year list in the order they were seen -

1   robin
2   magpie
3   carrion crow
4   black headed gull
5   mallard
6   red kite
7   kestrel
8   wood pigeon
9   great tit
10  dunnock
11  blue tit
12  blackbird
13  jackdaw
14  herring gull
15  chaffinch
16  rook
17  great spotted woodpecker
18  feral pigeon
19  redwing
20  mistle thrush
21  grey heron
22  long tailed tit
23  canada goose
24  moorhen
25  coot
26  cormorant
27  great black backed gull
28  mute swan
29  teal
30  snipe
31  little grebe
32  shelduck
33  common gull
34  lapwing
35  redshank
36  sparrowhawk
37  coal tit
38  siskin
39  bullfinch
40  curlew
41  starling
42  goldeneye
43  dunlin
44  stock dove
45  goldfinch
46  wren
47  jay
48  pheasant
49  song thrush
50  water rail
51  fieldfare
52  greenfinch
53  kingfisher
54  willow tit
55  nuthatch
56  pied wagtail
57  chiffchaff
58  buzzard
59  pink footed goose
60  treecreeper
61  goldcrest
62  tufted duck
63  lesser black backed gull
64  green woodpecker
65  lesser redpoll
66  brambling
67  collard dove
68  dipper
69  wigeon
70  gooseander

What no house sparrow!
If anyone has any requests or scarce bird sightings in gateshead, send me an email -

2 new gateshead year ticks

12 wigeon, 2 gooseander at sled lane along with 9 tufted duck, 150+ fieldfare at kibblesworth grange feeding in field. No sign of seo yesterday, had a call from another friend who had some waxwings at shibdon today, no sign of them neither :( dont worry my luck will change and i'll have something good to post soon, along with some photos lol. Will also be due a day out of gateshead soon, some come back to see how my british year and life list is coming along.

Gateshead year list 70
British year list 70
British life list 346 - latest tick - little bunting

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Nt gibside estate walk

Had a walk around giside this morning, 28 species recorded, no crossbills though! 3 new year ticks were a flyover brambling, collard dove and a dipper on the river. Just had a call from a friend, he's found a short eared owl in gateshead! Lets hope its still hunting the area when i arrive?

Gateshead year list stands at 68

Feels like spring

What with chiffchaffs and lesser blacked backed gulls, displaying swans, mating ducks and mild temps! It could almost be mistaken for spring. Should speak to soon though, still time for arctic conditions yet :(

Monday, 7 January 2013

stargate landfill site

2000+ large gulls at the landfill site today, i found a new viewing point where you can get a full view of the landfill site, only find today was 2 adult lesser black backed gulls (year tick). i got another 3 year ticks at watergate park, tufted duck, lesser redpoll and a green woodpecker put on a good show, shame about the light conditions for photos though.
year list stands at 65.