Sunday, 31 March 2013

Still no migrants to report today :( they will arrive sometime soon? first off was burdon moor where 9 pink-footed geese flew over heading NE, 500+ golden plover, 10+ meadow pipits, little owl, 5+ skylarks, 2 grey partridge, snipe, red kite were the highlights. Next was the reed beds at birtley, then lamesley and the vicarage pool, where there was nothing to report today :( Shibdon pond had 2 kingfishers, whooper swan, 3 tufted ducks, sparrowhawk, bh gulls, common gulls, lbbgulls, herring gulls, 2 mute swans, teal, coots, moorhens and later in the day a 1s med gull showed well in front of the hide. Might be on foot tomorrow? looking at the wind direction it might not be good for any migrants for a few days yet :( did manage to add Lesser black backed gull and Canada goose to my garden year list :) something to get excited about anyway!

1s med gull at shibdon ''nice bird''

Thursday, 28 March 2013

On foot day 3

On foot again today, my route today was : winlaton mill - derwent walk - thornley visiter centre - low thornley - high thornley - sherburn towers farm - spen bank wood - derwent walk - far pastures - derwent walk cp - winlaton mill - total distance 5.1miles, total species seen 47. no new species added today.
highlights were:
White wagtail 2, nice male and female on the settling pans seen by both the centurion and i :) shame its not a full tick :(
Red kite 15+
Buzzard 10+, 7 at far pastures
Meadow pipit 15+, 10+ on settling pans at far pasture and rest were high thornley
Skylark high thornley
Yellowhammer 5 sherburn towers farm
Tree sparrow 3 sherburn towers farm
Redwing 200+, 170+ at sherburn towers farm 30+ far pastures
Pied wagtail 30+ settling pans far pastures
Grey wagtail 7+ settling pans far pastures
Met up with the centurion at far pastures today where he gripped me off with a chiffchaff at far pastures which i never heard :( bummer, as it was my target bird at far pastures. Lets hope my next outing will have some migrants!!!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

On foot day 2

On foot again today, today's route was - Winlaton mill - clockburn lane (swawell) - fellside fields (above derwent walk) - hollinside manor - nine arches - derwent walk - winlaton mill, distance 3.7m. Added 5 new species to foot list taking my total to 70.
new species
Lapwing 3 birds fellside
Skylark single bird singing fellside
Meadow pipit 31 feeding on swawell cricket field
Linnet flock of 50+ hollinside
Yellowhammer 18 birds fellside
Will be on foot again tomorrow, far pastures and low + high thorrnley area. The weather should turn a bit better next week, so i should get back to my normal Gateshead route? get some migrants, i hope.
Hollinside manor

Nine arches viaduct, derwent walk with paddock hill woods in top right of photo

Meadow pipit, cricket field

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

On foot

On foot today, my route was Winlaton mill - derwent river - shibdon pond - derwenthaugh meadows - river tyne - river derwent - winlaton mill. 43 species seen, 1 new Gateshead year tick and 6 new for the foot list, new birds :
Gadwall - new for Gateshead year list
Stock dove
Recieved a text from George as i was leaving the house, that he had found a Gadwall at shibdon, cheers.
Shame it was snowing and the Gadwall was distant :(

Pair of gooseanders on the derwent

Oystercatcher at derwenthaugh staithes

Monday, 25 March 2013

Wintering Blackcap

Prof Pochard found a wintering Blackcap in his garden yesterday taking the gateshead list to 101, unfortunately i didn't catch up with it as i had a lazy day on Sunday, but managed to tick it off today from my parents upstairs window in his garden feeding on some fresh apple :) lol. I also managed a few sneaky shots of it, not a bad shot considering the distance and threw double glazing. 2w med gull and 3 nordic jackdaws at shibdon, 500+ redwing, 30+ lapwing, 15 golden plover on church pool meadows (lamesley area) today. Should get some migrants in soon as the wind is set to turn to a southerly? only other birds of interest to report are 5 house sparrow feeding in my garden "rare".

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Gateshead hits 100

Birtley bishop bags the 100th species! Osprey over shibdon pond heading west this morning :0

Friday, 22 March 2013

Gateshead year list

The Gateshead year list is now 99,  Rob Stonehouse had 2 Gadwall at the horse world flash pool this evening, hope they are still there on sunday! what will be the 100th species this year?

Foot list

Added 2 species to my foot list today Whooper swan and Treecreeper, both of which were at shibdon pond. Had a cracking view of an otter today on the tyne, the light was very poor :( so my shots didn't come out as good as they could of. When is this weather going to change!!!
Otter on the tyne

This isn't the same bird which gets to Chester-le-street as this one has no blue ring, the Chester-le-street bird is a feral one and shouldn't be on anyone's list, lol.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Burdon moor walk

Had a walk around Burdon moor this morning, birds seen were:
4 meadow pipits
1000+ golden plover
3 reed buntings
30+ linnet
20+ chaffinch
4 goldfinch
8 lapwing
red kite
2 blackbirds
willow tit
8 teal
6 mallard
grey heron
40+ wood pigeon
60+ starling
pied wagtail
common buzzard
2 grey partridge
2 red legged partridge

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Rain, rain, rain

And more rain, not much to report at the moment :( just need a shift in the weather to get some migrants in, will be heading up to kielder for goshawk first fine day, so hope it clears up soon!

Monday, 18 March 2013

More snow and rain

All the rivers, ponds and flash pools are full with water again after heavy rain and snow during the night. Very quiet today :( but the Birtley bishop had a green sandpiper today at horse world flash pool, taking the Gateshead year list to 98.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Another Gateshead year tick

First off was burdon moor where there was 12 common snipe, 10+ skylarks, 2 teal, 3 reed buntings, kestrel. Next stop was shibdon pond where there was a whooper swan, which was new for the year. Costco had a kittiwake, goldeneye, many teal, redshanks and shelducks, timber beach had 2 stock doves and a oystercatcher. Next was newburn haugh for some more jack snipe action, 8 common snipe and 8 jack snipe were flushed from the marsh, also a single oystercatcher flew down the tyne. Burdon moor again tomorrow, shouldn't be long before some migrants are ticked :) osprey! wheatear! sand martin! ring ousel! should be on the list soon. 97 species of bird recorded in Gateshead so far in 2013, only 2 birds i need - long eared owl, shoveler and waxwing, should get leo and shoveler within 2 weeks, as for waxwing? fingers crossed on that one :)

A rare bird to be on the pond at shibdon

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Gateshead year tick

Straight in with a gateshead year tick this morning, little owl at burdon moor. Not much else about bird wise, but a roe deer in the process of giving birth was different. Met up with the centurion for a spot of raptor watching, it was cut short due to the rain arriving shortly after the centurion was on site :( jinx lol.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Back to birding

Back to birding tomorrow after dog sitting, my parents are back from a cruise to Israel, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. They enjoyed it but Egypt was a bit dodgey, the locals were stoning the tourists :0 lol.
Here's a few shots i took over the past week, nothing much to report  as my birding was very limited when looking after 3 dogs and a cat.

Robin & Stock dove in my garden
Collard dove in my parents garden

Gulls on the Tyne
View from pennifine road, good for passage geese - swans - raptors

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Credit where it's due

The centurion picked this first-summer med gull out which was with black headed gulls at shibdon pond today, hats off to him as its the hardest med gull plumage to pick out :) nice one!!!
First-summer med gull - just turning into first summer, note how the wing pattern is faded compared to a first-winter bird and the wings are very worn and faded.

2 Gateshead year ticks

Spent most of the morning at burdon moor, bit of bad news from here aswell :( i found the remains of the local little owl, looks like a sparrowhawk kill to me. Lets hope the remaining bird finds another partner soon. 20+ skylarks and a couple of meadow pipits back on the moor now, other sightings included grey partridge-2 red kites-2 kestrel-green woodpecker-100+ golden plover-20+lapwings-yellowhammer-2 reed buntings-6 mallard-8 teal-2 snipe-33 fieldfare-8 curlew- 1000+ starling-2 redwing-corvids-tits. Had a check to see if any kittiwakes were back on the tyne, 4 birds were on show and 2 ringed plovers were back at dunstan staithes. Both birds in red were new for year.
Burdon moor - good area for passing raptors and other migrants
ive had - marsh harrier, hobby, osprey, rough legged buzzard, ring ouzel, whinchat just to name a few
remains of a plucked little owl

singing skylarks filled the skies at burdon moor this morning

Monday, 4 March 2013

Last of the winter birds

Thought i would catch up with the Snow buntings at seaton snook before they head off to there breeding grounds, 6 birds were showing well allowing me to get some photos. I also went to dormans pool where the 3 smew and green winged teal were on show, missed 2 bitterns which would of being new for the year :( but i should get a few in norfolk in a few weeks time. No winter birds left for me now, roll on the migrants :) and some lifers please !!!

Smew were to far away, so i used my phone and scope. very handy to get record shots.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Nice ice baby

I knew today was going to be a good day, it started when i left the house this morning when i heard a Tawny owl calling along with a Green woodpecker before i managed to lock the door :). I checked the feeders before setting off to find 2 Goldfinch feeding on the nijer seed i put out 5 weeks ago, at last they have found it and might bring something in with them? I also caught up with the Iceland gull at north shields (2nd time lucky), which was new for my British year list. The Glaucous gull was also showing well, as was the Iceland gull for a couple of hours and allowed me to get a few shots off.

 2w Iceland gull (above)
juv Glaucous gull (below)

Both bits of video footage were taken with phone threw scope, hope to improve, lol