Shibdon pond had a mini fall today with common tern, sedge warbler and lesser whitethroat all new for the year with garden warbler, whitethroat and 2 gadwall here also. Next up was to view a possible new house :0 very nice indeed ;) only a few miles from derwent reservoir i couldn't resist a quick look around the reservoir, nothing new in so just took a few photos from around the reservoir.
many redshank along with other breeding waders in the area
Pied-billed grebe ticked today at Greenock, Clyde, loch thom. Set off at a delayed 4:15am :0 and arrived at loch thom for 7:30am after a couple of pit stops, 2 birders on site and no sign of the bird :( i had a good walk around from the east shore to the west shore and still no sign, then i drove around a couple of other lochs in the area and still couldn't locate the bird. I decided just to have a 1/2 hour nap and let other birders do the work in hope they would put the news out on the pager if they found it? when i woke up i had a coffee and decided to go into Greenock for a bit of breakfast but when i was leaving the loch i noticed a line of birders in the nw corner of loch thom and a few cars making there way up the minor road :0 i thought they must have the bird so followed the crowd, good job i did as they were onto the bird which was tucked into small bay in the nw corner of the loch out of sight from where the bird was seen yesterday (i reported it to rba as soon as i had the bird! hint). It showed well in the scope but a little to far for good shots, after an hour of watching the grebe i decided to do a spot of birding on the Clyde estuary, managed a few year ticks but the best birds had to be the black guillemots in the harbour at Greenock. Another great twitch with some good birds chucked in :) enjoy the photos.
Spent the morning at derwent reservoir again, had a walk from carricks picnic site to blanchland and picked a few common species up, 2 x tawny owl, blackcap, dipper, treecreeper, nuthatch, collared dove were a few, 2 x roe deer were in the woods near carricks. I topped the feeders up at the nature reserve and the pheasants were in feeding before i had finished topping up :) lol. the long-tailed duck has now gone. Quiet day today, but to be expected due to the weather.
Back to Derwent reservoir again today and more exploring, this time up at Blanchland moor where i had a male black grouse fly across the road and land in the long grass and vanish, could not miss it, big black bird with bold white wing bars :) more exploring around the reservoir gave views of redstart, ring ouzels, crossbill, golden plover, wheatear, great crested grebes, red grouse and what was unusual was 2 goldeneye m+f flying up to the moors at Edmunbuyers and appeared to land :0 good day out again, then it was back to my parents for something to eat. On the way home i popped into shibdon pond for the black-tailed godwit, then down to lamesley wm where i had 5 yellow wagtails, 10+ white wagtails and 10+ pied wagtails. i almost forgot to mention that before i went to derwent reservoir i popped down to far pastures and got the grasshopper warbler and the common whitehroat at last. todays weather was foggy in the morning lifting by 12pm temp max 16c. could be a chance of some black terns or arctic terns at the reservoir tomorrow :0
A new local patch could be on the cards soon, as i accepted another offer on my house :0 the new people want me out as soon as possible :0 all go! there is a few houses i want to have a look at which are just a few miles from Derwent reservoir, i've enjoyed my birding in Gateshead the past 10years and seen some good birds but i just feel like a change, it will be a shame to leave Gateshead but it will also be a shame not to explore Derwent reservoir and surrounding areas as its got great potential for some cracking birds. I had a look around the reservoir today with the dragonhunter checking the place and we had some good birds, here are the highlights:
south shore at dam - long-tailed duck, tawny owl, 60+ hirundines hawking the water.
pow hill cp - 2 x raven, brambling :0 2 x crossbill, ring ouzel, red grouse, 2 x redpoll, 20+ siskin, drumming snipe, displaying curlew and 2 red squirrels.
nature reserve hide - male redstart, 3 x great crested grebe, 3 x buzzard, common sandpiper, oystercatchers, teal and photos on the wall showed osprey which we missed, there was also photos of black grouse :0 i'll have to search them out :) the feeders were well stocked with mainly chaffinch, greenfinch and a great spotted woodpecker showing.
millshield picnic site - tilly enjoyed a swim here as the dragonhunter threw sticks for her :) the trees here held willow warbler and chiffchaff and a pair of goosander were on the reservoir.
A great few hours spent looking at the stops around the reservoir but i'm scatching the surface, looking forward to exploring more :) just need to find somewhere to live now! ;) i'll be starting a new blog when i move in about 6-8 weeks but in the mean time i'll keep posting on this one, fingers crossed all goes to plan :)
Decided to have a trip out to derwent res today, i started at millshield picnic aread where i had a pair of wigeon, great crested grebe, willow warbler and chiffchaff. Next stop was the two lay-bys on the north shore, birds of interest from here were buzzard, sparrowhawk, canada and greylag geese. Next was a look at the derwent nr hide where i had pheasant, oystercatcher, kestrel and pied wagtail. Pow hill country park on the south shore was more productive with a cracking male redstart showing well, other highlights were displaying lesser redpolls, siskin, goldfinch, chaffinch, red grouse, lapwing and not forgetting the red squirrels.my final stop was at the dam wall where a long-tailed duck showed briefly before vanishing when i got the camera out :( the redstart must of had a word with it as he did the same :( lol. Good day out and the weather was the best day of the year so far :)
No CRAG MARTIN!!! omg :)
Set off for Flambrough head at 2:30am :0 and arrived at first light, 15 cars were already in the car park along with a few familiar faces, Joe and Alan had arrived 1/2 hour before me, we stood around having a bit chat waiting for the bird to appear which had roosted on the cliffs below the night before. We waited for about 1 hour before the bird appeared which put on a good show flying around the cliffs showing really well before flying off :) happy days lifer number 1. Next was a trip along the cliff top further south for the Tawny pipit which Joe and Alan had already pinned down for me ;) cheers, lifer number 2 in the bag Tawny pipit :) this was only a British lifer as iv'e seen them in Nepal, then for my second dose of Crag martin action as the bird flew past the Tawny pipit location not to be seen again. After my fill of Crag martin i took tilly on a walk around the head before having my m&s cheese pasty with a nice flask of coffee :) what a great day, so i decided to take Tilly for a splash in the sea at Filey, she loved her play in the water. Then i was off on the shortest twitct ever! the pager beeped and there was a pair of Garganey at Filey dams nr, i put the location into the sat nav and 3mins 10seconds appeared on the screen :) lol. when i arrived the birds were showing very well in front of the hide allowing some canny shots aswell, i decided to have a little sleep before setting off back for home, once again canny day with some cracking birds seen, roll on the next twitch :)
At last a bit of sunshine, i thought i would get some migrants today (not many). A single willow warbler at hedley hall woods and a text from george who had a common sandpiper at shibdon and a wheatear on burdon moor were the only migrants about. Willow warbler was my only year tick with common sand also new for Gateshead. A text from the dragonhunter said red-tailed hawk over my garden! oops i forgot to mention i had what i thought was a pale morph buzzard at the bottom of his street yesterday when i drove past, i jumped out of the van and got a few shots before it drifted off and forgot to download my photos when i got in :/ at least the dragonhunter sorted it out for me ;) cheers dragonhunter ;) nice one. here is a few shots from today.