Monday, 22 September 2014

Late Arrival

Yes, Late!
Following some excellent weather and a week full of good migrant birds it was my turn to get out and see what could be found.
I met up with Stewart and headed first for Craster and then for Newton. We had enjoyed the first clear night for a few weeks and it was likely many of the birds seen through the week would have moved on. I hoped for a few stragglers, it would be nice to see a Red Breasted Flycatcher when so many have been on the coast.

First stop, a bit of sea watching off Craster. Hundreds of Gannet and Kittiwake were moving north. Soon we began picking up Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater and Arctic Skua.
Brent Geese, Red Throated Diver, Wigeon, Golden Plover, Common Scoter, Great Skua and Red Breasted Merganser were also seen.

Track of the Day, a civilised one too, Low Newton Church 
Next we parked up on the roadside near the small tin church at Low Newton, we would explore the scrub adjacent to the road that runs to Newton Point, there had been 3 Red Breasted Flycatchers in this area as well as other migrant birds during the week.
We drank tea and crunched on biscuits for a few minutes, listening and watching. Many calls were heard but birds seen were only a resident Tit flock and the odd Chiff Chaff.

Now I know for some a butterfly is once seen hardly noticed but I love these insects and they are always worth a snap shot. They will be gone for another year soon and its my blog so here goes.

This Red Admiral looks fabulous with the bright yellow lichen

Speckled Wood, that dew looks almost frosty


Parasol Mushrooms, (I think) in varios stages of fruition, if thats the correct term

Monday, 15 September 2014

Green Party

We met up at Alnwick this morning and headed north. Stewart had an idea that Holy Island might be worth a visit as there have been gentle but persistent easterly winds during the last couple of days or so. It was nicely overcast.
We called in at a small flooded field near South Charlton that has been attracting some good waders recently. A few Lapwing, 2 Snipe and 5 Ruff were all we saw. 15+ Pied Wagtails were nice running around the mud and short grass, various different ages and sexes.
We called in at Hoppen Kiln, Budle Bay and Monks House Pool on our way north to Holy Island. Some nice birds to enjoy as we stopped off at these spots, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Med Gull, Ruff. I think the cheese pasties and tea at Budle Bay may have been the highlight of the morning though.
Lindisfarne Castle

Straight Lonnen, track of the day
There were migrant birds on Holy Island, Wheatear on the causeway as we drove on. We parked up, drank tea and headed off for Straight Lonnen, Crooked Lonnen and The Lough.
We spent alittle time searching the Willows at the head of Straight Lonnen, male and female Redstart, Chiff Chaff, Willow Warbler and Pied Flycatcher were seen.
We headed to the Lough to check out a Red Backed Shrike, we failed to see this bird but had seen photographs earlier on the camera of one of the areas patch birders. It doesn't count does it?...

A nice Whinchat was seen along the fence line to the north of the Lough and a Merlin sat up on a stone wall as a family group of Kestrels wheeled noisly overhead.

We headed back to the car, another Whinchat en route and a flock of feeding Goldfinches were nice. Exploring Virtually the last group of bushes before reaching the car I noticed a movement, another warbler. I lifted my binoculars and and when it hopped into view I saw a lovely long eye brow and a neat lemony coloured wing bar. We enjoyed this Greenish Warbler as it busily flitted around a Hawthorn bush feeding on insects. Photographs were taken before it eventually flew to another group of bushes.



Greenish Warbler

Monday, 1 September 2014


I've not felt I've had much for a good blog post this month but I thought I'd post now the month has ended.

It has been really good when I look back through my notebook. Coquet Estuary has been my main area of observation. Highlights included, hundreds of Redshank and Dunlin, Ringed Plover numbers steadily increasing, Turnstaone, Knot, including some fabulous summer plumage birds earlier in the month. Ruff, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Little Egret and Marsh Harrier.

Red Admiral, Peacock, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood and Common Darter.

Of course Caspian Gull has been very much the star of the show.

I'll just post a series of snaps and leave it at that...

Bushes at Coquet Picnic Site
Track of the Day

Marsh Harrier


Song Thrush, sunbathing

Sedge Warblers

Aln Estuary
Young Robin

Birling Carrs

Autumn Show
Speckled Wood

Sea Aster
Wall Brown
Sea Buckthorn
Caspian Gull