Monday, 31 August 2015

August Almost

I left the house just after 05:30 this morning, collected Stewart at home and headed to Charlton Mires. There is a small but deliberate pond in fields north west of the main Alnwick/Seahouses junction off the A1.

I have permission to access the fields here and we decided to check this out this morning.
An excellent half an hour or so; Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpiper, 14 Ruff, Lapwing, Teal Grey Wagtail and over 40 Pied Wagtails.

After this brief sojourn inland we headed back to the coast, the sanctuary of my patch. A walk down the main track to check bushes and large reed beds around the Old Water Pools.

The early morning sun was warming favorable elevations, bushes and bank sides. Warblers were obvious, good numbers of Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Reed Warbler, 4 Sedge Warbler and Chiff Chaff. Tits, Linnet, and noisy groups of Greenfinch and Goldfinch were also noted. Really good to observe Reed and Sedge Warblers like this.

Various Phyloscopus
A wander back to the Picnic Site, Tea first and some excellent chocolate brownies made by my daughter Sophy. 

Plenty of birds around, definite migration happening with Swallows and House Martins passing through constantly, small groups of Siskin also. It was all brown, yellow leaves ripening berries and brambles. 
A nice Redstart was picked out on the sunny side of a patch of car park bushes.

 Out on the estuary we set our scopes up at absolute low tide, waders were well spread. Two Black Tailed Godwit were of interest.

A lovely warm and golden morning   

Stonechat and Whinchat from earlier in the week

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Carnivore Carnival

A little lap of the Picnic site at lunchtime today, Whinchat, Blackcap,Whitethroat, typical for this time of year.

I came across this young Stoat though. Climbing and running through the dead tree in the Old Water Pools by the large reed bed. I watched it for ages until it came closer and didn't seem to be hunting particularly just running, and acrobatically jumping and somersaulting, very entertaining, no action shots though, just these portraits...

Monday, 24 August 2015

After Eight

A bit of a late start for a Sunday. Arrived at Warkworth Picnic Site car park after eight and Stewart was already half way down a brew. I joined him and then we headed off to the Old Water and Dunes suitably refreshed.

A new bird for the year this morning, Whinchat, typically on tall plants in one of the the dune clearings.

Plenty of birds about but not perhaps the migrants we were expecting, a lone Wheatear was on the north shore of the Estuary.

Anyway, despite more than a rumor of a Bittern in the Old Water reed bed yesterday this is all about the Whinchat, good to see and the year list is 128, notwithstanding armchair errors...

a few pics..

Grey Heron

Little Egret



Thursday, 20 August 2015

An evening Shank

Birds on the coast today, I was receiving news via the excellent 'whats app' service all day as I worked on.. So, after work I opted for a stroll through the dunes at Warkworth, this, as those that know the area know, did indeed turn into a shank...

Quiet really, Stonechat, Whitethroat and Chiff Chaff the only birds skulking in the scattered bushes. 

The tide was coming in and Waders were gathering on the edge of the saltmarsh areas. Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew, Lapwing, Ringed Plover all jostling for the most secure spots.

Returning back along the track and heading back to the car park I stopped to scan the Old Water Pools one last time, a few fresh young Redshank were feeding away and a single Greenshank was in the small pool closest to the main track... a few snaps I thought, low light but why not...

Greenshank and Redshank

a quiet but pleasant evening wander

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Silent Summer

Its all gone very quiet, plenty of birds but the air has gone cool and the birds are roving in loose groups, young birds and adults, you can taste the autumn in the air, that lovely excitement a season change brings. 
Summer to autumn always has, for me, a melancholic feel which adds to the enjoyment and expectation when out for a wander on the patch, I love it.
Anyway, a few pictures of what has been about, Warblers, among the summer visitors are always worth watching as they move through patches of open bushes and tall vegetation.


Residents that will be staying long after the summer visitors have left are always worth a look, even the odd butterfly..

Out on the Estuary, wader numbers are continuing to increase, the first Golden Plover have turned up, the first of hundreds that will winter on the Coquet Estuary.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Copper For Kathryn

Warm sunshine this morning. I picked out the Caspian Gull roosting with Herring and Great Black Baked Gulls on the last exposed sand as the tide rushed into the estuary. The rising tide kept the flock moving, birds settling then standing up and walking further up the shore.
Good to compare the Caspian Gull with good numbers of adult Herring Gulls..

Back on The Braid the warm sunshine had tempted a few butterflies out, its been a poor year really for me but Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Meadow Brown and a lovely Small Copper drifted between the Knapweed, Yarrow and Creeping Thistle.

Little Update

The latest visits to the Coquet Estuary have been dominated with counting and monitoring the increase in wader numbers. Spare evenings spent scoping the flats and searching through flocks hoping for something a little different.
Dunlin numbers are now approaching 200, Redshank, Curlew and Lapwing also building up nicely.
Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper have been recorded, some fabulous summer plumage Knot and Little Egret numbers have peaked at seven individuals.
Occasional sea watching has been disappointing, most movement has been too far offshore really. 
Caspian Gull has returned, this bird and the Summer Plumage Curlew Sandpiper attracted some odd visitors not often seen, other birders, I observed from a distance, as is my want..
Sunday the 9th August was a good morning, 4 Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear seen around the Golf Club and Old Water Pools.

                                    a few gulls shots from Sunday Morning

Coquet Island Roseate Terns have had a very good season with the last broods still being ringed I think. Tom was heading out to do that very job while we were stood on the harbour searching for the Caspian Gull.

I just wish I could get out on the patch more often..