Monday, 9 March 2015

February

What a fabulous month this has been. No real major notebook filling days but good days and always something to enjoy.

Looking up the Estuary to Warkworth Dunes
First day of the month I sat up in the dunes and scoped the sea, quiet really but a fabulous and close drake Velvet Scoter and a few distant Little Auks made the effort worthwhile, not that it was any effort mind, it was nice sat sheltered from the wind gazing seaward.

Mid month had my pulse racing, watching Gulls and being aware that early spring is a good time to check groups of these birds. They always seem to resemble a group of disgruntled locals sitting out the cold weather but if you spend a little time with them you can see the birds arriving and leaving constantly.

The morning of the 15th I was due to meet Stewart in The Braid car park and I was late, and keen. I sped along the road glancing towards the river as I did and noticed gulls on the grassy bank by the weir and a single bird on the river itself. I pulled into The Braid car park, no Stewart. I slumped in my warm car seat a little and settled to Classic FM for a few seconds.
My mobile rang, Stewart was later than I and had noticed an Iceland Gull as he was passing the Weir, fabulous!!, I sped back 'upstream' and enjoyed the bird....

Iceland Gull

The day wasn't over though, common birds have their place. A Grey Wagtail was working a pool in the highways compound on the opposite side of the road to the river.

Grey Wagtail

A break away from the patch on the 18th. Holy Island, a lovely wander around, quiet. Raven just over the Causeway and Black Tailed Godwit seen.

Lindisfarne Castle and Brent Geese
We ventured to Cheswick and caught up with the Black Scoter following our trip to Lindisfarne. Good views of this bird which really showed its character among the locals. No Common Scoter on the patch though so....southbound

The end of the month saw a visiting birder discovering three Short Eared Owls in Warkworth Dunes. I think I became more worried about how I felt than actually getting out to see these birds. I left work early on the 27th, met Stewart who although had seen the birds well joined me on my walk. They didn't disappoint, these birds were once a regular sight but I honestly would have to consult notebooks to find out when I last saw a Short Eared Owl on the coast.Three were seen and a very obliging Barn Owl was hunting the same area as we walked back to the car. 





what a place.. what will March bring