Monday, 28 November 2016

Creosote and Christmas

Straight up the coast this morning, arriving in the main beach car park at Beadnell at around 08:00. Not cold really but an early shower delayed our walk to Beadnell Point and we had a look around the harbour. Some great waders to watch, Turnstone and Sanderling on the rocks and along the beach with Redshank, Oystercatcher and Dunlin. Long Tailed Duck, Scaup and Eider in the bay. 
The waders were all flushed into panic on one occasion when a hunting Merlin flashed through.

Beadnell Sunrise

Digiscoped Scaup
Rain clouds quickly passing over we headed out to Beadnell Point, watching the sea for half an hour or so, a few Gannet were moving north, 13 Common Scoter, Eiders, Red Throated Diver, Guillemot, Razorbill, Grey Plover and Wigeon.

Beadnell Point
We headed to Seahouses next for a cup of warming tea parked on the harbour. A Peregrine over the north edge of the harbour, where we were parked, wheeled overhead as we stumbled from the car grasping binoculars, headed of towards the Farne Islands. 
Tea drained we had a wander around Seahouses Harbour, took a few snaps and headed off to Newton.

Late November is always a bit quiet, sort of reflective a bit. A wander around Low Newton was quiet but quite busy with people, walking and exercising dogs. Newton Pool was quiet, Mallard, Teal, a few Snipe. There has been some work done to Newton Pool, reed beds seem to have been opened up in areas and the whole reserve was looking really good. 
I can remember visiting this area back in the early eighties when I was just starting to take my birding more seriously, I can remember studying the plates and the seasonal guide  to birds that had been recorded, displayed in the main hide, with interest and wonder, the hide today is the same hide and still has the same comforting, nostalgic smell of old timber and creosote.  
The flash to the north of the pools as better for birds, good numbers of waders even though the tide was low.

Track of the day

Newton Pool

Track through to the Shore

That's that, morning over, quite a good day for birds of prey today, Peregrine, Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and when I pulled down the road to home a fabulous Common Buzzard was perched..

Longdyke Guardian
Christmas Tree up this afternoon.....

Monday, 21 November 2016

You have to take your hat off...

-2 this morning as I defrosted the car and headed for Boulmer to meet Stewart. As I pulled up at Seaton Point Stewart was appearing out of the half light with a tale of a Great Northern Diver past. The plan was to take a look on the sea as it was high tide.
As we approached the steps that lead down to the beach though we noticed birds feeding on the high tide line, rotting seaweed in a line a couple of metres or so wide and stretching out towards Foxton to the south. Immediately Stewart shouted Water Pipit!!. 

A good birder is aware, aware of what is going on around him, sights sounds movements etc, some though are aware of what might or could be going on around them. To call a bird like this from a glimpse and bearing in mind it was freezing cold and hardly light is impressive. Ok it could have been wrong, but it wasn't. A fabulous Water Pipit, very flighty which meant we had to walk the length of the beach a few times to try and get a photograph or two and some better views. 

Rock Pipit including several littoralis, Meadow Pipit, a dozen or so Pied Wagtail, two Grey Wagtail and Robins also feeding on the weed strand.


After time spent enjoying the Pipits in the freezing cold we were desperately in need of tea, back to the car, thawed a bit then north into Boulmer village to walk north to Longhoughton Steel, nothing more than a pleasant wander, a few birds but this morning.. we had peaked early.

Well, it was all about the call today, yes we may have watched the pipits long enough to pick out the bird but perhaps we wouldn't have done. Some times you just have to take your hat off to a brilliant bit of birding..

Monday, 14 November 2016

Whoop Whoop

On the patch this morning, 07:30 start, hardly light and cold, light frost on the grass in the car park at Amble Braid.

Quiet, as we wandered around checking for any birds there might be, some buses still held berries, Whitebeam, Hawthorn and some Rosehips but it had a sparse wintry feel.

Stewart heard a Brambling shortly before I arrived. Blackbirds, Robin small parties of Goldfinch and, curiously, good numbers of Dunncok, all very noisily peeping away.

We walked around the south edge of the Braid following whats left of The Gut, a Little Egret lifted from the stream and circled. We moved on to let the bird settle back heading towards the Car Park. The tide was low and a couple of Little Grebe were in the Marina.

Druridge Bay Country Park was our next stop. A bit of an odd one this but this is a fabulous area, we were never going to do a visit justice this morning. Tea at the boat launch car park, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Gadwall and Red Breasted Merganser all seen as we supped.

Back to Warkworth to check a group of Whooper Swans in a stubble field near Birling, the birds were still there, 30 or so with Canada Geese. While watching and photographing these birds a flock of waders circled and dropped onto the field, Black Tailed Godwits, 62 of them, what a sight a group like this is in flight with white wing bars and upper tails.

Whooper Swans

Black Tailed Godwit Flock. The sort of morning that seemed quiet but ended really quite nicely.