Friday, 14 July 2017


An earlier than usual start yesterday in hope that the Albatross would drift past Whitburn. No Albert for me, but some compensation in the form of a Cory's Shearwater. I picked the bird up heading south at about 06.10 just south of straight out. Paul got quickly onto it and we were able to watch it until out of view to the south. Pretty scarce up here and not recorded every year.

An evening seawatch again failed to turn up the Albatross, with the highlight being a smart summer plumage male Ruff.

Called in at Lamesley on the way home, no birds but 4 Purple Hairstreak dancing around the oak tops in the evening sun.

Purple Hairstreak

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


An after-work trip up to Boulmer on Monday was eventually a success. With no sign at first, 90 mins and a lot of walking got me decent, but distant views of the Long-billed Dowitcher.

A return today with more time and better weather gave improved results. It took some finding again, roosting on distant rocks at Seaton Point. The tide gradually pushed the Dowitcher closer and as the tide peaked the bird was just offshore with Dunlin, before flying to the north of the beach.

Long-billed Dowitcher

A stroll along the beach to the north of Boulmer gave distant views of the Dowitcher with the bonus of a Black Redstart in the same scope view.


Friday, 7 July 2017

Sabine's Gull

A trip down to Nosterfield this morning after a steady-away seawatch. No sign of the Sabine's Gull when I got there and the only news was that it had flown west earlier. An hour of searching and I picked it up distantly, in flight. Luckily it banked and flew back to drop on the smaller pool to the southwest of Flask Lake. Superb close views as it ate sticklebacks in the shallows.

Sabine's Gull

A detour to Bolton-on-Swale on the way home gave 5 distant Red-Crested Pochard.

Red-crested Pochard

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

White-winged Black Tern

A traumatic couple of weeks with a dip of the Elegant Tern in Poole Harbour and then the Albatross passing Whitburn on what should have been my day off.

A trip up to Newton Scrape after work last night was looking to have a depressing conclusion with no show for 20 minutes. Luckily the White-winged Black Tern reappeared and gave a great display as it twisted and turned over the scrape.

White-winged Black Tern

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A whole lotta...

I got the news last night that the Rose-coloured Starling in Stanhope had been showing well nearly a mile away from where I spent yesterday afternoon. This morning I was back to the back-streets of Stanhope where, after a 40 min wait, the Starling put on a great display. Unfortunately dull and dingy so photos not as good as I would have hoped.

Rose-coloured Starling

From here it was over to the west coast, just north of Workington,where the Blyth's Reed Warbler was still singing well. Unfortunately just poor views as it spent most of the time hidden from view.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Double Dip

The day started off well with a great display by the Marsh Warbler at Bowesfield Marsh, constantly singing from the tops of reed stems. A couple of Grasshopper Warbler were reeling nearby.

Marsh Warbler

It then went downhill from there. A couple of hours at Billingham failed to turn up the Rose-coloured Starling, but a big thank you the residents who allowed us to stand in their gardens. The double dip was complete with no sign of the other Rose-coloured Starling at Stanhope.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017