Thursday, 10 July 2014


Last night a trip up to Burdon Moor gave a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, either a very late arrival or an unpaired male trying a new site. The Ruff was still at Lamesley with a fly-over Grey Wagtail, but a complete lack of Pratincoles was evident.

An early start this morning had me in Whitburn Obs just after 5am with a northerly wind and cloud cover giving an excellent seawatch. The star bird was a distant Storm Petrel at 06.10, but backed up with 8 Bonxie, 3 Arctic Skua, 60+ Manx Shearwater, 1 Whimbrel and a Velvet Scoter.

Up to Northumberland and Cresswell was quiet with 1 Little Gull, 1 Little Egret and 30+ Black-tailed Godwit. 9 adult Avocet were around the pond with 3 young on the sandbar. Druridge was a bit busier with 3 Spoonbill, 1 Little Egret, 1 Greenshank, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 30+ Black-tailed Godwit. Despite the strong wind a couple of Dark Green Fritillary were feeding behind the dunes.

Spoonbill and Little Egret
Dark Green Fritillary
Dark Green Fritillary underside
Back down to Kibblesworth brick works where it was now warm and sunny. The grass was alive with Meadow Brown, Small Heath and Large and Small Skipper, with several Common Darter zipping around. Around the ponds were 2 Emperor Dragonfly, a pair of Black-tailed Skimmer and 10+ Four-spotted Chaser.

Four-spotted Chaser
While successfully scanning the tree tops for Purple Hairstreak a cracking Hobby drifted over north- a long awaited Gateshead tick for me.

Purple Hairstreak


  1. Cracking shots of the White-letter Hairstreaks Rob. I was talking to someone at Kibblesworth the other day and he mentioned these at Chester roundabout but I think I took it with a pinch of salt, that is until I saw your shots. I hope they are still there when I can get down on Thursday.

    1. Cheers Ron. You should be safe, as they seem to be showing well for everyone. Weather is looking good for Thursday.