Saturday, 30 August 2014

Wader Fest

The Shibdon wader fest continues. I looked up from the Pectoral Sandpiper this morning to see 8 Spotted Redshank dropping in. Almost annual in Gateshead in ones or twos, but this, I think, the first ever flock. The birds quickly moved and 7 were showing well from the duck-feeding area for the rest of the day. Other waders were 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 2 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 5 Snipe, 120+ Redshank and 200+ Lapwing. A Kingfisher zipped through.

Spotted Redshank
7 of 8 Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank in flight
Pectoral Sandpiper
Pec in flight
Green Sandpiper
Lamesley continues to disappoint, with just a Wigeon new today.

Friday, 29 August 2014

More Pec

Called into Shibdon after work and the Pectoral Sandpiper was again performing in front of the hide. Also here were 2 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 120+ Redshank and 200+ Lapwing.

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pec and Dunlin

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Shibdon Pec

Popped into Shibdon this afternoon and the first bird I looked at was a fresh in juvenile Ruff. I pulled the camera out of the bag and started clicking (Ruff is still a pretty good bird for Gateshead). After a few shots it dawned on me that the Ruff had moved and I was shooting Gateshead's first and long-awaited Pectoral Sandpiper. Get in!!

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
New Ruff
Ruff chasing Pec
Also here were 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and the adult Ruff.

Seawatching this morning was slow to get going and failed to get overly exciting, with 2 distant Black Tern the highlight.


Wigeon    8n  1s
Teal    55n  13s
Arctic Skua    14n  1s
Whimbrel    35n
Common Tern    31n  30s
Tufted Duck    1n  1s
Sandwich Tern    7n    14s
Bonxie    4n
Bar-tailed Godwit    1s
Common Scoter    28n  5s  3 on sea
Manx Shearwater    4s
Eider    4s
Grey Plover    1n
Black Tern    2n
Red-throated Diver    1s
Pintail    1n
Dunlin    3s
Swift    1n

A quick look in Whitburn C.P and a good search of Marsden Quarry failed to turn up any migrants.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Started the day with a seawatch at Whitburn which was dominated by a massive movement of Teal, but had highlights of Red-necked Grebe, Sooty Shearwater and Velvet Scoter.


Teal    1700n 
Wigeon    60n
Bonxie    4n  1s
Common Tern    70n
Manx Shearwater    22n  1s
Common Scoter    268n  105s
Arctic Skua    7n  4s
Sparrowhawk    1n
Turnstone    1n
Red-throated Diver    2 on sea  1n  1s
Puffin   1n
Sooty Shearwater    1n
Sandwich Tern    2n  3s
Velvet Scoter    1n
Red-necked Grebe    1n
Whimbrel    5s

After the seawatch it was up to Whitburn CP for the Greenish Warbler. After a 20 min wait the bird showed well, feeding along the south edge of the big mound. I hit lucky, as after this performance the bird did not show again. The only other migrant was a calling Chiffchaff, while a Sparrowhawk made frequent passes.

Greenish Warbler

Back in Gateshead Burdon Moor was very quiet while Shibdon held 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 1 Ruff, 9 Shoveler and 1 Kingfisher. A Migrant Hawker was zipping about in front of the hide.

Thursday, 21 August 2014


Another sea watch this morning. The wind has shifted round to a south westerly and the birds were slow to start moving. Although there were long periods with nothing passing, it ended up a decent watch, with the star bird being a dark phase Pomarine Skua heading north.


Sandwich Tern    39n  8s
Common Tern    7n
Common Scoter    54n
Manx Shearwater    68n
Oystercatcher    11n  3s
Bonxie    2n
Curlew    1n
Sooty Shearwater    2n
Arctic Skua    3n
Wigeon    6n
Redshank     5n
Pomarine Skua    1n
Golden Plover    1n
Grey Wagtail    1s

An evening dash to Cleadon failed to get the Bonaparte's Gull. Hopefully it  won't give me the run-around like the last two years.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Another early start with a sea watch at Whitburn before work. Again no big shearwaters for me, but a single Balearic was new for the year.


Red-throated Diver    5n
Manx Shearwater    47n
Arctic Skua    4n  5s
Common Tern    10n
Oystercatcher    4n  5s
Sandwich Tern    27n  1s
Knot    1n
Curlew    1n
Balearic Shearwater    1n
Teal    4n

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


Five hours sea watching this morning at Whitburn Obs. Still not great numbers, but I did pick up my first Sooty Shearwater of the year. Half an hour after I left a Cory's went north. Next time.


Curlew    9n
Mallard    1n
Oystercatcher    18n  8s
Manx Shearwater    116n  4s
Redshank    32n
Sandwich Tern    12n  5s
Common Tern    32n  11s
Arctic Skua    1n 5s
Common Scoter    42n
Sooty Shearwater    3n
Bonxie    1n
Turnstone    1s
Teal    4n
Sparrowhawk    1s

Monday, 18 August 2014


A two hour sea watch from Whitburn Obs this morning. The wind over night was not as strong or northerly as forecast, so not the movement that I'd been expecting, but a pleasant sea watch. A single Roseate tern was the star of the show.


Arctic Tern     11n
Common Tern    13n 3s
Manx Shearwater    25n  6s
Arctic Skua    2n  3s
Sandwich Tern    21n  1s
Roseate Tern    1n
Mallard    4n
Common Scoter    1n  1s
Teal    10n
Curlew    3s
Redshank    6n
Turnstone    1n
Oystercatcher    26s  10n
Whimbrel    1n  1s
Knot   2n
Puffin    2n
Common Gull    1n  1s
Grey Squirrel    1n

Sunday, 17 August 2014


Cold and strong westerly today, so didn't go far. At Shibdon the 2 Greenshank and Ruff continued to show and the odd Swift passed through. The juvenile Ruff was again at Lamesley, where a Kingfisher shot past the hide. Elsewhere a couple of Peregrine showed well, but difficult to photograph in the strong wind.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

New Ruff

A lacklustre trip up the coast this morning yielded a Wood Sandpiper at Druridge as the highlight. Amble was a bit busy for another look at the Caspian Gull, so I headed back home.

A Ruff at Lamesley was new in, while Shibdon continued to hold 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Ruff.

Ruff at Lamesley

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Little Egret

Started the day at Shibdon where there was 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 2 Kingfisher and 4 Shoveler. Numbers starting to build up with 121 Redshank and 22 Teal. The pond is looking excellent with acres of mud.

As I took my seat in the hide at Cresswell the Stilt Sandpiper dropped in to give excellent scope views. also here were 9 Ruff, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 7 Avocet, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Common Sandpiper and 16 Snipe. A young Marsh Harrier drifted through.

Stilt Sandpiper
Druridge Pools were quiet, with just 1 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper and several Snipe on the north pool.

A trip up to the Derwent Reservoir produced little except 14 Goosander and a few Buzzard. A few Common Hawker and butterflies were in sheltered areas.

An evening trip to Shibdon and the first Little Egret of the year had dropped in. This morning's waders were still present, but now 2 Greenshank.

Little Egret

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Popped up to Amble after work for the Caspian Gull. My only other Caspo was a first winter bird in awful weather at Seaton Common, so this near adult on the chip shop roof was welcome.

Caspian Gull

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Greenshank Invasion

A pre-work trip to Shibdon gave 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and the Ruff. A text message from George to say another Greenshank had dropped in and both birds were still present this evening.
Lamesley held another 2 Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper, while the first Golden Plover of the autumn was at Timber Beach.

Greenshank at Lamesley

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Stilt Again

Determined to get a photo of the Stilt Sandpiper I sat for a couple of hours on the causeway at Cresswell. The bird never came as close as I hoped, but at least you can see what it is.

Stilt Sandpiper

Also here were 6 Ruff, 2 Little Egret, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, 2 Yellow Wagtail plus fly-over Buzzard and Sparrowhawk.

Ruff and Dunlin
At Druridge main pool there was 3 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper. Loads of butterflies in the sheltered areas.

Common Sandpiper
Meadow Brown
Red Admiral
Back in Gateshead at Kibblesworth there were loads of Common Darter, but reduced numbers of damsels and just 2 Emperors, including 1 ovipositing.

Emerald Damsel
Common Darter
At Burdon Moor lots of Peacock, Wall and Speckled Wood, but little else.

Lamesley had a bit more water and a Common Sandpiper.

At Shibdon the first Greenshank of the year dropped in and a Spotted Redshank was calling, but couldn't be picked up in flight. The Ruff was in residence.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Black Tern

A few shots of the Black Tern at Big Waters this evening. Showing well as it hawked insects over the pond with hirundines. A couple of Water Rail squealed by the boardwalk.

Black Tern

Hopefully this will drop down the A1 to Shibdon. I need it for Gateshead.