Thursday, 29 October 2015

Back down to earth

I normally return from Scilly to a host of rare birds (Western Bonelli's Warbler, Pallid Swift, Olive-backed Pipit etc.). This year nowt.

After a cold start Monday got out nice, which gave a chance for a look around Gateshead. A male Peregrine caused havoc at Burdon Moor, scattering Lapwing, Golden Plover and winter thrushes from the fields. At Far Pasture there was a complete lack of Yellow-browed Warbler (will keep trying), but there was a Chiffchaff to keep the interest going. Both sites also held late Common Darter.
Common Darter at Far Pasture
With south easterlies and murkiness on Tuesday and Wednesday, the coast was the logical choice. A good thrash around Whitburn and Marsden unfortunately revealed little more than winter thrushes, Brambling and Goldcrest. Mark N saved the day on Wednesday with a call to say he had a Firecrest at the Lime Kilns. It took a while to show, but eventually popped up on a wire fence, giving great views. Sadly the light/fog was so bad I didn't bother getting the camera out.

Kestrel at Marsden
Today, the morning was a washout, but this afternoon had me up to Burdon Moor. I picked up a Short-eared Owl almost immediately, but unfortunately so did the local Carrion Crows, who spent the next fifteen minutes chasing it around the moor.

Short-eared Owl

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