Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Bits and bobs

A few bits and bobs from the last week. Temminck's Stint have been a feature this week and I managed 3 of the 4 at Back Saltholme, giving good, but distant views from the road.

The Red-necked Phalarope has returned to Grindon Lough for its third year, frustratingly on my visit it was hugging the southern bank and initially only visible by standing on the roof of the car.

An embarrassing miss from my Durham list got me down to Stoneybeck Lake, Bishop Middleham on Saturday after seawatching. The Egyptian Goose was distant (and ugly), but safely on the list.

Egyptian Goose
Back from here to Whitburn for the Turtle Dove that was showing well and coming to seed in a private garden.

Turtle Dove
Today I had great views in the sun of an adult Spoonbill at Boldon Flats, plus a singing Gateshead Spotted Flycatcher. Last night the 'squeaky-gate' calls of at least two juvenile Long-eared Owls revealed successful local breeding again this year.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Red-rumped Swallow

With nothing doing around Gateshead, plus news of a Red-rumped Swallow at Druridge and the hope that the rain would ground some waders, I headed north. Not expecting the swallow to hang around I even stopped in Cresswell for an ice-cream. I arrived at Druridge to see half a dozen birders looking back along the track towards me. Just overhead were now 2 Red-rumped Swallow. Held in place by the rain they gave superb views for 20 mins before the rain cleared and they drifted off.

Red-rumped Swallow

A flock

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Citrine Wagtail

Luckily the Citrine Wagtail at Lynemouth hung around for me to finish work. I was apprehensive driving to the coast as it got duller and foggier the closer I got. No need to worry as it was showing well, although fairly distantly, before flying closer. Eventually point-blank views as it walked the water's edge less than ten feet away.

Citrine Wagtail

On Thursday I had an unsuccessful trip to Boulmer, where the Dotterel had disappeared overnight, followed by an unsuccessful hunt for Wood Warbler. Loads of Pied Flycatcher and Redstart, plus my first Cuckoo of the year. A single Green Hairstreak was on the wing above Muggleswick.

Green Hairstreak
A text from George got me down to Shibdon where an unseasonal Whooper Swan had dropped in with a flock of Mutes.

Whooper Swan

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Up the junction.

Out on the windy common this morning, high above Catton, Northumberland I eventually managed great views of the Short-toed Lark. Showing well at times on the gravel road, it was very flighty and disappeared for long periods. What it was doing up there is beyond me. A hunting Short-eared Owl was a pleasant diversion from the cold as I waited two hours for it to first appear.

Short-toed Lark

At Derwent Reservoir there were a pair of Redstart, but little on the water. The plan was to visit Muggleswick Gorge, but the road was closed for the day, so I headed back for a tour of Gateshead.


All quiet, but the afternoon was saved by a singing Tree Pipit on Bradley Fell.

Tree Pipit