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

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Last of the Mohicans?

On Wednesday seawatching was slow, with the star bird a dark-phase Arctic Skua. I followed this with a trip down to Bowesfield Marsh where the Marsh Warbler was still singing. Unfortunately it was too windy and I had to make do with brief glimpses and no photos. Still a Durham tick for me.

In the evening the first Gateshead Little Egret of the year was at Lamesley.

Little Egret
Little Owl
Roe Deer
Thursday's seawatching was much better, no star birds, but 329 Manx Shearwater was a good count.

A trip up north in the afternoon gave a nesting Coot.

At Cresswell a Barn Owl was taking advantage of the dry weather to hunt and my first Little Gull of the year was on the pond.

Barn Owl
Barn Owl
Little Egret
Little Gull & Sandwich Tern

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Other than working...

A look up to Muggleswick before work this morning and managed to year tick Wood Warbler before getting out of the car. Very late this year, but two birds now on territory. Also here were several singing Pied Flycatcher and Cuckoo.

Wood Warbler
Yesterday a trip to Marsden after work eventually gave great views of a female Red-backed Shrike in the evening sun.

Red-backed Shrike
Slow going locally as we enter the doldrums of summer with a few dragonflies and butterflies to entertain.

Broad-bodied Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser
An excellent trip up to Slaley last week for Nightjar with some stunning close views and some rubbish photos.

 On 25th May the only Whinchat of the spring was at Burdon Moor.


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