Wednesday, 3 December 2008


A bean goose had been seen at linton by abbey meadows and an iceland gull so i decided to get up there as this would be another lifer for me and after a muddy hike to the hide i was not disapointed and managed to get these shots, no sign of iceland gull though.
does anyone no the origin of this goose?

herring gull
common gull
black headed gull
greater black backed gull
bean goose
canada goose
greylag goose
tufted duck
mute swan
new species for site in bold


Thursday, 27 November 2008


on Wednesday the 12th November i had a day off and that special bird at holy island was still hanging around it was too much too resist i did not fancy waiting another 12 years for one of these to turn up so my mind was made up i even got the chance of a lift up so i packed my gear and i was off .

I got dropped off at the lindisfarne hotel about 11.30 and the area had a good number of photographers and birding folk always a good sign and within a about five minutes it made its first appearance and what a little beauty it was i watched it through my bins for a while taking in the well marked flanks and a definite blue tail and a tidy white throat patch a welcome addition to my birding list another lifer.

But this little visitor was not welcome with the locals {the robins that is }they started harassing it up to 3 robins started on it every time it came into view the robins took it in turns to spoil the show it did fight back on a few occasions and did not look too unsettled at times.

The bird did show well and i managed to get some good views and take it all in and now i could relax for the rest of the day i decided to have a relaxing walk around the island .
the above photo was taken by Ron mccombe hope ron doesent mind me sticking it on here

other birds seen were



black headed gull



collared dove

chiff chaff

bar tailed godwit





feral pigeon

red breasted merganser

house sparrow



common gull





little stint

herring gull





greater black backed gull

new birds for site in bold

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


on Sunday the 8th of November i got a call about a rare bird at alcan of all places the weather was poor and a brief stare out of the window did not look promising so i opted to sit it out and wait

then the sun began to get out so i decided to give it a go.

I have not been to the beach up there before (sheltered life) as i was not sure there was access when i arrived i was pointed in the right direction by some local birders then i began the long trek

there were plenty birders about some going out and some returning and there were plenty of positive sightings and talk of it being a colourful male bird .

But the weather started to get worse and it began to rain not just ordinary rain but wind driven horizontal in your face type of rain so i decided to shelter until the worse was over and after about 10 minutes the sun managed to break through again.
Now it was time to get moving again so i followed the birders in front heading towards the mound at newbiggin half way along i was stopped by shouts of how eeeehh its theeere behinnd yu or something like that so i went into stealth mode did a quick 180 degree turn and dropped to the floor and there he was just 12 feet away sitting on a rock a stunning male desert wheatear
a lifer for me this would turn out to be the best view of a clearly unsettled and flighty bird which was hard to photograph so no pics folks.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


2 trips to the QE11 country park in october produced the following species
Great crested grebe
canada goose
greylag goose
black headed gull
mute swan
tufted duck
greater black backed gull
herring gull
carrion crow
grey heron
?/10/08 can't remember exact date
common gull
species in bold are new birds for this site

on the 10th a scaup had been seen here so i decided to pay a visit to see if i could catch up with it

the lake had a large number of tufted duck,a circular walk around the lake was needed as i had no idea where it was after about an hour of scanning through tufted ducks i managed to pick it out a female with a substantial white patch at bill base i managed to get some good views and they really are a lot more bulky than tufties with a big heed! on them.

Saturday, 18 October 2008


Watching the skies but he left empty handed
Scanning the bird table looking for a target

While washing the dishes yesderday a sparrowhawk swooped into the garden hoping to grab something on the way it then landed on my fence so i made a quick dash for my scope, tripod and camera and managed to get these shots through the kitchen window, who said? housework is boring.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


Red Admiral

These snaps were taken in the back garden I was preparing the vege patches for the autumn and could not resist taking these shots,I do not normally take much notice of insects in the garden but seeing these seems to have sparked an interest apparantly these belong to a group of butterflies called aristocrats as far as i know.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

yankee invasion

After a making a bad choice to go to see newcastle humiliating defeat to hull on saturday time was running out to see a lifer at cresswell,would that special wader still be around on the sunday

I had a bit of spare time before starting work at 3 o,clock so i headed up to cresswell to see what was around, the place was certainly full of birders at at the hides and along the causeway so i stopped at the causeway and after a quick word with some friendly birders the news was positive the buff breasted sandpiper was still about after lining it up in the scope i slowly focussed in and what a beauty it was and it stayed put in the small area of dry sand on the north side of the causeway and as the light started to improve the views just got better and the sandy buff colours really stood out and the eyering gave the bird an attractive appearance .

A brief scan around the ponds did not disappoint their were waders everywhere a large group of dunlins was an ideal size comparison to pick out other waders like little stint and curlew sandpiper,

The whole ponds were full of wildlife a bird of prey lifted most of the waders it appeared to be a peregrine at first but when i got it in my bins it appeared less bulky and shorter winged and appeared to be grabbing something small from the air at 1 point.

Other waders on show were ringed plover, ruff, black tailed godwit,common sandpiper,curlew,

redshank in fact ive never seen so many waders in one day.

A black tern also put in an appearance and i finally got a good view of one of the pectoral sandpipers which had been seen in the area a bird so easy to overlook but had the distinctive breast streaks coming to a point.
this picture was given to me with err kind permission from a mr. s sexton alias boulmer birder

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Monday, 8 September 2008

Managed to find time to pop back to caimbois today but the railway bridge area was full of work vehicles puting up a new fence so i went along to the estuary waders present were lots of redshank & dunlin a few ringed plover and best of all 3 knot
a redstart was also in shrubs nearby and a goosander on the water.
I then went up to castle island the island was covered in gulls hundreds of them
mostly common stuff as far as i could see.
there was a few migrants still knocking about a spotted flycather( new patch bird )and 4 willow warblers.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

migrants galore !!

i turned on the computer to see if their had been any more reports of the wryneck and dotterel at newbiggin found by those dedicated birders last night then i realised there were migrants all over the county so i went up to blyth cemetery hoping to bump into a crowd of birders watching a wryneck the place was empty and could not see or here any birds singing apart from a robin i then bumped into a birder from prudoe who was in the same predicament so i did not waste any more time
i dont have a pager so decided to head to a spot in cambios an old track leading to an old railway bridge with some good areas of scrub there was birds all over pied flycatcher ,garden warbler kindly picked out by a blyth valley birder ,redstart wheatear,this was just a brief stop who knows what else was here.
unfortunatly this was the only spare time i had today so the wryneck dotterel and rb flycatcher hopefully will hang around a bit longer,i doubt it very much though.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Our Tent

hopefully we can tour the country and find some top birding sites with our new tent here are some pictures from our pitch at faskally caravan and camping park.

arse over tit

my previous post seems to be upside down plus i have managed to delete my older posts i can not get the photos to appear under the text when i prepare my posts


take your pick luxury lodges static caravan or tent i prefer the latter

more stunning views from the area

the fast flowing burn good views of dipper around this area.

one of the trails around a fishing pond had good views of buzzard from here usualy herd before being seen

highland cattle at the deer park

our tent is on the far right

a camping break in scotland on the 10/8/08 was a welcome break from work so we decided to head for perthshire and spend a night at glengoulandie country park before heading to faskally
we arrived at glengoulandie an area surrounded by hills and a fast flowing burn ran through the site,and situated at the foot of mount schiehallion.
a walk around the deer park and surrounding footpaths is included in the pitch fee's

Friday, 27 June 2008

testing testing

welcome to castle birding this is my first post