Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Red Necked Phalarope

A text message through stating Red-necked Phalarope Juvenile Caerlaverock WWT. Finally something twitchable less than 60 miles away finally. So Keith had a few jobs to do first but by 11-15 we were on our way and just after 12 we were watching this stunning little Phalarope. Well done to WWT for getting news out and keeping us up to date. Thanks guys.

You Tube Video Below

Monday, 27 August 2012

North East again

Keith and i were heading over to the east once again, hoping for a good seawatch. We Started at Salthome first and the flash at Port Clarence. Wow what a cracking looking flood with 2 Little Stint, a Juv Curlew Sandpiper, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff a few Dunlin and 7 Little Egrets.
We then moved onto Phil Stead hide at Saltholme pools and again it was full of birds including 5 Garganey and 2 Greenshank.

It then went downhill from there for me at least Seawatching of Hartlepool was rubbish, we had already missed the Sooty Shearwater's and the Long-tailed Skuas and so the only birds of note were a few Arctic Skuas. We then made our way to St Marys Island where yesterdays Greenish Warbler was still in the wetland. Keith managed to find the bird twice... me i was looking from another area, watching a Fox. BUGGERRRR...We had come away from Hartlepool at 12, by 2-45 a bloody Great Shearwater had passed, now i was getting frustrated, so i gave up on the Greenish Warbler and we tried another Seawatch from St Marys, another disaster with again only Arctic Skuas. Everywhere else had Sooty's and Long-tailed Skuas.. GRRRR Suppose we cant have it good all the time. So a great start but a dire end to the day.

I forgot to add Little Gull past Hartlepool and a couple of White Wagtails with the little Stint at Saltholme pools.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Finally....In Cumbria

Well Finally something good for Cumbria. Checked Soddy gap and Low Meadows but very quiet nothing new but the usual ducks n Geese.
So moved straight onto Workington for a seawatch and good to see Keith there too. After watching 50+ Gannets and 50+ Manxies moving i spotted 2 Darkish Terns and manage to get enough on them to Identify them as 2 Juvenile Black Terns as they moved South out the Solway on the dropping tide. A movement of Swallows and a couple of Waders, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Curlew. Finally 4 Wheaters on the fence.

This afternoon Rach n I walked the dog around St bees.
12 Common Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 12 Tree Sparrow mixed flock of 150 Goldfinch and Linnet, 1 Wheatear, 2 Raven all the Auks had gone and a single Kestrel.

Pintail Soddy

Tree Sparrow

Goldfinch and Tree Sparrow

Peackock in Garden this morning

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Soggy Soddy

Started at Low Meadows, a few ducks 20 Teal and 15 Mallard, the rest were on Soddy gap, but just 2 Shoveler, 2 Raven flew through but that was it really.
Looked off Allonby at all the Gulls but nothing special, then Abbeytown Flash but all the waders were in the long grass out of site so all i could see were 2 Common Sandpiper 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ruff which flew into the long grass and finally over 100 Common Snipe. Rained the whole time as usual..

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Stilt Sand revisited

Re proccesed a couple of shots from the Stilt Sandpiper a couple of weeks back.
A little bit better than before.


Count to ten 1,2,.............10 Smiley face, what a lovely day on the Solway, started at Abbeytown, the sun was a bit strong but i could just about make out 5 Ruff and a Common Sandpiper. A small group of Dunlin came off the flood from out of site so i didnt get to check them properly.
Moved onto Port Carlilse and Bowness Railings but the only birds of note were a Greenshank and 3 Sanderling. There were again very few waders 100 small waders Ringed Plover and Dunlin, oh and a single Golden Plover.
The best birds however were two possible northern Fennoscandia and western Siberian Dunlin, ssp. alpina paler birds these were on the railings.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Soddy Gap

The Low meadows (the Flash) had nothing on it this morning but all the birds had moved onto Soddy gap itself, the Teal were there, the Shoveler were there as were all the Mallards. New on though was a drake Pintail and 2 Pochard. The Little Grebe was still here.  The geese were here in high numbers but otherwise its still quiet.


All i seem to be doing is rant these days so i do apologise, today's no different though i'm afraid.
I was over in Northumberland when a bloody Melodious Warbler was found at Walney Island, well it took nearly 2 hours for the news to be put out for a start but then i suppose we should be lucky it got out before dark or if at all.
I was in the east so it was too far to come back, even though it was a Lifer. So Monday morning came and Keith and i headed for Walney, at the same time waiting for news. We got closer and closer and closer still no news what are these guys playing at. We had waited till 10am as it was because Keith had some work to do, so by 11-30 we had arrived at Walney.. no bird and no birders.
We gave the area a good 3 hour grilling and decided we were wasting our time the bird had moved on.
Now hearing the name Walney just makes me feel sick, i wouldn't have even bothered going for a bird here if i didn't need it but as it was a lifer i had to give it a chance..
So here's the Question WHY oh WHY didn't Walney obs or birders who must have checked for the bird that morning put out news stating it had gone saving Keith and I a 120 mile round trip and probably more than 30 Quid in Petrol, why cos they couldnt give a shit about anyone else that's why. I cant think of a less deserving set of birders or nature reserve to get a rare bird than them.
The Walney Warden wants to pull his finger out his ass and start thinking about others, it takes 1 email to the bird services 7 words.......Cumbria Walney NO SIGN OF MELODIOUS WARBLER.. Copy and paste this if it helps you Warden....
Next someone will tell me no birders or locals or the Warden checked the area for a mega such as the Melodious Warbler that morning eh.... Bullshit!

Rant Over..... till next time

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Northumberland again

Firstly last night i was playing fetch with the dog in the garden, as it was almost pitch black there must have been a Barn Owl about because on two occasions i got incredible views of the Owl as it flew over my head, i then realized it was attracted to the squeak of Jamie's ball as it sounded like a mouse. Wonderful!!!

It was a late start but Rach n I headed for Northumberland not sure where but i hoped birds would tell us. Well a Juv Barred Warbler turned up at Druridge CP so that was our destination. After a bit of wandering about and checking the dunes at the South end we realised we were in the wrong dune, not a birder in sight, or birds for that matter. Keith who was also in the area then rang with better directions for the north end of the dunes.. So after lunch we headed straight for the correct spot and got plenty of flight views of the Barred Warbler, met up with Keith and Phil too..Eventually i got better views on the deck and in the bush's but it was an illusive bugger so i was lucky to get to see it never mind get these very poor record shots.

Barred Warbler Honest

After our fill of this fabulous bird we headed for Cresswell for the Spoonbill and Spotted Redshank, but couldnt find the reported Little Stint or Wood Sandpiper. After this we headed for Whitbiurn Steel to try again for the Bonaparte's Gull but after searching the area and waiting at its favourite spot there was again no sign. Bloody thing. So we called it a day and headed home.

I stopping in at Low Meadows (Soddy Flash) where there were a few more Ducks, now 4 Shoveler, 23 Teal 55 Mallard and a Grey Heron.  At least the Barred Warbler was nice.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

North East and Cumbria

Well Last minute decision was made was to nip over to the North East as we had nothing better to do. Started at Whitburn Steel where we had a good 3 hours seawatching.  Visibility was mixed due to heavy rain showers. Nothing great went past, best birds were just a few Arctic Skuas and a single Bonxie. Arctic, Common and Sandwich Terns.
We then moved onto Saltholme pools where a Juv Black Tern showed well as did 4 Little Gulls, an Eclipse Drake Red Crested Pochard and a few Little Egret and Greenshanks. We finished at Seal sand but the tide was well in and the waders were hidden, 2 Ruff with the Redshank being it. As ever the Common Seals put on a good show.

Black Tern

Black Tern

Little Gull

Red Crested Pochard

Little Egret


Herring Gull

Common Seal

Common Seal

Common Seal
 A quick wander around Workington produced a 2nd Summer Med Gull at Siddick, 2 Adult Med Gulls at Workington Harbour, 1 being stumpy. A seawatch produced just 10 Common Scoter a few Manxies 1 Common Tern and plenty of Sandwich Tern.

Finished at Soddy Gap and Low Meadows, Low Meadows was the best with finally some birds on the flood. 2 Black-tailed Godwit looked like the Nominate Race 14 Teal 48 Mallard and nicely 3 Eclipse Shovelers.. Smaller birds were 3-4 Willow/chiff, Tree Sparrow,  2 Whitethroat with a 3rd on Soddy itself, Robin and a Yellowhammer.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Workington Seawatch and Solway

Had 3 hours this morning off Workington, for a Southerly wind there was quite a lot of movement, however most of it was too far away for picking anything rare up. Plenty of Sandwich Tern 60-70+, 3 Commic Tern but again just too far away.
8 Common Scoter(S) 3(N) 11(S) 2(N).
Plenty of Kittiwakes, Gannets and Various Gulls including a Juv Mediterranean Gull. No sign of Stumpy today.
A brief views of either a Petrel or the views were that bad it could have been a Swallow going north very low over the water, not to be seen again.
More Terns further out which i couldnt identify and 30+ Manx Shearwater.
A Rock Pipit flew over and small groups of waders, Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Ringed Plover.
Think that was it. The potential for something out there like a Black Tern was good, but unless the birds were much closer there would have been no chance.

In the afternoon nipped upto the Solway with Keith... The Solway was CRAP as usual but Abbeytown Floods had 12 Ruff, 3 Greenshank 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 30 Snipe.

Monday, 13 August 2012


I'm REALLY trying to find something good in Cumbria... FAILING daily doh, today i had the day traveling up the coast starting at Crosscanonby  and finishing at Port Carlisle. The tide was ebbing so there were plenty of gulls to check at Crosscanonby but nothing of any real note. I eventually got to Calvo - Abbeytown road after checking various flooded fields on the way but nothing. Again the floods of the Calvo road look great but again not a sausage, a few Darters was it. I got to Abbeytown where i checked the main flooded area, this was much better, 7 Ruff, 2 Greenshank 8 Snipe and plenty of Lapwing. Plenty of ducks mainly Teal, Mallard and Shoveler. After double checking the flood i moved onto Anthorn where i got to check 60+ Golden Plover, a Ruff was the odd one out. I then checked further up and i was amazed to see a Male Osprey sat on a wooden stump washed up by the tide, it was eating a fish. Bird of the day!

I continued onto the roadside scrape at Campfield, a Peregrine sat on its usual post was the best bird. I finished at Port Carlisle and checked all the waders but it was tough they were now distant and well spread out so they were hard to check and again nothing to write home about. Dunlin, Redshank, Turnstone, Heron and Gulls.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


New in are 2 Teal and a fresh brood of Tufted ducks, thats it really just the usual Mallards, Greylags and Canadas... All sat on the island so impossible to count. 4 Raven again.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Stilt Sandpiper

Well for once a great days birding, well of coarse it wasn't in Cumbria Duhhh ;-).....
Finally i got the Enthusiasm and Time to Join Keith in nipping over to Northumberland for the day and go see the brilliant Adult Stilt Sandpiper that had been found at Low Newton on Sunday. What a cracker this bird was.

 We then moved on looking at a few spots such as East Chevington, Amble and then Cresswell Ponds. 3 or 4Arctic Skuas from near Coquet Island were the highlights. Cresswell held the best birds however in the form of Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, a Juv Long-tailed Duck and few Terns. Otherwise everywhere was surprisingly quiet.

Long-tailed Duck

Common Tern
We Finished our day with a seawatch from Newbiggin, starting with no less than 7 Med Gulls of varying ages. We had 4 more Arctic Skuas, Pale, Dark and Intermediate birds, a Couple of Manx Shearwaters, Common and Arctic Terns and finally our target for the day an Adult Roseate Tern, we think it fed a juvy on the rocks.. A Whimbrel dropped in to finish a great day.
Roseate Tern