Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Torn' for the bist' (Turn for the best)

Had quite a good day Saturday just gone down at Teesside:

1-Whimbrel - We went to Greatham Creek to have a look about and I was secrectly hoping for a Whimbrel, we had a monster of a spider in the seal sands hide that gave me the shivers. I tried to ignore it and managed to scope a cracking partly summer plumage Bar-tailed Godwit on Seal Sands itself as well as all the other common birds you would expect to see.

2-Reed Warbler - Went onto Dorman's Pool, the path to the hide was alive with bird song and I saw Sedge Warbler, Dunnock, and Whitethroat. Sadly didn't hear anything particularly different though. We then walked along the road to the top car park at Dorman's we heard loads of Reed Warbler but the attempts to see one failed until we got near to the car park and I looked into a section of the reed bed and the Reed Warbler poped up briefly and then back down into the reedbed. I alerted my friends and informed them to stand where I was and wait and sure enough the Reed Warbler came up and we got fantastic views. Quite possibly the best views of a Reed Warbler I have ever had.

3-Little Tern - We also went onto Crimdon Dene and saw the Little Terns.

Here's a picture of some Little Terns at Crimdon that was taken weeks ago but it adds visual aid to the post:

(Little Terns - Derek Charlton)

Special thanks to Derek who continues to allow me to use his images on my website. Cheers mate.

Year List Updates:
181 - Whimbrel
182 - Reed Warbler
183 - Little Tern

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Back for round 3 with Pied Flies

Had a fantastic day over the Durham dales with Derek and David M from the bird club. We started the day by going Castleside way and we were treated to some fantastic views of a Little Owl sitting outside its nesting hole.

We left here and then headed for Muggleswick for our first stop of the day. When we arrived the Charlton (Derek) suggested we had a look at a spot he has never seen Pied Flycatcher before just to have a look. We walked along and nothing was seen or heard until all of a sudden Derek’s keen ears picked up a Garden Warbler up the bank. So we then headed up to have a look and we got a quick glimpse of a cracking male Redstart perched up. We then headed onto where the Garden Warbler was singing; I quickly picked it up and pointed it out to the rest of the lads. Derek has never been able to get good enough views of Garden Warbler so he started to head back to the car to get his camera to attempt for a picture, as we were going down the hill Davey said “Pied Fly” and there was a cracking male Pied Flycatcher. It flew about a bit before disappearing from view.

We then decided to move onto a different part of Muggleswick which was slightly further on from our current location. When we arrived we pretty much immediately picked up Redstart as well as a Pied Flycatcher, shortly after we had cracking views of a Pied Flycatcher going into a hole, perhaps feeding young or the wife? We moved on from here onto the river where Dipper was seen but sadly not by me, a Grey Wagtail here was also a treat to see. From here we walked up the wooded area where we had most common woodland birds as well as fantastic views of 1 or 2 Garden Warbler which were knocking about in the area. We headed back toward the car and were again rewarded with fantastic views of Pied Flycatcher and the Charlton went on one of this many wanders in pursuit of another Garden Warbler we had heard.

From an uneventful trip to Muggleswick we headed onto Tunstall Reservoir where we had fantastic views of more Redstart, as well as a cracking male. We also had 3 Pied Flycatcher, although I only saw 1 and this was a female. We also had Marsh Tit calling bit sadly no Wood Warbler to be seen or heard at all.

The Charlton took us to Bedburn area to look for some Wood Warblers, sure enough this site proved a good one and we were quickly hearing the distinctive call of a Wood Warbler. Not long after hearing this we picked one up as it flew about and called. I got some cracking views and this was a lifer for me! We watched it for a while in the area and when it moved around we followed it, this paid off as we were soon watching 2 Wood Warblers, both a male and a female. There was nothing really else of particular interest to report from here so we moved onto our next location.

We arrived at our next location that was Dryderdale, we had a walk around and we saw and heard quite a few Tree Pipits. When I thought about them after having seen them I realised how different they actually are to Meadows Pipits. A few Redstart were heard but sadly not seen at all, we also heard a Tawny Owl calling but this was again not seen. We heard a Green Woodpecker calling and the very keen eyed Charlton spotted it way of in the distance, it defiantly was the Green Woodpecker as Derek and Davey said they could see red on its head. I also saw it move its head when it called so we obviously weren’t looking at some funny part of a tree.

Our last stop of the day was at a place called Low Burnlea Row, here we had fantastic views of 2 Jay as well as a male Pied Flycatcher.

All in all a fantastic day and some fantastic birds.

(male Redstart - Derek Charlton)

(male Pied Flycatcher - Derek Chalrton)

(Wood Warbler - Derek Charlton)

(Little Owl - Derek Charlton)
Little Owl: "Wat's yae lukin at?"

Life List Updates
240 (world) – Wood Warbler

Year List Updates
173 -Corn Bunting
174 -Little Owl
175 -Redstart
176 -Garden Warbler
177 -Pied Flycatcher
178 -Wood Warbler
179 -Tree Pipit
180 -Green Woodpecker

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Update form past few outings

Hi all my followers.

Sorry that I haven’t updated for a while. In this post I will give you and update of how I am getting on with my birding.

Sunday 25th of April
I spent this day at Leighton Moss RSPB in Lancashire. It was a Durham Bird Club trip to this reserve and we had quite a good day. We missed out on the Spotted Redshank and Curlew Sandpiper, however I had some fantastic views of 2 Little Gull. Other birds of note during the trip were the Marsh Harrier we saw as well as Nuthatch, first Swifts of the year, Green Woodpecker (heard only), cracking views of Marsh Tit, and Sedge Warbler. Me and 2 other lads gave up on looking for the Reed Warbler we could hear. Sadly no Bearded Tits seen by me but one I believe was seen by someone else on the trip. All in all, quite a good day.

Tuesday 27th of April
My Dad had very kindly agreed to take me to see the Black-winged Stilt on this day; however the lack of the bird not being there at all we instead went to Saltholme RSPB to try and see a Wood Sandpiper that had been reported there. On arrival I went into the centre and asked the kind man on the desk about the Wood Sandpiper, he then direction me to ask another man who he pointed out who was near the windows in the centre. I went over to this man and he directed me to go to the Saltholme Pools hide and ask the man in there who had the radio and he should be able to tell me about the Wood Sandpiper. I therefore set off on the walk to Salthome Pools hide and was treated to cracking views of a Yellow Wagtail sitting on one of the wooden poles alongside the pathway. When I got into the hide and asked the chap if the Wood Sandpiper has been seen he explained it could not be seen from the hides. He said that I could go to Paddy’s Pool hide and talk to the finder. He kindly showed me where to stand to view where the Wood Sandpiper was. I also asked if anything else had seen and was informed that a Little Gull had been seen. I had a look and saw the Little Gull straight away; it was a little bit distant but a cracking bird to see none the less. I also saw 2 Common Terns which we a first for the year as well. I then left and went back to the visitor centre to where my Mum and Dad were waiting patiently for my return.

I informed them where we needed to go and then happily agreed. Minutes later I was standing by the side of the road and watching my first ever Wood Sandpiper, I first spotted it in flight as it flew past just before I was about to check the waders looking for it. A few people from Teesmouth Bird Club came over and I had some chat with them as well. When watching the bird I was quite taken back at home different it was from the nearby Redshanks and Green Sandpipers I had seen in the past. Apparently there was a Greenshank present as well but I didn’t see it, I wasn’t looking as I was to bust watching the Wood Sandpiper. All in all a cracking day!

Sunday 2nd of May
I had a day up the Durham dales with my usual friends as well as a quick look in Gateshead. We went to Gateshead and we had good views of the Wood Sandpiper that had been there for a few days. We also had good views of my first House Martin as well as good views of Swallows, Sand Martins, and Swifts. We heard a Reed Warbler but didn’t see it; also we didn’t see the Lesser Whitethroat or hear it. We had to move on due to the fact we didn’t have that much time that day. We had quite a good day up the dales with Red Kite and Buzzards being seen. We heard a Wood Warbler but never actually saw it; it would have been a lifer for me! Also we didn’t hear or see ant Pied Flycatchers unfortunately. I also returned to the same area on Monday the 3rd of May, again didn’t see any Pied Flycatchers or Wood Warblers. I will be back for round three that’s for sure!

Was quite a good few days of birding with 2 Wood Sandpiper, I am sure I will see Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher sometime soon.

British List updates
238 – Wood Sandpiper

Year List updates
165 - Sedge Warbler
166 - Swift
167 - Marsh Tit
168 - Nuthatch
169 - Little Gull
170 - Common Tern
171 - Wood Sandpiper
172 - House Martin