Sunday, February 24, 2008
After a lean spell at Boulmer, I gave the patch a miss today and took a trip down to Morpeth to look for the Firecrest found wintering in scrub and birch at the Gubeon Plantation.
This bird was found by Tim Watson who was doing an Atlas Tetrad here. Luck must have been smiling on him because this bird was not easy. It took an hour and a half before I heard it calling in some roadside honeysuckle where it was seen for about half a second before flying off out of sight. Once we had 'our ear in' though, we soon refound it as it (he) sang his way through some hawthorn cover. A very bright individual, these are always a pleasure. You can't have too many Firecrests, can you...
My picture above was done at home tonight, from memory, as there were a few people in the field watching the bird. I'm quite self concious about drawing when there are people around, but I'm not sure why? I decided to do the drawing on the back of an old manilla file because of the colour of the background making the bird look very bright, reflecting the type of views I got on site.
Also around here were 6 Bullfinches, 2 Redpolls over, 3 Treecreepers all together on one tree, 2 Jays, 2 Great spotted Woodpeckers and about 25 Redwings.
From here I went to an old stamping ground, Widdrington Tip, to look for Jack Snipe. This is usually a good spot for them but the recent cold spell must have frozen all of the Snipe out because we could only manage to flush 2 Commons.
In the afternoon Jane, Bunty and myself walked from home down to Low Steads and home by the Howick Long Walk seeing just about nothing to raise the bins to. Some massive drifts of Snowdrops in the woods were nice though.
Some of my friends ( yes, you know who you are) seem to think I've 'sold out' by taking pics of flowers and scenery and stuff. They reckon I am being employed by the Tourist Board. Cheeky sods!;)