Sunday, February 24, 2008

Firecrest.



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!;)

11 comments:

Mattzappa said...

I need to look around my local area a bit more, will head up that way on me lunch. How long have I got before the Snowbuntings will be heading off, would really like to see them?

Martin said...

In contrast, I'm not generally regarded as a great tourist promotion officer for Newtonhill. Can't think why. And i don't think I'll be invited back onto Winchburgh Community Council any time soon.

Border Reiver said...

If you are being employed as a tourist waller, you're doing a fab job ... just don'e tell too many people :-)...good tick the firecrest, which we dipped down here last week and good pic.

oldcrow61 said...

Your painting is wonderful.

Blyth Birder said...

Nice Firecrest there BB.

Ipin said...

Good stuff this Atlas work eh? gets folk out to the never-visited bits of the county.

Boulmer Birder said...

MZ - Snow Bunts are always difficult at this time ( better in November). Try the Long Nanny at High Newton, there might be one or two still there...
M - I'd vote for you.
BR - Ta.
OC - Thank you very much...
BB - Ditto
I - Oh yes, stuff is bound to turn up. Shame somebody has missed the Hume's Warbler..

foggy said...

stew is it possible that firecrest could be more abundent up here than what we think or are they a more southern bird . well done by the way finding it i think ive missed my chance unless it hangs around another week.

Boulmer Birder said...

Chris - Its possible that this bird will have been here for sometime and may well be around until it migrates in late March. It appears that they are genuinely rare in the county because even the intensive counting during atlas surveys fails to find any more. Best time to see them is April and again in Oct /Nov after SE winds...

Border Reiver said...

The only one I ever saw was at Bolam Lake in about 1986 or 87 in late autumn..the notebook and detail has long gone sadly like the bird and my hair !!

Anonymous said...

Message to brother Foggy. The Firecrest still present on 27th. Lucky to see it so shortly after arriving but have a wander about and keep your ears open. The bird was quite vocal but mobile. present in small tit flock which also contained Goldcrests.Brilliant painting stew.