Over the last few days, Christmas commitments mean that birding time has been in short supply, but, thanks to the needs of a small terrier ( minus her hat) there is always time for a stroll with the binoculars. I have been keeping a tally of species seen as suggested by Andrew at Quicksilver blog, and will do until New years day. The total will be revealed after then...
In the mean time, there have been one or two highlights...
Started well with a Song Thrush in full song out in the street just before first light. A nice early record for me as I dont usually hear one until maybe the second week of January. Our morning walk around Boulmer featured mainly the commoner species that could be expected here on any winters day, but an immature Peregrine flew west over Longhoughton Steel flushing everything and 10 Goldeneye flew north.
The Blackcap was still on our feeders.
In the afternoon the sun came out so we took a walk around the Howick Wood for half an hour or so. At least one Kingfisher was at the pond. The loud whistling calls before I saw it makes me think that another bird was present, but only the one showed. Also here, a Red Squirrel followed a route through the branches on the far side before coming down to the pool for a drink. A large tit flock further on boosted the list with Nuthatch, Treecreeper and 2 Great spotted Woodpeckers amongst others.
Boxing Day -
Nothing really of note around Boulmer other than 15 Grey Partridges and a single Red throated Diver offshore.
The 20 mile drive to pick up my mother added a few new species with 30+ Whooper Swans at Widdrington with hoards of Pinkfeet overhead. Pochard and Tufted Duck were seen as I drove past Bothal Pond.
Blackcap still on the feeders...
Took a drive over to Longframlington with JWR to meet his mate, Derek, who will be doing some building work for us. On the way, the Barn Owl at Lesbury showed really well, a Jay was seen at Derek's, a Dipper was on the river below Pauperhaugh Bridge and on the way home 100+ Fieldfares and Redwings were at Corby Crags.
A Red Squirrel was a road casualty just along the road from us at the quarry.
At Boulmer this evening, well 3.30, but it was nearly dark, 2 Purple Sandpipers and 30 Grey Plovers were at the high tide roost...
Its amazing what you can see when you aren't out birding ;)