Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nowt until April...

Recently I have been pondering a comment by Ipin at Druridge when he reckoned there would be very little to see until the Wheatears returned or something along those lines. A lot of birders reckon this to be one of the quietest periods of the year and, generally, I would agree with them.

But I flicked through some old notes the other night to see what is possible over the next few weeks...

I've kept mostly local.

5th February 1989 Double crested Cormorant, Billingham. Very boring but a true mega. How many of those are overlooked?

18th February 1990 Terek Sandpiper Wintering on the Blyth Estuary. Imagine that one on your WeBs count.



Above - Top Female Pine Bunting, Big Waters, Newcastle 27th February 1990 and Bottom, Male Pine Bunting, Cresswell, 1st February 1992. The male was a great find by Ian Fisher, but how many females are overlooked in Yellowhammer flocks? Get out there looking, according to the Italians who have a few wintering birds this is the best month. Not bad though 2 in 2 years in the county....

3rd February 1991 Two barred Crossbill, male, Harwood Forest. Some controversy back then but looking back I cant think why. It was a cracking male with huge white wing bars....




Above - Pied billed Grebe, Druridge Pools December 1992 until at least 15th February 1994. Top notes are my first sighting on day two in winter plumage and the bottom was my last, on the date above, in summer plumage. How many would twitch one now?



Above - Ross's Gull, Sunderland, 1st March 1994. A lovely bird, a lifer at the time and I've seen only one other, a summer adult at Teeside.



Above - 5th March 1995 Forster's Tern, Musselburgh. We spent 6 hours looking before it showed down to less than 10 yards...



Above - 11th February 1996 Arctic Redpoll, Alnmouth south Dunes, self found by John Rutter and myself. We did the double with another at Druridge Bay Country Park on 17th March 1996. During a year when there was a massive influx. I haven't seen another.



Above - A bit further away, a day out twitching on 25th February 1996 had Black throated Thrush at Peterborough, Cedar Waxwing in Nottingham and Laughing Gull at Sunderland. Cleaned up!



Above - Lastly this White billed Diver turned up in Blyth Harbour on 20th March 1996. I jumped in the car and was there in 20 minutes - still wearing slippers! Excited or what....

So, for all of you getting down about the flagging year list when there's nothing doing until the migrants start...think on.

10 comments:

alan tilmouth said...

That brought back some memories, I got both Pine Bunting the Pied-billed Grebe and the White Billed Diver, admittedly in sensible footwear. Just goes to show though. All these BTT's might come back north a little too on the way back and with a pungent Sperm Whale giving off big whiffs who would bet against a bit of Ivory?

Stewart J said...

Managed quite a few of those but the Pine Bunting eluded, remember Brian Little commenting as we arrived it'd left in the flock that departed as we'd arrived - sod it.

Ipin said...

Ok, Ok...I'll be out again this weekend bashing the patch....again.

To be honhest I would do anyway...and would be happy to see that bloody pintail or MSK's black-throated diver he suppressed!

Dean said...

Well said Stewart.
I know i won`t get nothing along them lines on my patch, but i`ll still be out there, watching.

Birding Sometimes said...

Great post S, inspirational...!

Stewart said...

Alan - Yes an Ivory would be good.

Stewart - Keep checking those flocks you might find your own.

Ipin - Dont just look at it lad, get stuck in! Get in amangst it, the Mugwort doesnt bite!!

Dean - Them buntings are easliy missed. Imagine summat like a Junco at your feeders with the Stock Dove...

$%^& - Well said, ***&^%$££$%%^^&, I reckon.

John - Cheers.

Warren Baker said...

Yep, like dean, i'll be out there looking....and looking...and...

Anonymous said...

Excellent post-a bit of the good old days!
admc

abbey meadows said...

I shared some of those sightings with you Stew but I think March could produce something as this cold spell will have moved birds from further East and North to the South of us (too cold here for them) so they will begin to move north then...hopefully!

Stewart said...

Warren - Good Luck

Andy - Cheers.

Nigel - You surely were, good days. I hope you are right about March....