Tuesday, February 15, 2011


After my short venture into non romantic fact, I need to get back to birding.

The weather is back to winter here, with a hard frost and -2 degrees last night. The wind is a gusty strong SE 6.

Blog posts have been sparse lately because there is nothing much to see and less to write about. After a lull of a couple of weeks a couple of new species have graced the OFFH list this weekend.

On the pond, a pair of Little Grebes have returned as harbingers of spring to come, and in the garden on Saturday 3 Waxwings arrived from the south, perched for a few seconds and were instantly set upon by a Jackdaw. They flew off strongly NE and are probably in Norway as I type this now...Still, a good bird to get, there may be none next winter.

I did the WeBs count at Branton Pits with John on Sunday. Signs of spring abound up there too, with flocks of Lapwing and Oystercatcher returning inland to nesting sites. A nice flock feeding on fallen Alder seed was made up of 10+ Siskin, 8+ Lesser Redpoll and 2+ Mealy Redpoll.

The wildfowl were in good numbers for this site too with many birds displaying, 37 Goosander, 18 Goldeneye, 3 Pochard, 28 Tufted Duck, 44 Wigeon, 35 Teal, 20 Mallard and 8 Coot.

Once this weather gets a bit better the first Lesser black back will be out there waiting to be seen.


Unknown said...

Hi Stewart,

I called in to Boulmer at the weekend to check the beach for waders not having been their birding before I wasn't sure what to expect. I have to say the bay provided me with the best days wader photographing for my blog I've ever had - oystercatchers, godwits, sanderling and turnstones in good numbers and to my surprise pale bellied Brent geese with a couple of dark bellied mixed in too!

Brilliant place can't wait till my next visit now.

Stewart said...

Yes Mark, it has always been one of the best wader spots in the county. Catch the tide and light right and you get some great views. The Brents arent an annual feature. Most years we get half a dozen or so, but over a hundred this year is probably due to the winter weather before Christmas...Cheers Stewart.

The Hairy Birder said...

Hello Stewart, I haven't 'dropped by' for a while. Your blog header is cracking! Cheers, Seumus

Warren Baker said...

Good to see you're out there still Stewart :-) Bet you're gagging to find some moths by now !!

Stewart said...

Hi Seamus - you haven't missed much. :)

Warren - The motto is...I don't go birding, I AM birding....I'm sure all moths come to he who waits...

I'm a bit phyllosoph, philosofic , phyllos, ...thoughtful tonight...

Stevie Evans said...

particularly enjoyed reading about those swans -
very refreshing to read something so interesting & well written about species 'we' tend to take for granted.

40 mile south here, we seem to be a good few weeks ahead of you (LBB & Dabchick) as far as bird activity goes - several species moving through this week inc Chiffchaff, Shoveler, Seo, Skylarks & the odd Wagtail.

Stewart said...

Cheers Steve. Last night was below freezing still and it looks set to be cool for the forseeable. I am still waiting for my first Meadow Pipit of 2011, some feat really considering I live only yards from the coast surrounded by farmland... The hard winter has pushed everything away and it may well be March before we see a good return of stuff like Larks, Pipits and Wagtails.