Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Gone off with a bang...

08/11/21 Note - Please click on the comments at the bottom of this post. A resident of Newstead has contacted to complain of obstructions and dangerous parking. Please ensure you park safely and legally without obstruction well away from the farm and its entrances. Thanks. 

 At the very tail end of autumn, November can still be a good month for rare and scarce in Northumberland. No sooner had October fizzled out like a damp banger, November came raging in with a raft of good birds, all in the far north of the county.

Due to work I didn't have time to visit the Richards Pipit at Low Newton, or the Great Shearwater, Bonaparte's Gull, 4 Grey Phalaropes and Black Guillemot at Stag Rocks, but I did manage to clock off early on Monday for a 12 mile dash up the A1 for my 3rd Wilson's Phalarope at Newstead Flash.

What a delightful bird it was too, as are all phalaropes, it made us dizzy with its constant spinning like a Waltzer on the choppy surface of the pond. Distant for photos, it was good in the scope where it could be seen snatching insects from the surface. 

I had never heard of this water feature before this morning so Mike Hodgson did well in passing it then finding a great little bird like this on it. It made me think, along with that stunning Eye browed Thrush in the highlands, how many good birds drop in to anonymous spots and are never seen? Must be a few, but its just a lottery finding one. Literally a 'needle in a haystack' scenario, but its things like this that should keep diligent patch workers spirits up.



Unknown said...

As a resident at Newstead farm! Please can you stop any bird followers from camping here.. and blocking the road this is disrupting our day to day lives and made our road very dangerous for our young children and farm stock!

Unknown said...

It's not a water feature it's in a private field and is a burst drain!

Stewart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stewart said...

Hello Anon.

Thank you for your comments.

As this is a personal blog and in no way affiliated with or with control over any organisation, I can only speak for myself with my own personal opinions. I have no control over or responsibility for the wider public.

When I visited the site on Monday afternoon there were 4 cars present. Myself and one other were parked around 50 yards west of the house, towards the A1. We were safely off the road and parked legally without causing any safety issues. Another vehicle was parked immediately opposite the bird, a van, owned and driven by a disabled birdwatcher who was unable to walk far. It was fully off the road however. The final car I agree did park in an awkward place. How long he was there I have no idea. I stayed approximately 15 mins and headed off. I have not been back.

Birdwatchers find out information locally via a WhatsApp Group with over 130 members plus on other National Information sources and websites. On Friday a post from the group admin advised visitors to park further along the road, safely and not to cause any obstruction or risk to other road users after being made aware of the issues you have faced.

As for Camping? I have no idea about that? Birders have no reason to camp there so I am unable to comment other than to say it will not be a person known to us from Northumberland thats for sure?

Regarding obstructions, these should be reported to the police as they occur as it is probably illegal to block a highway?

As for 'Water Feature'. In this instance I use it as a slang term for any puddle, flood, pond or overflow.

I have added a line to the top of this post as you request but must repeat I have no control of, or responsibility for, the behaviour of any other person.

I hope this is satisfactory to yourself.

Regards Stewart