Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bird North East.

Have a look at the new link on the left for Bird North East. Just a new venture that might become quite good if given some support. I have been on to the editor / organiser and done an arm twist to promote a wider aspect of natural history in the North East. We could do with more info and chat about insects, mammals, fish ( oh yes, I have a fish list, have you?) plant life, sites, local patches, your garden etc...and dont forget birding tales.

So if any one out there has fancied a blog but didn't think they'd have enough to write, you could try a 'one off' on this blog as a guest columnist. There must be some active wildlife watchers out there who would like to add something of interest...

Go on, give it a go!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Out with Bunty to Boulmer just before the rain started. It was dull and overcast but mild.

Her walk was in two parts, once behind the small caravan site but sheep have been put into the field so I didnt want to disturb them. Next we walked from the village along the dune front south.

Behind the caravans, looking towards the old airfield, the Peregrine could be seen sitting in the newly emerging corn. The constant barracking from the crows and magpies attracted me to scan the area with the bins before I picked it up. It may have been on a kill but it was too distant to tell without the scope. Thats a Peregrine three out of the last four days...

Also here 25 Pink footed Geese and a greylag flew over NW.

In the village, 11 Redwings were in one bush next to the Herring Sheds cottage. The first I've seen here this year, where have they come from? There weren't any berries and no hard weather locally. Maybe the snows on the hills have pushed them to the coast.

71. Pink footed Goose.
72. Redwing.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Above - Some poor attempts at Crossbill photography. Birds miles away, wind blowing the tripod about.

A bright day today, breezy with a SW4.

I thought I would use the bright weather as an opportunity to go back to Harwood to photograph the Crossbills seen last week. Nothing is ever that straight forward though. The spot where the birds were showing well was devoid of birds, so I walked about three miles only seeing about a dozen fly overs. One male sang from the top of the tallest tree in the forest and a female was down on the track in front of the car, so close,that to stop running over it I had to get out of the car and move it on! Its a shame I couldn't get that close to one when I had the camera set up.

The birds above were part of a group of 8 coming down for grit in the middle of a clear felled area about a hundred metres away.

Also seen in the forest were 1 Brambling, 20+ Siskins, 3 Great spotted Woodpeckers and 4 Buzzards.

Two walks at Boulmer today had the adult Peregrine at the north end harassing waders on the rocks before it landed in a field, 92 Curlews in the pond field and 5 Magpies ws a good number here. A Kestrel,4 Red breasted Mergansers, a pair of Stonechats and a couple of Rock Pipits summed up the day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. A proper 'game of two halves'. This morning was windy again with a strong NW6, but at lunchtime the wind had dropped considerably to a W3 decreasing further, with warm wintery sunshine all afternoon.

I started off by going back to Amble to try a shot at the Med Gulls. On the way two nice Foxes were sniffing after each other between Hipsburn and Warkworth, both looking in fine fettle.

As the weather was quite inclement I thought I would do some drawing from the car at Amble. Despite scattering a few slices of Warburtons, the Meds chose to stay away. After all of the bait had been eaten the adult Med Gull flew over head and off towards the town. Typical.

I stopped at Warkworth - Amble braid to view the Coquet from the car. Drew the Lapwing sheltering behind a seaweed covered stone before heading to Boulmer

I carried on checking gulls from the car at the seawatch seat, but they were distant feeding in the surf. I thought I had found a juv Glaucous in with them but something didnt look right in the bins. A closer look with the scope showed the bird to be a strange mix of Glaucous and Herring Gull. At range it looked good for a coarsely marked Glauc but better views showed that it had dark (ish) primaries at rest. The bill pattern was not as clear cut as expected either. It was probably either a Glauc x Herring hybrid ( Viking Gull, FFS!)or may have been just a paler 'argentatus' Herring Gull.

In the spring like weather this afternoon we all walked from home to Boulmer via Lowsteads and back by the RAF Base. Pleasant but relatively bird free.

Saturday 26th January 2008

The wind has subsided to a SW3. Fair with drizzle in the late afternoon.

No proper birding today but still managed one or two good birds without really trying. As the phrase goes 'I don't GO birding, I AM birding!'.

A short stop at Amble Harbour at lunchtime had 2 Mediterranean Gulls loafing around on the grass near the little shore. One adult winter and one 2nd winter complete with leg iron on its right ankle. The younger bird was sat only a few yards from the car showing really well, no doubt waiting for chips, but the adult remained more distant.

On the way home a Peregrine flew over the road just north of Warkworth.

At Denwick the Winter Aconites are in full bloom around the church and the first Snowdrops were out at Warkworth mill.

At 4.30pm we were coming back from Alnwick in Jane's car when I noticed the barrel shaped body of a Tawny Owl gliding alongside through an avenue of trees just before the railway arch at Longhoughton. It pitched up onto a dead branch over hanging the field.

I've lived here for three years and not actually seen a Tawny but just heard them hooting and I've seen three here this year. I wonder if this is the bird from my garden?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Good tip BB2 . The next 5 days will be spent whittling a Boulmer Baikal Teal...from an elm burr with my swarmy...

Wind today up to 60 mph at Boulmer. A dead Tawny Owl ( I think?) was on the road at the same spot as the Barn Owl the other week near Red Row. Too light weight for this wind.
Oops in my old age I seem to have made a cock up on the patch list front. The following were missed off for no apparent reason. I found them by doing a paper list from my notebook because I thought my total was a bit light weight...

64. Golden Plover
65. Meadow Pipit
66. Robin
67. Blue Tit
68. Rook
69. Chaffinch
70. Greenfinch

Not bad without leaving the house!

Weather today is a tad blustery. The wind is a force 9'er from the SW. When I had Bunty out the wind draws the air out of your lungs making breathing difficult. I massive branch has been shed from the old elm in our garden. Its lying on our lawn now, a good bit of luck it didnt fall the other way on to the main road. It could have been nasty...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Mooth...

Another belter of a sunrise this morning, this time taken over Alnmouth. I didn't have the camera with me but I got these with my phone to give you an idea...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

Rabindranath Tagore.

Called in to Boulmer on my way to work to catch this fantastic sunrise. Boulmer Baikal is back, all that rain yesterday can be seen glinting in the top picture...

On the bird front, an adult male Sparrowhawk cruised along the beach hoping to bump into an early riser, his own version of 'the early bird gets the worm'.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Its a record!

Top - It doesn't get any calmer than that.
Bottom - Lindisfarne Castle.

Not a bad day again today, generally fair and dry with odd very light showers, flat calm.

This morning I spent four hours at Boulmer seeing very little indeed. I trecked out to a field behind the old airfield in the hopes of a Lap Bunt or something because it looked very weedy through the scope and I had seen a small flock of larks there recently, but it was a failure.

Then I did a second winter atlas visit to the Longhoughton Steel tetrad. All in all a lot of the patch had a decent flogging with no return and not a single new addition to the list.

Best of the visit were 1 Buzzard over mewing, 1 Sparrowhawk doing that slow flapping like a harrier trying to flush birds from the turnip field ( even it couldn't find anything), 29 Greylags flew south, the Long tailed Duck remained at Howdiemont with seven Goldeneye and a Red throated Diver was offshore.

This afternoon we all headed to the north of the county for a change. A walk along Cocklaw Burn Dunes south of Berwick was pleasant, then on to Holy Island at dusk to see the massive Starling roost at the lough. We had 5. Not 5,000, just 5.

On the way across the causeway with the sea lapping around my mudflaps I nearly ran over a cracking Slavonian Grebe as it swam over in front of the car. It dived and surfaced only a few yards away giving great views on the mirror calm water.

A Merlin was on one of the roadside marker posts as we drove past and there were plenty of Pale bellied Brent Geese scattered around including a nice group of 100 or so near the Crooked Lonnen. After we dipped on thousands of Starkies we headed back to the car. On the way a big dog Fox showed well near the track. Bunty didn't even see it...

And the 'record' bit? Well In the seven days since last Sunday over 1,025 visits have been made to my blog. An absolute massive record!!! Thanks to all...

Saturday, January 19, 2008


What a change in the weather today, it was positively spring like. Mild, calm with muted sunshine. Quite pleasant.

First things first, me and Bunts down to Boulmer for her ablutions. We just walked the beach north in front of the pub. The tide was well in but the sea was like a mill pond. On the shore 23 Bar tailed Godwits were noteworthy and a Snipe flushed from the seaweed. A single Grey Wagtail was running around the rocks below the seawatch seat.

After a late breakfast (lunch) the three of us headed further afield to Harwood Forest. Rumours of a Great Grey Shrike here had me looking for a needle in the proverbial without luck. The forest was cold and grey with a cutting breeze, quite unlike the coast. We did a good lap around tracks between Fallowlees Lough and Chartners.

The woods were ringing to the sound of Crossbills. We had easily 70+ in groups of up to 25 birds. Some showed very well on the ground gritting and drinking from pools formed under wind blown trees. One male was bedecked with wing bars ( creamy narrow and nowt like leucoptera ) and there were a few immature golden yellow birds. Several males were singing and song flighting around stands of pines. In flight they have a very distinctive jizz very unlike similar sized finches such as Greenfinch. They are long winged and short tailed with a flappy sparrow like shape as they go over. Great birds.

Also around here were a flock of a dozen Bullfinches feeding on heather, 2 Great spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Jay, 1 Redpoll sp, a couple of Siskins and a Roe Deer caught the attention of one shot jawed terrier with ideas above her station...

62. Snipe.
63. Grey Wagtail.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Today was showery with odd dry spells but dull and cold.

The Tawny Owl turned up in our Elm again at 10.45 last night. I was looking up the tree while Bunts did what she does when it flew in, this time closer. It looked down at us while nodding its head from side to side then flew off over the road and down towards the church.

Do you think its heard about our shower room?

Today, between appointments at work I called in to Cambois / North Blyth for half an hour. 13 Purple Sandpipers were on the rock edges along with a good number of gulls. I didnt have time to look too closely as a muddy alumina dumping port didn't go too well with office attire...A diver sp was well up the river opposite the Alcan site but jut too far off for bins.

Guided Birdwatching with Birdwatch Northumbria!

This is Mark Winter who runs a small tour company called Birdwatch Northumbria. I have added a link to my 'Other Links' section on the left. Mark does special small tours and caters mainly for a more relaxed style of birding very suitable for beginners. Take particular note of his Alnwick and Alnmouth Birds day in April. I'm sure if you twist his arm he will even incorporate a bit of the Boulmer magic!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This Goosander was on the QEII Lake at Ashington yesterday. A very salmony pink drake. I drew it on an old file back paper I had lying in the car and added colour at home... a bit hurried. the lake was full of wildfowl with many Gadwall, Mallard, Wigeon, Tufties, Goldeneye and Coot ( thats where they are). 6 Goosanders were on the river Coquet at Warkworth, seen on my way to work.

Today I got finished work early so caught the last hour of light at Boulmer. Despite forecasts of heavy rain, the sky was clear and the sun was setting. Cold but calm.

Walked Bunty along the runways on the old airfied. Not much of note really but two coveys of Grey Partridges, 16 and 6, 1 Buzzard, 1 Stonechat and a couple of Skylarks were seen.

61. Buzzard.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hoo hoo

I was letting Bunty out for her 400th wee of the day before bed last night when I saw a movement high in the tree ( a big Elm) at the bottom of our garden alongside the main road. How happy was I when I saw that it was a Tawny Owl. It just sat quite high up, looking down at us for five minutes before flying off towards the next trees along the main road.

Although I hear them all the time from my garden this is the first I've actually seen anywhere near. I have often wondered where the birds in my village live because there aren't many woods around. They must be in one of the larger gardens without access I expect.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I forgot to mention yesterday that the Boulmer inland sea has now dwindled. In fact its gone. Woe is me....It looks like the five a side pitch will be resurrected in the summer...all you patchers with Coots...damn you all...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spent the morning down at Boulmer. It was cold at first very dull with a breezy SE 5 blowing. It became milder later.

The area had that dull and boring, quiet feel today. A day where you just knew nothing would turn up.

One of the first birds seen though was a patch tick, a Greylag on the rocks in front of the pub. It was some size too, you couldn't eat a whole one...further along the shore to the south, waders were gathered wating as the tide receded. In a very loose count there were 19+ Sanderling, 56+ Dunlin, 10+ Bar tailed Godwit and 4+ Grey Plover as well as plenty of Redshank and Oystercatcher. A single Shelduck flew south over the haven.

Up in the village, 35+ Tree Sparrows loitered around the turnips. A stop at the golfcourse layby to sketch a Pheasant or two ( oh yes, it can be that bad) when the bird of the morning appeared. A large Peregrine carrying small prey, a starling possibly, flew south over the road to the golfcourse. 23 Golden Plovers and 7 Grey Partridges were in the fields.

I thought I better do some walking, so lapped Seaton Point for 70+ Linnets, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Kestrel, 1 Mistle Thrush and a Stonechat.

59. Greylag.
60. Sanderling.

A taste of things to come came first thing this morning at home when a Song Thrush was singing his heart out in our garden.

Wooler Buzzard

A sanitised version of the deleted post.

Have a look at the photo of the Wooler Buzzard on Bird Guides...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Above - Debdon Farm, Rothbury.

Today was bright and sunny, calm with a white frost.

No visits onto the patch today, We all went for a walk in the moorland and forestry near Debdon, just to the north of Rothbury. There wasn't much bird activity, or should I say visible activity, because Crossbills were heard 'chipping' all over. One was very close at the car park but was still unseen. Likewise with Redpolls. I heard lots of 'chich chich'-ing overhead but only had a good veiw of a single Lesser feeding on larch cones with about 20 Siskins. A couple of Great spotted Woodpeckers were near the Siskins and a Red Grouse called from the moor.

I see that the Rough legged Buzzard is still up at Wooler behind the Jet Garage. Should I give it a go? Its usually seen after lunch so I might give it a miss? RLB is a rare bird up here (despite there being records every year often relating to pale type Commons. A real RLB is more than a Common Buzzard with a white base to the tail!)

Comiserations go to my yorkshire mate Rob. I got a call from him this morning to say that he had set off to twitch the White crowned Sparrow at Cley. He had left home at 5.30am, driven as far as Wells ( just along the coast from Cley) and his steering column had snapped. He was going to persuade the AA bloke to take up twitching for a while but I got a text later to say he had dipped. It can be a bugger this twitching...

Check out Wrights Wanderings to the left to see his pics of a Kestrel mobbing a Northumberland Gos. Canny...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

F.Vole IV...

Very stormy today with a gale force W8+, fine and cool.

Today's Vole also linked to a Barn Owl, but this time a fresh road casualty at Red Row...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Reading Material

I was thinking , do any of you blog watchers read proper books any more? I have always been a great fan ever since being smuggled in to Morpeth Library aged 3 ( You had to be 4 to join...)

If you are a beginner to birding or even if you aren't you should try and read some of the old literature or some not so old stuff about how birding developed in its early years...

Can I recommend -

The House on the Shore by E A R Ennion. Set in the 50s when Ennion set up his bird obs at Monks House between Bamburgh and Seahouses, its great. With some fine illustrations by my favourite artist.

Seventy Years of Birdwatching by H G Alexander. One of the absolute founders of 'modern' birding, the three Alexander brothers started in 1905 and can even remember the last Pallas's Sandgrouse invasion into Kent...

An Eye for a Bird by Eric Hosking. The founder of bird photography and still the most famous.

Discover Birds and Watching Birds both by D I M Wallace. Tiny booklets for beginners written late seventies. I defy even the most experienced not to learn something from them. Stringy or not the man is a hero.

The Handbook of British Birds by Witherby, Jourdain, Ticehurst and Tucker. 40 years before BWP and still a good reference. These chaps were right all along about 'splitting' species...

The Bird Collectors by Mearns and Mearns. In the 1800's whats hit is history and whats missed is mystery...all about the explorers who discovered many of the birds taken for granted today, and the hardships they endured. No Easyjet for these blokes...a proper 'Boys Own' set of tales.

The Birds of Siberia by Henry Seebohm. A rich Yorkshire Mill owner whose expeditions to Siberia on horseback and dog sled to hunt for the breeding grounds of Grey Plovers, Little Stint and Curlew Sandpipers.

There's a few to be going on with probably most are now out of print but look out in second hand shops, borrow or steal ( as long as its not my copy) them. It gives any naturalist a good levelling to learn about our roots in the days before t'internet...
Another Vole this morning. Trap checked at 06.35am nothing, at 7am Vole! This time, in case its the same homing vole, I tanked it and released it at the RAF Base lay by. A bad omen for the vole because on the way home from work tonight a Barn Owl was on a fence post nearby...

Monday, January 07, 2008

You know when you've seen it all? I thought I had. Till yesterday, I thought that I had stemmed our rodent invasion in the en-suite. If you remember a few weeks ago I caught an influx of Wood Mice totalling 7 of the darlings. As you would expect of a true naturalist they were live trapped and released in more suitable habitat ie not our back shower room.

Then it happened. Yesterday I heard a scuffle in 'the room'. I checked. Nothing. The trap has been set continuously now since the invasion. Then a short while later Jane emerged from said room holding the trap containing a visitor. Oh no no, not a Wood Mouse. A Field Vole. How many of you have had them in your house, not many I'll bet. They live in open grassy areas to be fodder for our raptors and owls, not in houses. It was released unharmed.

Then tonight, same again, another one. Where do they come from for goodness sake. Is it any wonder there are no Short eared Owls in the county at the minute. Their food is living in our house! I hope I come in tomorrow to find a Great Grey Shrike on the Shower rail...

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Brown Hare in its form. Low Steads.

Goldeneye and an imm male Long tailed Duck, Howdiemont Sands.

Four Purple Sandpipers, Howdiemont Rocks.

Merlin(top) and Peregrine, Boulmer both photographed at the same time about 200yds apart.

A nice day, the best of 08 so far. Cold, clear and sunny with a light W3.

Out on the patch for most of the daylight hours today.

Started off at Low Steads ' Howdiemont Bay area. Here I bumped into TF who watches the next stretch of coastline north of here. Not often I meet another local birder... On the sea here were 4 drake Goldeneye and a fw drake Long tailed Duck showing very well just a few metres out feeding along the rock edges. A Red throated Diver was feeding further out and a second flew N. 6 Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks and bathing in the fresh water stream that runs out over the beach. At the cattle feed were Stonechat, 18 Linnets, 4 Goldfinches and 6 Skylark.

A Hare failed miserably to hide in some nearby stubble.

From here I drove around to Boulmer taking a brief look in the RAF Plantation. Coal Tit and Goldcrest were the only birds of note.

At Boulmer on the beach were 12 Bar tailed Godwit, 20 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 58 Dunlin, 71 Curlew, 2 Shelduck, 13 Mallard, 16 Wigeon, 1 Common Scoter flew S.

Checked the Bowmere Turnips. 80+ Linnets, 15+ Goldfinch, 1 Skylark, Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit. While here I noticed an adult Peregrine sitting in a grass field over the back, lit up by the midday sun. I was scoping it and doing a sketch when a male Merlin stooped and banged it on the top of the head before retreating to a hawthorn bush a safe distance away. ' Little man syndrome'...

Oh well, thats day 17 over with. You know what tomorrow.

49. Long tailed Duck.
50. Red throated Diver.
51. Coal Tit.
52. Goldcrest.
53. Common Scoter.
54. Goldfinch.
55. Skylark.
56. Peregrine.
57. Merlin.
58. Mistle Thrush.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Better weather today for our morning constitutional around Seaton Point. A light SE2-3, dull but getting brighter and milder than recently.

The sea was still very lumpy. Last night I got a call from Mike Puxley who has recently become a part time Northumbrian ( he's from Kent) to say that he had a Little Gull off here yesterday. No sign today in a short scan. He'd also had Hooded Crow and Little Egret at Budle Bay. Little Gull is a good record in winter anywhere in the county, the best time being May - September. I'll check more thouroughly tomorrow.

Off here were 65 Wigeon and 6 Red breasted Merganser, another flew south as did a female Goldeneye. Up the caravan site were 21 Linnets, a Reed Bunting, 2 male Stonechats and a Kestrel.

Back in the village, 18 Bar tailed Godwits and 26 Dunlin were on the beach. 100 Lapwings were at the pond ( now a shadow of its former self, looks like Coot is still just the stuff of dreams).

This evening at 4pm a short walk behind the small caravan site added Yellowhammer and Magpie to the list, while a Heron flew over the car in the gloaming on the way home.

41. Wigeon.
42. Reed Bunting.
43. Linnet.
44. Lapwing.
45. Magpie.
46. Yellowhammer.
47. Kestrel.
48. Heron.

( 5th January 2007? 46! Its a close run thing.)

Friday, January 04, 2008

A better day...

Above - Top - Mealy Redpoll, Centre - Lesser Redpoll ? and Bottom 3 Redpolls that look like lessers but the one at the very bottom was ?...

Today started in the same vein as the rest of 2008 so far. Dark bleak and pouring. Snow seems to have gone but it is still cold. The wind a moderate SW5.

By mid morning the rain had eased and it was the brightest day so far this week, so I rang ADMc and suggested a short jaunt out.

Our first stop was to Shilbottle to look for the Redpolls. After walking a hundred yards down a field edge a single bird flew from the ditch winking its white rump at me as it went. A single Mealy Redpoll perched up on a small hawthorn for a few seconds then flew across to the bottom of the field. We continued along to a rough seeded edge and found the rest of its mates as they flew up into the same hedge line. 15 Redpolls in total but what a mix. As is their want, they did what Redpolls do and flew up and down, from bush to ground, constantly, never still for a minute. We did see 2 definate Mealies and maybe 3 or more definate Lessers but the rest could have been either /or as they showed some mixed characters.

Even the bird I have labelled above as a Lesser was quite big, Goldfinch sized ( there were two with the redpolls to compare sizes) and looked unlike the little rusty jobs we see buzzing around with Siskins. The bird in the pic is a first winter,and can be aged by the pointed shape of the tail feathers, adults being more rounded at the tip.

The rest of the flock will need to go down as Redpoll sp as they flew off towards another field leaving us wondering...Also here 2 Bullfinches, and 4 Reed Buntings.

Next on to the Long Nanny. No sign of the Short toed Lark, maybe it has succumbed as suggested by someone who thought that it looked poorly the other day. We are the only people in the county to have dipped out on Snow Buntings at this site!. Some compensation was had though when we had 22 Twite, 1 showy female Merlin and a distant Peregrine causing panic amongst 500 Golden Plovers in the back fields. 4 Roe Deers fed over there too.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Turned out nice again!

Very stormy today. The wind at Boulmer was a hellish bitterly cold E8, backed by a supporting cast of snow and sleet squalls.

No good for walking the coast so I had a half hour sea watch with the expected results for this time of year. Of note were an adult Gannet and 11 Kittiwakes of assorted ages going north. Both unusual here so early in the year. 65 Eiders tried to ride out the storm in the haven.

At home, a Tree Sparrow had joined my 65 House Sparrows at the seed and there were 20 Collared Doves today.

So, I'm back in the house tapping away at the keyboard...again. Might be better tomorrow?

39. Kittiwake.
40. Gannet.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Total Boulmer List.

Trawling the annual reports, and from my own experience etc I have added the whole list for Boulmer on to Xtra! See link left. Shows what potential any east coast bump can have, even one as under watched as this. Of the 208 total I've had far.


It goes from bad to worse. Not only is it still dark and raining, its now blowing a force 7 SE'ly. Forecast to brighten up this afternoon. We'll see.

Drove down to the Seawatch seat at high tide to view from the car. The sea is very rough. This weather might turn up a bird or two you know when (if) it clears, but, being from a SE quarter, what can we hope for. Some more Waxwings perhaps, or a shuffle around of current winterers like the divers, or even a Shorelark. Maybe.

Todays best while the car was buffeted on the cliff top?

17. Purple Sandpiper 3
18. Bar tailed Godwit.
19. Red breasted Merganser 6+

I had high hopes you know. Lots of people back at work, me with extra days off. A nice sharp cold winter day, bright and calm and I would have combed the whole patch getting 50+, then, off to the Nanny for Short toed Lark and down to look for JWR's flock of Mealy Redpolls at Shilbottle...

My achievements so far? As Frank Gallagher said last night, not as good as Einstien but better than Fred West...

The weather did indeed improve, turning from Grim to just bloody uncomfortable. Walked around Seaton Point this afternoon adding these to the list -

20. Shelduck 2
21. Dunnock.
22. Collared Dove.
23. Carrion Crow.
24. Oystercatcher.
25. House Sparrow.
26. Tree Sparrow.41 opposite Bowmere Turnips.
27. Curlew.
28. Pheasant.
29. Cormorant.
30. Pied Wagtail.
31. Rock Pipit.
32. Stonechat. 5
33. Wren.
34. Song Thrush.
35. Goldeneye. 1 duck.
36. Mallard.
37. Ringed Plover. 3
38. Knot. 8


New Years Day...

Oh dear oh dear, what a start. Rain from dawn til dark in vaying amounts today. Saying that, it was dark all day. All plans left in tatters. What can I say. I hoped that the deluge would have topped up the pond, but, inexplicably, it has not altered it one bit. Its still there but declining. Maybe the field drain blockage had cleared a little.

Out with Bunty for a whole half an hour on the patch today had - in no particular order ( its like the X Factor isn't it...)

1. Woodpigeon.
2. Herring Gull.
3. Great black backed Gull.
4. Common Gull.
5. Black headed Gull
6. Sparrowhawk
7. Grey Partridge (7)
8. Grey Plover.
9. Redshank.
10. Dunlin.
11. Turnstone.
12. Shag.
13. Eider.
14. Jackdaw.
15. Blackbird.
16. Starling.

Thats about it really. There may have been others but I'd given up.