Monday, May 23, 2022

Not so wild fowl...

 Caught up in the Bluethroat moment I forgot to blog about some other good patch birds seen recently.  When I say 'good' before I go on, remember its all relative. No wonder I forgot about them...

Lets get this one out of the way first as it is as rare as the Bluethroat on patch. A full new species in fact. On the 12th I was walking Peggy along the coast road first thing when I noticed a 'Greylag' coming low towards me from the north. Meh.... I'm not sure what made me raise the bins, maybe it was the white looking leading edge to the wings, I don't know, but a genuine frisson of excitement came when I saw that this was no Greylag goose.

It was NU2517's first Egyptian Goose.  It is many years since an Egyptian Goose received such a long gaze as this one from me as it called and eyeballed me on the way past...

I'm not sure when one of these will grace the pages of my sketchbook again, but it is a full patch tick so...

A pale headed male Yellow Wagtail flying around a little further on could have been a 'Channel' Wagtail but it soon flew north. 

The tropical flavour was still with us last Wednesday when a drake Mandarin spent a couple of days on the pond. This is the third here in recent years, so still in the Rare category for the patch. The only individual I've managed to get a photo of on site too...


Blog reader numbers have dropped a bit recently, and those two might be the nail in the coffin, but come on, they all count as natives. With this run of good luck what next, Ring necked Parakeet ?

Other than these, a calling Cuckoo a few times just west of us remains elusive though I did hear it from the garden the other morning. 

Still not quite caught up, but Sundays walk will get a new post later...  



  1. Anonymous7:05 pm

    I am a regular visitor to Boulmer and come 5-6 times a year staying a week at a time. I come mainly for the birds but also the added peace and quiet along with Boulmer probably being the last ‘wilderness’ coast between Newcastle and Berwick. Your blog keeps me very much in touch with bird life while I’m not here and I very much appreciate it. I sense a lack of enthusiasm creeping into your most recent posts and hope this is just a passing phase. I also noted you recently said bird numbers were down this year and my own experience would agree with this. Something that causes me much concern and possibly why the bird numbers are down is the ever increasing number of irresponsible dog owners. The cottage I rent directly owner looked The Torrs and the rocky area running north towards Boulmer Steel. Today, as so often happens, owners have allowed their dogs, no one has just one dog these days, to endless chase the birds off the beach and rocks. This is becoming such a problem that a warden now patrols in an attempt to educate those who think this is good sport for their dogs. Unfortunately the warden, a very helpful and knowledgeable chap, can’t be here all the time. I feel for sure that dogs are one of the reasons for the drop in bird numbers. Northumberland continues to promote itself as a tourist attraction while failing to protect the AONB, cottage owner ‘welcome dogs’. Both are risk of destroying the AONB in exchange for the tourist buck. I can’t help feel that it’s time for a complete ban on dogs on the beach here. There are many other beaches far more attractive for dogs but less attractive to birds than can be used for dog activities. Bird life should be the priority. If proper protection to the bird life around this section of coast isn’t soon taken very seriously we risk losing it for ever. Your observations and records are essential to raise awareness of the issues facing birds in this area.

  2. Hi Anon, Thank you for reading my blog.
    I am generally a glass half empty type of bloke hence the occasional lack of enthusiasm, but really that only goes so far. I have watched wildlife all of my conscious life in one form or another so I could never give it up. When I am not watching birds I am watching something else thats for sure.
    My lack of enthusiasm stems from the volume of people we now have on our coasts, hence I have only visited Boulmer a few times this year. It is always busy! To get away from it, I try to find quieter local spots. No doubt as late summer approaches and the autumn migration begins, I will be back along at Boulmer. During summer though I tend to look at invertebrates, plants etc as a change.
    Keep dropping by, hopefully I will up my game at some stage :)

    Best wishes, Stewart

  3. It's even busy up north Stewart, never seen so many folk here in mid May, and its still bloody cold most of the time.

  4. Hi Al, we will be adding to the problems in Caithness next week!

  5. Enjoy, but better bring some warm clobber.

  6. I think blogs like ours get most hits when people can't get out themselves (eg: during lockdown!) but also when they are looking for potential holiday venues! Perhaps we are adding to the problem!
    Norfolk is like Piccadilly Circus at the weekend / during holiday periods. Like your correspondent above, I do wish the visitors knew / stuck to basic country code, particularly where free-running dogs are concerned.
    Lots of terrific blogs have disappeared over the past year: let's make sure we keep going! ;)

  7. Hi David thanks for the comment. I fully agree that we are adding to the problem. Over the years people have said as much! Lots of people have contacted me for local gen in the past. Hopefully we dont add too much and even then we add the right kind of visitor ( interested in natural history). Keep Blogging!