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Posted by meg33 on October 29, 2011 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (38)




28th October North east.

Posted by meg33 on October 29, 2011 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Well the day before's reports boded well for today Saltholme and St Marys Island with a few Rarities. First stop was for a purple heron at Saltholme... Dip! grrr Semi P Greetham Creek Dip grr. Birds we did see were 40 Barnacle geese plenty of Little Egrets, Dunlin, Grey plover and plenty of Ducks. A calling Water rail.

Keith did extremely well to spot 2 very distance Short-eared Owls sat on a Rock.

Next stop was Teeside for a reported Black Redstart..... Dip grrrr but Purple Sandpiper on the pier.

Final stop was St Marys Island where we did Manage to find a Yellow browed warbler that had been reported WOHOOOO, but dipped the Richards pipit Boooooo. Finally walking through Whitley Bay cemetery but very quiet. So all in a all not a day for rares.

Little Egret

Barnacle Goose

27th Soddy Gap

Posted by meg33 on October 29, 2011 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

A Couple of Trips to Soddy today.

1 Adult med gull with 24 Black headed Gulls1 Argantatus Herring gull a very small individual with 20 Agenteus Herring Gulls.



35 Skylark

15 Longtailed tits, with Goldcrest, Blue, Great and Coal tit.

4 Bullfinch, 2 Redpoll.

Grey heron

3 Snipe

3 Teal

1 Goleneye

1 Pochard

70 Pinks thought about landing on the pond, but circled and flew South.


I then had a walk along Maryport beach.

1 Northern Wheatear

Soddy Gap PM

Plenty as in hundreds of Starlings heading south west. 50+ snipe flushed by Sparrowhawk. 4 Pinks on pond. 12 Goosander. 1 Golden plover as I left with 15 Lapwing in nearby fields. Pochard and Goldeneye. 150 Greylags and 1 Canada.


24th October Short-eared Owl

Posted by meg33 on October 24, 2011 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Keith and I had a quick look around St bees and saw only a Northern Wheatear and when we got back to the car a Dark Arctic Skua flew over our heads heading back towards the Sea!!!

Then an Hours Seawatch Produce a Short eared Owl heading South over the sea being Mobbed by Gulls and a Distant Dark Arctic Skua flew South downing a Herring Gull.

The Snow Bunting from Yesterday had done a bunk!

Cumbria W/E 23 October

Posted by meg33 on October 23, 2011 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Well a trip to Workington and Siddick Ponds produced very little, a shag was the only thing of note at Workington really.

Soddy Gap

Early Morning at Soddy had 3 Jack snipe with 97 Common Snipe. 1 Water Rail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, big group of Long-tailed Tits, and Fieldfare, 3 Reed bunting and a Heron.

Last night 8 Goosander, 3 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 300 Greylag Geese with 3 Pinkfeet. 3 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel

Plenty of Redwing and Fieldfare over and in hedgerows.

Common Buzzard


Adult Med Gull stumpy

Pink footed Goose



2 Med Gull 1st winter and an Adult. 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 8 Knot. A Red-throated Diver on Sea. A wet and Miserable Day!

Bar-tailed Godwit

Whilst coming back from work along Derwent water i spotted a young otter feeding very close to the road, i pulled over into a carpark and got these pics.. Brilliant looking Otter. Video HERE



Finished the day off well with a very showy 1st winter Snow Bunting, Birdguides reported it at Maryport but didnt actually say where!!!!!!.  So after 2 hours searching i finally found the bleeder.. a cracker too. It was hiding behind the sea wall and wast too bothed by people as it would just fly over the wall and come back when the coast was clear.. My pics dont really do it justice as the light was terrible..or thats my excuse ;-)

Snow Bunting


A Cormorant gave a good photo opportunity sat on the Beach. Looks like it could be the Sub species pc Sinenssis



16th October 2011 North East

Posted by meg33 on October 17, 2011 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Well Keith fancied a trip over to the North East and he twisted my arm to go ;-).

And boy what a day we had. I picked Keith up at 7 and were then on our way to our first stop Saltholme pools, as we drove past one of the pools we saw 4 white geese, we new there had been 4 snow geese reported.. Wow what a start.... Ah wait a min on closer inspection 4 farmyard geese DRAT!. So onto the Saltholme car park and straight into the hide where a Glossy ibis was showing exceptionally well, although my pics don't really do it justice. Other species here were a Female Garganey, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and a very close Water Rail. We then moved onto the main pools by the road but nothing of real note, Greenshank, Golden plover and Dunlin were pick of the waders. Pintail were plentiful.

Glossy Ibis




Next onto Allotment pool to see if we could see the Blue-winged teal but no luck, another Water Rail was the only bird of note.

We then headed for Hartlepool and stumbled upon some ringers, a Yellow-browed Warbler had been seen. After 20 min or so we finally got good views of this stunning little phylosc.

After watching this little gem for a while we moved onto Whitburn, where the Red-flanked Bluetail was still present and today showed better than the views I got on Friday. I also managed this record shot. Again the tape lure was going for Yellow browed warbler so it was impossible to no if there was one around.

Red-flanked Bluetail

What a day we were having.

Next stop was for the Lesser Scaup at Marden Quarry which was again showing from the middle of the pond but it was nice to see again.

Moved onto St Marys Island to do a short seawatch, where we almost got stranded by the tide whoops lol. Birds of Note were 2-4 Bonxie following fishing boats, a Sandwich tern, 6 Little Gull, Eider a Peregrine and a few Red-throated Diver. Pick of the waders were a Purple Sandpiper, Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwit. A quick walk around the willows on the reserve proved fruitless.

We Finished off at Prestwick Carr again, and incredible place for Short-eared Owls, where after a longish couple hour wait produce probably 9-11 Birds, incredible, really incredible. Keith picked up a ring-tailed Hen Harrier and a couple of Whinchat were still present. Pics below taken when it was almost dark

Short-eared Owl



What an amazing finish to an Amazing day... I think Keith enjoyed it too 5 Lifers for him!!!


14th October North East

Posted by meg33 on October 15, 2011 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Well ive had a major building project on the go in the house so no birding till today, (need a break and Leave stuff to Dry).

So decided id head over to Northumberland and Durham. Headed for Marden Quarry where a 1st winter Lesser Scaup had been present. It took me Bloody ages to find the site. A birder was already on site but had not been able to find it. So i moved around the small pond a little to find the LESSER SCAUP smack bang in the middle of the pond. It gave nice scope views and was a nice addition to the year list.

Lesser Scaup



Next i moved onto St Marys Island where i managed to find 2 Yellow browed warblers, although these may have been here the day before. Bramblings were flying over all the time as were Redwings. Chiffchaffs and Goldcrest were present as were 400 Golden Plover, a check through them proved fruitless. I then Moved onto Whitburn where a Redflanked Bluetail had been caught and ringed and so managed to find this bird although views were always brief. it had been caught 4 times so was very shy. Another Yellow browed warbler was calling as i walked down to the Bluetail site. Was it a ringers tape lure?

Finished off at Prestwick Carr where a lovely looking Short-eared Owl was sitting on a fence, 2 Hen Harriers showed well a male and a ringtail,6 Common Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk. Had a quick search for Long-eared owl but seems they had moved from there normal Roost. 3 Whinchat were my first of the year surprisingly.

Id had an Excellent Day.

Short-eared Owl


Cumbria and Scotland's LB Dowitcher

Posted by meg33 on October 8, 2011 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Well this week Ive had a few site visits and have been able to fit in a bit of birding.


250+ Pinkfeet south over Maryport this morning 10-45



Sea watch from 8-15 to 10-30

1 Pom for 30 min harassing gulls and gannets.

2 Sandwich tern

Few Gannet, Kittiwakes and Cormorant.

10 Red Throated Diver

Guillemots a few.

1 Golden plover and 1 Purple Sand past south

1 Drake Common Scoter South very Close.


Grune point

Pretty quite in the Strong wind

A Juv Marsh Harrier

8 Pintail

2 Black-tailed Godwit.

12 Teal

Plenty of Mallard.

1 Dunlin

Black-tailed Godwit


Friday Long-billed Dowitcher.

Just finishing a site visit when a message came through of a Long billed dowitcher. So i gave Keith a ring, he juggled his work load around and just after lunch we were on our way to Caerlaverock. On arriving the bird was immediately in view and showed reasonably well for a couple of minutes before roosting behind the island out of view for ages then it flew to another area of the pond where it was just visible through the grass, a very nice bird all the same. 10 Ruff with 3 Dunlin Dropped in Briefly and a Juv Female Peregrine made a couple of Passes. Barnacle and Pinkfooted goose were flying over and loads of ducks were on the pond.

Long-billed Dowitcher


Lesser Black backed Gull Ringing return.

Posted by meg33 on October 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A quick update of the rings i sent off for the 2 Lesser Black backed Gulls from Spain last week.

Lesser B B Gull Black 9P1 Larus fuscus Jersey D6403 19/05/2011 adult

male Chouet Landfill, Guernsey

27/08/11 Malaga Port, Malaga, SPAIN - Salva Garcia

17/09/11 Malaga Port, Malaga, SPAIN - Salva Garcia

23/09/11 Fuengirola Beach, Andalucia, SPAIN - Craig Shaw

24/09/11 Malaga Port, Malaga, SPAIN - Salva Garcia

Reported just 4 times since May 2011 when it was rung as an Adult in Jersey. Migrating to Spain. 


Y766 339033 12/08/01 64:02:00 22:39:00 Miðnesheiði Iceland pull

Y766 29/11/05 36:36:00 04:30:00 La Carihuela beach, Torremolinos, Malaga Spain

Y766 09/02/08 36:44:00 03:31:00 Montril, Granada Spain

Y766 23/09/11 Fuengirola beach, Andalucia Spain

Reported Just 3 times since 2001 born in Iceland and traveling to Spain Amazing Really.

Solitary Sandpiper 2nd October

Posted by meg33 on October 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Well Keith picked me up at half seven for day in South Cumbria, Firstly trying for Hawfinch at Sizergh Castle with no luck, Although Marsh Tit was nice. So we moved onto Carr Bank to see if the Buff breasted Sandpiper was still around, unfortunately it wasn't but 2 Pec Sand a Curlew Sand and 2 Little Stint were giving good Scope views. Then it Came on someones Pager that a Solitary Sandpiper had been found at Nateby in Lancashire, seeing as this was a lifer for us both and only half hour away we made our speedy journey to the site, paid our 4 Quid and joined the handful of birders. The Solitary Sand was showing at 40x through the scope so it wasn't the best views but all id features were seen, most importantly the strikingly marked tail area. 1st record for the Northwest!

The numbers of Birders built up so it was time to leave.  Best shot i could manage it was a long way off and pouring down.

Solitary Sandpiper


We Stopped off at Leighton moss walking down to the Public hide, a Bearded  Tit was heard and a couple more Marsh Tits were showing well. From the hide very little. Lunch at the cafe was very nice.

So onto The Eric Morecambe hide  where it was great to see 3 Spotted Redshank and 2 Curlew Sandpipers up close. Also Little egrets and the usual Suspects. Finished back at Carr bank but nothing new. a superb Day with my first UK lifer for a while.

Curlew Sandpiper

Spotted Redshank