Monday, 23 November 2009

Lapwings Galore

At Cresswell hide I was greeted by a lovely bunch of Lapwings all resting on the sand banks, It was cold and windy and I was pleased the hide was relatively warm. The picture isn't very good but I did spot some strange birds amongst the Lapwings which left me in two minds as to what they were. In the picture there are 3 birds which I believe to be Knots but as I haven't seen a Knot I could be wrong. I came to the conclusion due to the fact that they had a red tinge and Knots have a red chest in summer. Another thought was Sanderlings but I'm just guessing really. So my uneducated guess is Knot. Of course I could be totally wrong.... as usual any comments welcome.
Other birds on show was Mallard, Goosander (Mike tried to point a couple out but I didn't see them) Curlew, Teal (yippee) Redshank Little Grebe, Moorhen and over 300 geese flew over. A Cormorant was fishing quite close to the hide. On the way to the hide a couple of Goldfinches sang in the trees lining the path which was lovely.

I tried to get a nice shot of a female Stonechat which was perched on the field wall but I didn't manage to get a clear shot. Mike took the reigns and got some cracking photo's. What got me with this little chap is the pale eyebrow and the white under the chin (picture 2). I have seen these birds with the pale streak on the neck before but not so distinct. I think it is a Stonechat neverless due to the peachy orange chest.

We popped down to the beach which was freezing and I have decided to hunt out my woolly hat and thermal gloves, not much on show as there was too many people fishing and walking dogs but a nice flock of Ringed Plovers flew over and
Gulls and Eider Ducks were on the rocks. A lone Pied Wagtail was spotted on the way back to the car. A fab afternoon rounded off with a hot cup of tea. Delightful.


  1. Hmm just saw Whitley Birders blog and I now think my unidentified birds may be Dunlin hmmm His Knots are more white

  2. The unidentified birds amongst the Lapwing are four winter plumage Golden Plover.

  3. Siskin hunting tips -

    Birch and alder near some coniferous woods, (particularly Larch but not wholly necessary). Thrunton, Harwood or Kielder or locally the river valleys of Wansbeck, Coquet etc. Or Wallington, Bolam is a dead cert. Druridge Bay country park, QE2 Park in Ashington etc etc.

    Listen. They wheeze and buzz but are best noted for a clear small 'peeuw' or 'teu' high pitched note as they fly over. Its very distinctive and can be heard way before you see the birds.

    Then look for the dancing flock of between 2 and 30 birds ( usually) buzzing and chattering and peeu -ing to each other.

    When the land they are very confiding and can be watched without any bother as close as you can get without bumping into them!

    Tiny finches, smaller than Goldfinch maybe Blue Tit sized.

    In winter they can be found daily in the places or habitats mentioned above.

    Failing that get some peanuts out! March is best for them. they mostly come to nuts when cold or wet weather shuts larch, Alder and birch cones down. In sunny spells these cones open and siskins head for the tree tops.

    Good luck dont forget to blog when you see them you will be impressed, they are lovely birds.


  4. Thanks Stewart for the Siskin tips, will let you know when I see them, hopefully soon.
    Thanks Crammy Birder thats a tick for me, you have very good eye sight as I would never of guessed Golden Plover. Although I do notice now that Knot and Dunlin have longer beaks, Thanks again

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  6. I was there at around the same time - the birds even look the same! They were dunlins.


  7. The debate continues, Dunlin or Golden Plover, either way it was a good day