Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sandy Bay Sea Watch

Went to Sandy Bay tonght for an hours sea watch. The sun was shining and it turned out to be a pleasent evening despite half of the Sandy Bay caravan parks youth population trying to set fire to every available piece of shrub. The amount of rubbish in the dunes was disgusting but we managed to find a quiet spot and sat down and waited.
To my delight Martins were seen dashing here and there and my guess was they were Sand Martins, they are darn quick and everytime I focused on one through my bins the little blighter flew into the light.
Next Terns started fishing just in front of us. Now I went to the Farne Islands last year and was told by the wardens all about the terns that visit us and my un- educated guess is that the ones I saw were Sandwich Terns. I think they had black beaks and to be honest thats all I can remember. They didn't stay long but they were a delight to watch.
A few Eider ducks swam by and off to the left of where we were sitting I spotted a group of odd birds. The sun wasn't doing me any favours but there semed to be a redish tinge to some of them, others had dark heads and necks with pale chests. They were well away from shore and after consulting my book and ruling out Eider Duck, Scoter, Goosander and Shelduck I finally came across Red Breasted Merganser . I think they may have been Mergansers but they were to far away for photo's.
On the way back to the car either Pipits or Sky Lark was spotted on the ground running up the little path. Didn't get a good look at it but the behavior seems to steer me towards Skylark running away form the nest site. I didn't realise that they can be seen in the dunes till I consulted my book. I'm often wrong though.
So I definately spotted Eider Ducks, and Martins but unsure weather House or Sand. Skylark but it could of been a Pipit and and odd thing that could be a Merganser, and a Tern that really could of been either Sandwich, Common or Arctic. Hey Ho hehehehe had a cracking time though. I'm pleased when I'm out and about that people don't ask me to ID something because my answer is normally one of several.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Wallington Hall

Popped out for the day with Lesser Spotted Teenager, my Mum and Hubby and ended up at Wallington Hall. Wasn't the sort of day that I could sit and watch birds for ages but did spot a tick. Whilst in the hide Brambling was spotted which was a first for me and also the usual Tits, Blue, Coal and Great and also male and female Chaffinch. 3 Bank Voles were keeping well fed on the fallen seeds under the feeders and were delightful to watch. Nuthatch one of my favourite birds was popping to and fro between the feeders. Along the River walk a pair of Wagtails were seen on the rocks and at the time was usure weather they were Grey or Yellow. Managed to get a good photo and they were identified as Grey Wagtail. Lovely day out and some cracking birds.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


We decided to head off to RSPB Saltholme yesterday a place that I have never been to and it ended up being a fab day. Camera man for the day Mike had a job on his hands at times as the birds were quite distance, but still got some cracking shots and 2 ticks.

This bird I think is a female Pochard and I hope it is as it will be tick number 1. A very dainty looking bird and one of several on the first pond we visited. Other ducks were Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Widgeon and Golden Eye.

Second tick is what I think is a Black Tailed Godwit, it has an orange blush kneck and white belly, a cracking bird. The feeders were awash with Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting and Goldfinch. The fields and ponds were home to Canada Goose, Greylag Goose and I also heard that Pink Footed Geese were there but I didn't catch sight of any personally. Kestrels were hunting along Kestrel walk and Skylarks were singing beautifully. Pipits were along the hedges and we were able to get quite close.

Other sightings today were Cormorant, Shelduck, Little Egret (nice) Redshank, Lapwing, Great Crested Grebe and a very excited birder had spotted a Hooded Merganser. I didn't get a good look and to be honest it was a blob amongst the gulls when I looked through my bins, so obviously he had a very powerful scope and set up. Below are some of the best shots of the day even if they are a bit distant. Cracking day and some fab birds.