Monday, 27 February 2017

Bluethroat and more

Decided to head up for the long staying Bluethroat at the weekend but the first stop was a stop for a little Bunting at Great Barford where an area has been seeded for it and also helping the local finches with a good numbers of Linnets and Finches feeding on the seed along with the Little Bunting which was giving good scope views but often liked to feed on the edge so was tricky to see at times. Also around the river a flock of Siskins were in the trees and a Water Rail was heard calling from the river.

Then headed up to Willow Fen NR where there were lots of Swans out in the fields on route though seemed to be all Mute Swans. At the reserve the Bluethroat popped out every hour or so but when it did it showed really well hopefully it will stay around to grow into full plumage seems quite happy with its easy food source at the moment rightly or wrongly.

1st winter Bluethroat



Then walked around the reserve where there were plenty of singing Reed Buntings and Wrens and good numbers of Teal and Wigeon and a Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the reed beds.

Singing Reed Bunting
 Then drove back via Deeping Drove as the river can be quite productive no Swans today but had a hunting Barn Owl, a group of 5 Goosanders and to my surprise a Long-tailed Duck.

3 of the 5 Goosanders (4 were male)
Long-tailed Duck

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Diving up north

Last weekend decided to go and visit the Pacific Diver and see a few other interesting birds in the area first stop was Druridge Bay Country Park few birds around were a good numbers of siskin feeding in the tree tops and a Few tufted Ducks and a Lone Goldeneye on the lake before we had distance view of the Pacific Diver fishing showing off it black flank. After a little time it came a bit closer as it started fishing and caught some small fish possible Sticklebacks before it drifted out into the middle of the lake before it flew down the lake.

Pacific Diver Fishing



Then a stop at the feeders around the centre was productive with some decent views of the Tree Sparrows.

Then headed down to the Quay at North Shields for the Gulls but was surprised to see find so many eiders with over 20 seen.

Male Eider in the Quay
Around on the roof were at least two Young Glaucous and a Iceland Gull which finally gave itself up after working around the fish market as a few tame Turnstones were running around almost at my feet. A good number of Great Backed Gulls of different ages were loafing around and a nice young Guillemot was seen on the walk back to the car.

Glaucous Gull in flight


Iceland Gull in flight


Guillemot in the river
Final call was Skinnigrove as a eastern form of a Black Redstart had been here for serveral months was too good an chance to miss once a got there thee light was fading and the gulls were coming into roost with big numbers of Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls offshore next to the rocks while a few Redshanks were on the beach and the Fulmars in the cliff were showing signs of getting ready for spring and a few Rock Pipits and Stonechats were within the rocks but after a little while the Redstart gave himself giving some great views to end a great day out.

Eastern Black Redstart