Saturday, 2 November 2013

North To Northumberland

I have just got back after spending a few days in Northumberland with my good friend George. George invited me over to talk to Alnwick Wildlife Group, of which he is the Chairman, about the BTO ringing scheme. In fact I would recommend the Alnwick Wildlife Group's blog and you can find it here

On my way up to Northumberland I called at my feeding station for a quick 'splash and dash' and there were eight Chaffinches and 57 Tree Sparrows eagerly waiting to be fed!

On Thursday morning George and I decided to visit a few coastal locations and we started over the border at St Abb's Head where for some time there has been a male Sardinian Warbler. We had brief views of the Sardinian Warbler, but better than that was the spectacular landscape. Fieldfares, Redwings, Starlings, Siskins and Skylarks were continually going over head and Thrushes arriving 'in-off' the North Sea continued all day.

 Sardinian Warbler

The supporting cast to the spectacular scenery at St Abb's included a Raven, two Peregrines, two Chiffchaffs, eight Whooper Swans and a male Blackcap.

 Whooper Swans

We then dropped south of the border back in to Northumberland and on to George's sea watching location of Stag Rocks just north of Bamburgh Castle. The most impressive birds for me was the flock of thirty Purple Sandpipers as on my patch I am lucky to get one or two a year. Large numbers of Turnstones and a flock of 45 Knots were with the 'Purps' and on the sea were six Red-breasted Mergansers, 155 Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver. A fly past Little Egret and an adult Mediterranean Gull were also enjoyable.

Before heading home on Friday we headed to Fenham Flats opposite Holy Island for a couple of hours birding on the incoming tide. There were large numbers of wildfowl that I didn't count including Wigeon in their thousands. We had 350 Barnacle Geese, but could only see three pale-bellied Brent Geese, and the highlight for me was the fifteen Long-tailed Ducks that we had.

This morning I made a quick visit to my feeding station before the rain came in and I was pleased to note that the Tree Sparrow numbers had risen to 120 and at least thirteen Chaffinch were with them. I had a flock of five Whooper Swans and four Grey Partridges flushed from the feeding area when I approached.

 More Whooper Swans

The weather is looking a bit lively for tomorrow morning, but there is a morning tide, so I might just get some sea watching in.


Stringer said...

You should have popped in for a brew....

The Hairy Birder said...

I will next time G!