Monday, 22 September 2014

Pilot Light.

Not going out due to health and wealth issues, doodling and googling, mixed bag

WIP Eider.

Holy Island.

Gunter Schikett, Uberfallig, Krautrock guitar classic.

Klaus Bloch, Echo guitar.

Black-winged stilt.

 Curlew Sandpiper.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Migration at St Marys.

15th /16th September.

Past couple of days have found me in the mist, rain, and even bright sunshine seeking to find any migrant birds on the back of the weather.

The cemetery held a great mixed feeding flock, Long-tailed tits in good numbers along with single Wood warbler and Yellow-browed warbler. The first a patch rarity, and the second quite early. Also seen were Garden Warbler, Brambling, and Coal tit.

On to the wetland area, plenty Robin, Blackbird, Goldcrest, Chaffinch and Chiffchaff were located. Up at the mounds Garden Warbler, Whinchat, Chiffs, and Goldcrest seen. Back too the Willows and best bird here Red-breasted flycatcher showed often though never still and was elusive, im sure a few ticked this bird without good views, many dont seem the have the patience to wait for good confirmation.

Plenty waders on the tides, good numbers and Curlew Sandpiper and Bar-tailed godwit, among the Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstones, Ringed Plover, and Redshank.

Nice to see a few faces about that usually come during the Autumn migration as well as lots of regulars, the more eyes the merrier.

Seawatching was light on birds, though a few others managed sightings.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Holy Island Trip

Since i had to give up driving for health reasons, i miss not being able to visit so many of the wonderful places in Northumberland.

Holy Island is a great jewel in Northumberlands crown, History, Nature blend here, so a last minute decision allowed me to join the local RSPB group for their day trip up to Lindisfarne and Budle Bay.

It looked promising on the way up, quite misty and light Easterly winds meant possibility's of migrant birds, however the forecast for the day said it would get out sunny and warm, and so it proved.

 About 30 of us arrived on the island in a slight mist, we decanted the bus, and went off in different directions to follow our own day agendas.

The usual birds were found around the mudflats and beaches, a few passing Whimbrel called, a melody against the mournful song of the Grey Seals on the sandbar.

The place was dripping with tourists, less so with waders as the tide was well out. However i stopped at the harbour to check for anything, took a few photos and did a bit sketching, nothing i would put up here but may form the basis of a drawing later.

After checking the pond in the fields, i joined the throng heading towards the castle, i could hear the bagpipes in the distance, should have been the Northumbrian pipes in my mind. By This time the sun was breaking through, very pleasant and good walking conditions.

Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

From here  i wandered across to the Gertrude Jeckyl garden, could i find a Red-flanked bluetail, not today it was in full bloom and full of people enjoying the flowers.

Stopped for lunch with another spell sketching, before moving on the the track next to the sea, not much moving today except the usual Gannets and Sandwich Terns
Came across these pepple piles and quite a few peeps adding to them.

On too the straight and crooked lonnens brought a nice sighting of hunting Sparrowhawk putting up Pippits, Skylarks, and Linnets. At the farm the usual exotic wildfowl  and hens wandered about. However the Nene Goose is a definite migrant and is now on my Northumberland bird list, didn't bother tyring to count the House Spuggies i would still be there.

As ever, the stone walls held Lichens and Ferns, delightful plants that cling on and thrive in the crevices.

Back to the village to check the gardens and priory grounds, in the hope of a flycatcher or two, more togging ensued.

Often mistaken for St Cuthbert, this is St Aiden.

Wandered back through the village admiring the well kept gardens, and back to the bus, for the short trip to Budle Bay. On arrival we all lined the wall gazing across the mudflats, everything was distant and scattered, a single Little Egret and Greenshank were found among the usual birds.

Back on board for the journey home, and passing the list around so everyone could add their sightings to the days total, Black Redstart and Marsh Harrier were two i missed.

A pleasant and relaxing day with good company and conversation, may try a few more of these day trips.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Light fall

Virtually the first bird i saw at St Marys today, was a stonking juv Little Stint along with SP Knot and Ruff, and a large supporting cast of Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover on the tide wrack.

Wandering round the patch 3 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, and a Stonechat, along with Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, and good numbers of Mippits and Skylarks added to the feel of a light fall.

Plenty birders out and about today were soon thinned out as a female Blue-winged Teal up the coast drew some away.

Sightings by others that were notable.
Pied and Spotted flycatcher, Red-necked grebe, and a raft of 30 odd Shag at sea.