Tuesday, 14 September 2010

South Gare on Sunday

Sunday morning and a very swift glance at BirdGuides showed a Wryneck on South Gare, never seen one and never been there so with flask of tea and a biccie off I went. Quite easy to find thanks to Mr Satnav but what was perturbing was all the signs says trespassers beware etc etc but when the 4th or 5th car had passed me (and it was only 07:05) I suspected it would be OK to go on. Stopped by some Green Huts and after chatting to a couple of guys with scopes who I suspected were birders (I should have been in the Observer Corps in the Army and not the Ordnance) I was getting great views of a Wryneck. Also knocking around were a bundle of Meadow Pipits, a Stonechant and a Whinchat.
Mr Wryneck and some of his travelling companions

Looks quite at home in the bushes but his quite prehistoric looks make him more a rock dwelling creature.

But this shot was definitely the pick of the bunch for me.

After a good 30mins viewing I noticed quite a few cars heading further down the Gare so off I went. Got chatting to another couple of guys who pointed out that the bunch of Birders out on the rocks were looking at a Broad Billed Sandpiper but didn't fancy a walk over the rocks with my knackered ankle and had only put trainers on instead of boots (wimpish excuse) so only went onto the beach with a few others. It was fortunate that the birds went up and said Sandpiper flew across so it was in good view of our scopes for about 30 secs then off it went North at a fast rate of knots (2nd lifer of the day - but no pics). Started wandering further along the Gare with chatting to a chap and his wife and as we went through a gap in the wall I nearly stood on a Lapland Bunting. Off it went but returned in about 3-4mins with a few mates (5 in all), they settled down although when we approached 4 of them did a quick drop down the wall but the 5th was most happy to pose for pictures for 4 of us and even walked up to one ladies feet and did not even flinch when some guys scope was blown over by the wind making us all jump.

The Lapland Bunting posed quite well but the shot underneath was definitely my favourite.

Also managed to fit in a couple of hours at Shibdon but the Spotted Crake was "very elusive" in birdie parlance "DIDN'T SHOW" much to the dissappointment of a full hide of chaps from North of the Tyne. Fortunately there was quite a few other things to see including 6 Greenshanks, 2 Spotted Redshanks, Garganey, Green Sandpiper, 3 Water Rails, 5 Little Egret, 11 Snipe and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.

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