Monday, 11 October 2010

Weekend Glories

Saturday and not quite sure where to go to first, so eventually plumped for the closest, The Haven Tynemouth.  Arrived there and it was still very dark so whilst chatting to a fisherman the Great Grey Shrike - Lifer - made an appearance on the wall next to the pier entrance, good view but unfortunately a bit too dull for pics but I tried anyway and even when you know they are going to be sh*te you still feel dissappointed when they are.  Next tick was "Liver Birder" who hung around with an ever increasing audience for the Raddes which eventually morphed into a Dusky Warbler - Lifer 2 - and throwing my expert (LOL) opinion into the ring I agree with the latter (once again if you want to see decent pics see John Malloys), unfortunately Liver Birder did not get to see it as the North Tyneside Money Making Macines (Parking Meters) required feeding and as he correctly predicted as he left it would appear in the next few minutes and so it did.   There was lots of Goldcrests also (as there was everywhere) and plenty of Siskins just dropping in and gorging themselves on thistles completely oblivious to the weirdly dressed folk pointing big black and grey things at them.  A Ring Ouzel also gave a quick fly past.

News came on several pagers announcing a Red-Flanked Bluetail at Newbiggin so after 10mins I was on my way, with the car now full with 3 passengers.  Next time I go somewhere with "Tony", you know who you are remember my little legs do not go as fast as my car.  Unfortunately we dipped although I did get to see a photo (Thanks Alan Tilmouth) so I would know what I was looking for if it did actually appear, also a Male Peregrine soared over quite low.  Had to go and pick the beloved up so after a swift meal at Sambucas on the Fish Quay it was off Tynemouth and St Mary.  Now I had an extra pair of eyes (the wife) she was onto a few birds quite quickly, a Redstart, Blackcap but we were captivated by the Goldcrests, a bird I have been trying to get a pic of for over 2 years and now they were everywhere. 

Next morning back to St Marys to try and see the Red Breasted Flycatcher but as I wandred across the Car Park a car pulled up and as I was the only one there this chap asked me where the Blue Tail was, Newbiggin says I (chatted for 2 mins and realised that there was actually 2 and I hadnt been paying attention to Bird Guides - might have to get one of those pager thingies after all NO NO NO).  Any way within an hour we were having great views of it thanks to John M (so that was Lifer 3 of the weekend).   Decided I couldn't go a full weekend without a visit to Big Waters so off I went.  On the fields walking to the hide there was quite a couple of sizeable flock of Birds which included Linnets, Chaffinches and a few Bramblings, the place was very quite compared to the mass of Birders and Public roaming round St Marys and The Haven.  So 30 mins peace and quiet with Alan J and Ian D was bliss and then a very slow walk back to the cars which took the best part of an hour whilst trying to count the birds on the newly sown fields.

Back to pick the wife up for another meal (Steak and Chips for me and Fajitas for her in Killingworth) then off back to St Marys to see what else had dropped in.  Once again ticking Liver Birder and Mrs LB, no Im not stalking you but having said that managed to get bits of himself in several pics including this nice shot of a well turned out left leg with an impudent little Goldcrest causing it to be out of focus.

After getting some more great views of the Blue Tail then wandering around viewing a Shorteared Owl over the fields,  Redwings in the Wetlands, a Wheatear and Rock Pippit in the Gully and lots of others and no matter what you saw within spitting distance (disgusting saying but a stones throw was too far) was a Robin and about 3 or 4 Goldcrests.  

Then thanks to a tip from LB off we went to Knotts Flats for the most unusual viewing of a bird over the weekend, a Shore Lark which just paraded up and down on some grass right outside the flats/houses and when people walked past or dogs jumped around it just moved out the way then walked right back, it was extremely surreal.

Well heres a few pics I took over the weekend.

Blackcap at St Marys

Red Flanked Blue Tail at St Marys

Siskin at The Haven
Rock Pippit whoops Meadow Pippit at The Haven
A Hard Looking Blackcap at St Marys
An Unbelievable Cute Looking Goldcrest at The Haven
Goldcrest at St Marys
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