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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Awesome Ivory Gull(s)

The amazing juvenile Ivory Gull, Seahouses, 7 Dec 2013

I had started off at Cresswell with a late Sooty Shearwater and a few Divers offshore then moved to Cresswell Pond. There are now feeders along the path to the hide and the Tree Sparrows were making the most of them. The pond itself held a pair of Scaup, some Mergansers and a lot of Wigeon. A late Black-tailed Godwit fed with Redshanks. A pair of Peregrines made sure that nothing stayed in one place for long.
I decided to look off Church Point at Newbiggin. There was a mix of duck in the harbour including a female Long-tailed Duck and some Common Scoter feeding just off the waters edge. There were at least 17 Mediterranean Gulls at the final count.
Suddenly the "Mega-Alert" goes off and as I focused on the screen I nearly fell over. IVORY GULL at Seahouses. Hot-footed to the car and began a 30 mile dash up the coast, cursing at every slow driver in my way (sorry!). There was an enormous Gull roost on the Coquet between Amble and Warkworth but it never got a look. Soon I was skidding to a halt on the verge by Seahouses golf club. I could see a dozen or so birders glued to their scopes and cameras. Even as I walked to the viewing spot I could see a bird that looked bleached white (the black spots weren't visible at distance).
The Ivory Gull performed admirably, sometimes coming very close. I spent a good deal of time cursing my broken digiscope kit and getting some fair video while joining in with the oohs! and aahs! of the growing crowd. How could we beat this!
Walking back to the car the pager goes again "2 IVORY GULLS"! I looked back to see the crowd looking up and sure enough there they were, on their way to the beach. They had flown south a mile or so to Beadnell. Soon a crowd was gathered on the beach enjoying the surreal experience of 2 Ivory Gulls on the rocks. The crowd got even happier as news came down that Newcastle United had beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford.
I headed off in a hurry to get a lottery ticket but my luck didn't hold.

Juvenile Ivory Gull underside pattern, Seahouses, 7 Dec 2013

Scaup, 1w drake, Cresswell Pond, 7 Dec 2013
Scaup, female, Cresswell Pond, 7 Dec 2013

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Crossbills & a Ringed Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull, Lowestoft, Nov. 2013
This individual was rung as a 3CY bird in Belgium in 2004 and re-rung in 2012. This bird has been seen in both Belgium and Lowestoft every year, usually spending the winter months here and the summer months on the continent. 14 years old and still going strong!

Parrot Crossbill, Holt Lowes, Nov 2013

Male and female Two-barred Crossbill, Lynford, 2013

Short-eared Owl, Titchwell, Nov 2013

Monday, 3 June 2013

Northumberland. Shrikes, Spoonbills and...Lobsters!?

I had 3 Red-backed Shrikes during my few days in Northumberland. It was nice to get a decent view. I tagged along with local birders Tim & Maurice and we soon had the bird in view. Another chap joined us. He turned out to be a fellow blogger,  PCWanderer  who has an excellent site. As the man said, "It's a small world".
Red-backed Shrike, female, Cambois, Northumberland.

Spoonbills, Budge fields, Druridge, Northumberland

Lobster (& Saffron), Hauxley, Northumberland.
My daughter, Saffron, and I went to scour the rock pools at Hauxley. We had all the usual rock pool stuff - crabs, small fish. Then we came across not one BUT TWO Lobsters at the low tide mark. Never seen a live Lobster in the wild. They looked huge! I swear I was on my knees begging Saffron to let me take at least one of them home (they looked delicious).  However, they are both free and (hopefully) still gracing Hauxleys rock pools.

Grey Wagtail, nr Riding Mill, Northumberland.

Fulmar, Cresswell, Northumberland

Fledgling Tree Sparrow, Hauxley NWT, Northumberland

Handbags! Coot facing off to a Grey Heron. Budge fields, Druridge, Northumberland.
Any guesses who won. Well it was the Coot. It chased the Heron for almost 200 yards!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Red-footed Falcon, Wood Sand., Wood Warbler etc.

Red-footed Falcon, Lakenheath RSPB
Montagu's Harrier, Norfolk
Wood Sandpiper, Cley NWT
Wood Warbler, East Wretham NWT
Hobby, Lakenheath RSPB

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Long-eared Owl, Water Vole & more!

Long-eared Owl, thoroughly miserable after being mobbed by Jays and Blackbirds. Titchwell RSPB
Water Vole, Titchwell RSPB
Female Water Vole moving its young to a new den. It did the trip 5 times and looked knackered! Titchwell RSPB.
Ruff with ruff. Titchwell RSPB
Red Kite, Lakenheath RSPB
Cetti's Warbler, Titchwell RSPB
Woodlark, Westleton Heath, Suffolk
Willow Warbler, Titchwell RSPB
Sedge Warbler, Titchwell RSPB

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Long-tailed Duck, White-tailed Eagle & more

Long-tailed Duck, female, Titchwell

White-tailed Eagle, juvenile, Flitcham, Norfolk

Water Rail, Titchwell

Smew, female & Goldeneye, male, Freiston Shore, Lincolnshire

Marsh Tit, Sandringham feeders, Norfolk

Thursday, 31 January 2013

"Black-bellied" Dipper & (poor) American Wigeon

"Black-bellied" Dipper, Thetford
American Wigeon, Bawburgh
Teal, Cantley
Wigeon, Cantley