In honour of the long staying Eastern Yellow Wagtail (16 days to date) on my patch I resurrect this blog and hope to maintain concentration long enough to be of interest. Colour of the bird very much influenced by the weather but in good sunlight the underside is certainly tinged in yellow. Feeding pretty much constantly on blood worms in the same field it is moving with the Pied Wagtails so can go missing but at least will get warning of predator attack. As for humans, not remotely worried about them and have been as close as five feet when it came into the hedge in front of me.
Nice to catch up with Carolyn, Maria, Dick and all the visitors. Wishing you all a very good New Year and expect the Carr to be a bit busy tomorrow morning.
Working away Whats app dinged (12.03) and I was aghast seeing ADMc had Black throated Thrush on my patch. He got dogs abuse as I left the house noting bird headed toward golf course. Horse paddocks are good for feeding thrushes but it's blowing a hoolie so only the paddock at Mill Farm would be likely. I parked up and as I approached the field a grey bird, thrush like flew, across the field into the hedge line (12.40) No white wing flashes and too delicate for a Fieldfare my suspicions were aroused. I took two shots but couldn't see the bird on my review screen. Note for future twitches. This bird is almost invisible in when perched in trees.
The bird then dropped to the ground and started feeding. Obviously grey and dark to the front with white underbelly Collins was checked and putative report put out (12.49) along with back up pictures. Following last years debacle with Dotterel I was very cautious about giving a positive ID. It seemed to take an age for somebody to arrive and in that time I had the bird all to myself feeding. Not as active of bouncy as a Fieldfare, much more deliberate and on three occasions fly catching with a somewhat uncoordinated two footed jump. No scope so couldn't really add much on plumage.
Eventually PS arrived and the ID was confirmed Whats app, Birdguides & Twitter (13.24). Joined by GM, HG and ACwl we watched the for some minutes before it flew up into the hedgerow out of sight (13.40). Others then started arriving only to be informed the bird was not showing. When I left (14.10) there must have been twenty or more gathered with at least ten en route up the road. Gladly the bird showed again (14.27) giving views to the many before disappearing onto the golf course (14.32). So sorry for the many that turned up afterwards.
198 on the Prestwick Carr all time list 162 for me, 296 county list, 80 year list and 4th county record.
As developers proceed with the trashing of the green belt around every town and village in Northumberland I dug this up from my late fathers records when he worked for JTBell (now Bellway). It is a 1956 OS marked up in the early 1960's showing the limits of the green belt and the first tracts of land to be released forming what is now Newbiggin Hall, Kenton and Kingston Park.
Just look at it now
Having made a living from this stuff for many years I suppose I shouldn't complain but the failure by council planners to redevelop smaller infill brownfield sites with affordable homes while cow towing to the developer ideal of middle to upper class dwellings expanding into the countryside is a disgrace.
I almost didn't bother going for the Pacific Diver or Loon as we should call it as all reports were of dot in the distance type but when the bird moved onto Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay CP I reckoned better views would be had and I wasn't disappointed. In fact the bird was ridiculously close.
Those non birders may be having problems finding it in the guidebooks. It (Gavia pacifica) was fairly recently split from Black throated (Gavia arctica) and indeed this bird originally found by TL at Blyth and was ID'd as Black throated till AC called Pacific when better views were finally obtained at East Chevington. The deciding feature in this first winter is the lack of a white patch at waterline toward the flanks and if an adult it would have a distinctive chin strap.
It was a nice neat medium size bird with a distinctive clean diving style but on this occasion rarely staying underwater for significant length of time generally following a circular pattern around the edge of the west end of the lake unperturbed by dogs or the gathered throng.
sad old loner totally p****d off with life, work and modern society hence the propensity to head off into the wilds to escape.
Photos taken with Canon 500D and (from 14.06.13) Tamron 70-300 zoom following the demise of my Canon zoom.