Monday, 11 October 2010

Colouring a grey background

Have been spreading myself pretty thin this weekend with the grey weather hampering any decent attempts at photography. Did my webs count on Saturday morning accompanied by a backing track of scores of Redwing streaming overhead. A fairly normal count for the Tyne with Redshank, Lapwing and Golden Plover in abundance and Teal numbers increasing but nice to see a Greenshank in Lemington Gut and a flock of Redpoll at Newburn Riverside along with a few Goldcrest and my first Jay at that location.
Thought I had a good plan for the afternoon as I had arranged a business meeting at Widdrington assuming I could then head off to Druridge or further north for some birding. My plan backfired as the best reports zoomed in from St Marys and Tynemouth. Managed an hour at Tynemouth where I again met Liverbirder who had seen the Dusky Warbler moments before. I got a view of a bird flitting about in a bush, but little more and not really a tick before it disappeared. Hardly suprising after three passes from a Sparrowhawk who was sparring with the local Magpies.
Headed north to my meeting and was distracted throughout by the constant movement of birds overhead including Mistle Thrush and a flock of 350 Lapwing. Finished off at Druridge as planned but there was little at Hauxley and only found more Goldcrest at the pools.

Sunday dawned grey again and I headed out on Prestwick Carr for a goose count. Loads of Redwings flushed from their roost and a single Fieldfare. Goldcrest again in the hedgerows moving with the Tit flock and a pair of Mute Swans flew in but no geese.
Then off to Tynemouth again, not for birds but the bookfair where I purloined another few tomes for my collection including another field guide to warblers, a little late to be of help this year methinks. Anyway Sunday lunch and a grand prix later I snatched the opportunity and headed to St Marys Island. Walking up the path I was astounded by the number of Goldcrest and Robins all feeding frantically in any location they could find. There must have been hundreds and far too many to attempt to count so headed for the willows where six birders with raised bins identified the area where I should be looking and there, flitting between bush, fence and ground was the Red flanked blue tail. Spent half an hour with a couple of good views and two record shots just to prove it before the light was totally lost and I headed home.

Not bad for a dull weekend!

1 comment:

  1. The red-flanked bluetail seems to have attracted lots of interest. Glad you got to see it - it's a pity it didn't think of coming to Redesdale!