Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Sunday, 26 February 2012

East Stobswood

A microlight kept the birds in the air...

...they eventually settled beside the West pool

The Ross's Goose among P. F geese at East Chevington

It's been quite a productive birding weekend. On Friday on my way home from work a Short eared Owl was hunting over rough grassland between St Georges hospital and Howburn woods. As far as I can recall this is the first time I have seen a Short eared around Morpeth. Yesterday I had a walk along the beach at Warkworth and walked south to the pier and back along the dunes. Plenty of birds particularly waders in the gut but there were 3 Snow Buntings on the beach but they flew North. At East Stobswood the adult and juvenile Bewick's Swan flew in briefly and joined 2 Whooper Swans there.
Today I had a walk along the beach and dunes at East Chevington and from the dunes I could see the Ross's Goose with the Pink feets in fields West of the reserve. I got a better view of the Goose from the viewpoint overlooking the South pool but the birds were flighty. There are thousands of Pink feet viewable from here. There was about a thousand around the reserve but looking West you could see even more flying around. When I got to East Stobswood there was a large flock here but a microlight had put them all in the air. They eventually settled and they were all Pink feets and over 1300 of them. On the pools was a smaller flock of Canadas, Shelduck, 3 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin. The other pool on the other side of the road behind East Stobswood farm looked quiet in comparison but I never leave any stone unturned. There was a Heron, a Shelduck and 2 Herring Gulls on the pond, 2 Whooper swans in the field and a Hooded Crow just West of the shore of the pool. It flew around briefly and landed and began preening. This is the first sighting around here since the early nineties when Widdrington tip was still a tip!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Morpeth and Harwood

I haven't had much to photograph recently except the Winter Aconites growing in St James' churchyard in the town centre. On Sunday morning I had a walk around Harwood forest for an hour and a half. Very cold but lots of Crossbills, Siskins and huge numbers of Coal Tits. I had a chat with Brian (Northumbrian birding) at the gibbet and after a short while a Goshawk came into view over the forest. Just as I was leaving the bird or another individual flew over the road at Harwood head and flew fairly low over Ottercops moss.

Saturday, 18 February 2012


A windy afternoon and I started off with a walk on the beach at Druridge then looking to see if any Geese were still around I stopped at Maiden's hall lake. It was bleak here with only a few Gulls on the lake but the adult and juvenile Bewick's swans were North of the lake at Woodside farm. A few miles away I saw 2 Hen harriers hunting over rough ground on either side of the road. One a definitive female but the other was smaller, possibly a first winter male. After a few minutes hunting the first departed North, five minutes later the female flew high into the air and circled, perhaps it was looking to see where the other one was then flew off North. I stopped at East Stobswood but only Canada and some Grey lag Geese here with Gulls. There was also Shelduck, 10 Ringed Plover and a Grey Wagtail. Last Sunday we had a family day out at Tynemouth and walked to the fish quay for fish and chips. The adult/sub adult Iceland Gull was on the rocks below the promenade.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Icy Harbour

Cormorants in Amble harbour

Kingfisher in of three

Spent the afternoon in Amble and went down to the harbour to see if any white winged Gulls were around but I didn't see any. I'm not into gular pouches but among the 30+ Cormorants in the harbour the above pics look like a Sinensis, there was two in the harbour. Amble felt the coldest I've known it for a number of years. Before that a walk around Carlisle Park in Morpeth I noticed Blue tits and a Stock Dove keeping guard over nest holes. The Kingfisher was in exactly the same spot as yesterday in a bush below Telford bridge next to St Georges church.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Borough Woods

A walk through the Borough woods yesterday morning was quite productive for birds. On the river between the bend up from the old weir and the bridge carrying the A1 I saw 2 Kingfishers, a Dipper, 1 Cormorant, 2 Herons and 4 Goosanders. In the woods were 2 Marsh Tits in a large Tit flock including Nuthatch and Treecreeper, a Great spotted Woodpecker was drumming and a Buzzard was sitting in a tree deep in the woods. In the afternoon on the edge of the estate a Green Woodpecker flew from a garden in Pilgrims way over Westgate and into High House Wood. This morning another Kingfisher was on the river just below Telford bridge next to St Georges church.