Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Last couple of days have seen little birding this morning added one new species to my county year list and a new species for my village list. I can detour home from the school run to take in either Highford or Lowford Bridges, I've stopped off here a few times during the winter but the water levels in the Wansbeck have been fairly high. Reading NF at Abbey Meadows last night I thought I'd give it a try this morning. Sure enough just upstream of Highford above the busted weir a Dipper feeding in the shallows.

Didn't have time to hang round with the two little ones in the car waiting for breakfast. Cut back through Fulbeck to check out the lawns of the big houses for Green Woodpecker but dipped on that one. Nearly home and passing the west end of the Pegswood Community Park and a male Stonechat was clearly visible on some tall vegetation, the first Stonechat I've had here since moving here thirteen years ago. It's great to see them doing so well, when I first started birding twenty years ago there were a handful of pairs in Northumberland mostly restricted to dunes at the coast.

Whilst I haven't done much birding, I've never been far from the subject. I spent most of yesterday installing BBi on my external hard drive and much of last night dipping into it. It is an extremely useful tool and reference library and reduces research time dramatically. The sheer volume of information compared to price makes a purchase of this superb work by Birdguides value for money and a great investment for the serious birder. (FB- eternally grateful).

If BBi wasn't enough I signed up yesterday to help 'Beta' test a new US based service called Chirptracker which is a next generation Twitter for birds combining several available applications including satellite mapping technology into one. I have only had a few minutes and posted three sightings but they are looking for more people to give it a go in the UK so if you fancy joining me check it out here. It's obvious that loads of their functionality isn't available yet but it's nice to be in on something from the start and hopefully help turn it into something that will benefit the whole birding community. Look out for further updates as I get to grips with all this ticknology.


abbey meadows said...

I wonder if the Stonechat is the one I saw at bothal a couple of weeks ago. Green Woodpeckers at Fulbeck! I'll have to look out for them as I often walk along Cottinwood common.

Alan Tilmouth said...

You might be right about the Stonechat, hadn't remembered your Bothal bird. Perhaps gradually moving inland?
Don't let me mislead you Nigel, I thought Fulbeck had the right habitat for GW, it has Nuthatch & GSW and lots of manicured lawns for GW to feed on. I'm yet to see one there.