Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Day Birds

A morning to clear the head, cold, ice and the perfect cure for the excesses of Christmas. I had noticed yesterday that the Wansbeck is frozen from the weir to Castle Island except a small area opposite the north bank. I headed there this morning in the hope of some close Goldeneye but although there were several present they were further west and the vantage points are all heavy with Hawthorn. After checking the Spital Burn for Jack Snipe I moved onto Newbiggin Golf Course with low expectations, the ice crunching underfoot as I went. Whilst there was nothing to hold the attention of anyone purely interested in rarity there was a good range of species.

Pied Wagtail
A couple of Pied Wagtail crept around one of the tethered horses and I counted over 20 Meadow Pipit.
Meadow Pipit
With the tide high there was a few waders, Redshank, Oystercatcher,Turnstone, Curlew and a couple of Dunlin amongst 50+ Golden Plover.


Golden Plover

A Kestrel watched proceedings from one corner of the old football pitch and a male Sparrowhawk dashed out at the Mipit from another corner.

Common Kestrel

Next up I headed for QE2 hoping for some unfrozen water and I was rewarded with a small patch next to the car park and a clear channel running south that was chocabloc as we say in the north east of duck, swan, gulls etc.

Common Gull

QE2 under Ice and the clear channel.
A single drake Goldeneye dived repeatedly a few metres out in the channel giving me a chance to try and get one or two images.

Common Goldeneye (male)

Common Goldeneye (male)

About 60 Wigeon pottered around the ice trying out some of the moves from last night's Strictly.
Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon


The Liverbirder said...

Common birds? Certainly! Great shots? Definately!

Mark Mowbray said...

very nice report Alan, some good pics too your definately getting the hang of the new kit now.

I called into QEII yesterday and it was strange to see it almost totally frozen over.