Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Young Guns Go For It

I can hear the rain lashing in against the west facing windows as I type, I guess November's arrived. Yesterday's sunshine and blue skies resulted in an extended beach trip in the morning. The tide high and the sea calm various waders and gulls enjoyed what could be the last warmth of autumn, an emergence of sand flies along both beaches at Newbiggin providing good feeding for Rock Pipits, Pied Wagtails, Starlings and Turnstones.
By the time we had ambled our way to Beacon Point most of the waders were roosting, 100Redshank and 55 Golden Plover made up most of the number but a close look revealed five each of Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit as well as a few Dunlin. A quick look on the south beach before the promised session in the park produced three Mediterranean Gulls, two adults and a 2nd-winter; one of the adults later circling our swing session as it fed on chips thrown from a nearby vehicle.

Today in contrast with the wind strengthening and a few heavy showers moving through we headed for nearby woods using them to shelter from the November weather. Still enough colour in the woods to keep winter at bay for another couple of weeks though the woods always seem a little empty after the summer months. A Jay offered typical back end views as we arrived and a Great Spotted Woodpecker dipped over the car as we left, moments before the passing tit flock disgorged a Marsh Tit. In hindsight probably about the best bird I could expect in November.

Wedged between these riveting adventures I managed to knock off the Northumberland October summary for Birdwatching Magazine, finally finish Michael Mcarthy's 'Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo' and start drafting my first proper post for 10,000 Birds.

The twins toilet training continues in a kind of two steps forward, one step back fashion, though poos seem to be a bit of a stumbling block (literally!).

I received a kind invitation to head out for a four hour sea based Winter Birdwatching tour around Holy Island and The Farne Islands on Saturday from Andrew Douglas who runs Farne Island Tours. I haven't been out in the North Sea since the Marinelife White-beaked Dolphin surveys last winter so I'm looking forward to hopefully getting some photo opportunities of some of the winter specialities in the area. At this time of year you are in the hands of the weather though.

Last night, in common with birders across the country, I  tuned in to the one off 'Twitchers' documentary. Thankfully I viewed it alone, I say that as I know my wife had a soft spot for Andrew Ridgeley and would have been terribly upset to see what had become of him and the inevitable comparisons he drew with the success of his former partner. I did in passing mention the comments about "not taking anyone under the age of 10 seriously" to the kids today and I guess you could say they were a little poked and were keen to put the record straight about the size of their BOU list and allegations of cheating.

How Big's Your List?


Vanellus said...

Love the picture of the kids! It brings back happy memories of when ours were little and enjoyed swishing through autumn leaves and playing poo sticks in the river.

Haven't seen a Marsh Tit for ages, a real serendipity bird.

Charlie said...

Ha. No mistaking whose kids those are :)