Friday, 6 September 2013

September Rain

Having so far failed to add Sooty Shearwater to the Newbiggin Year List, this morning's brisk northerly and rain was too inviting to turn down. With the school run forcing a post-nine start i figured there would be little hope of one of the two dry seats in the house so I opted for Plan B.

Rather than head round to the traditional northern sea-watch at Church Point, I hunkered down behind the cemetery wall some 40m south and 20m further inland. Armed with a large golf umbrella (thanks Dad) my field of view was restricted to the 'southern' section of sea.

I managed two hours with a firm grip on the umbrella with one hand, not a classic day but enjoyable despite the weather and two new birds for the Newbiggin Year List.

Pick of the bunch was a juvenile Long-tailed Skua that pottered north over the rocks just 50m away. Three Sooty Shearwaters ended this year's long wait; all three were within 2-300m range too. Manx Shearwaters totalled 40 in the 2 hours. A single Great Skua lumbered north. A few Wigeon moving included one small group that had two female/juvenile Pintail tagging along at the back (2nd tick).

Just before I left a dozen Pale-bellied Brents came almost straight in to the Point and may have ended up in the north bay. There was also a Wheatear kicking about the rocks.

Afterwards a bit of grilling the gulls in the fields west of Woodhorn Flashes and north of QEII produced 41 Mediterranean Gulls, a decent 480+ Great Black-backed Gulls and an interesting juvenile, perhaps more on that later.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I run a blog for Smestow Valley LNR. I have started a nature network to protect our patches and coordinate wildlife surveys. Please could you email me at and I can send you more information. Regards, Chris Millward.