Saturday, 1 February 2014

January 2014

30th Pegswood: Little Owl 1 at a new site close to the village.
27th Pegswood-Morpeth: Little to show for several miles, Treecreeper new for #footit and my Pegswood 10km circle, Lesser Redpoll, Sisking, several Jays were the highlights.
24th Pegswood-Castle Island-Wansbeck Estuary: Two new birds for year, a smart drake Red-breasted Merganser just west of the black bridge and a pair of Scaup just east of the islands. Two-three Little Grebes on the river though the highlight was an Otter that surfaced not 5m from me.
23rd Longhirst Hall: Jay, Bullfinch, 2 Mistle Thrushes, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red Squirrel
21st Pegswood-Linton-Warkworth Lane- Cresswell-Lynemouth Flash: Another epic on foot. A small mixed flock of Redwings and Fieldfares east of Longhirst Station, Great Spotted Woodpecker at Middlesteads Farm, Willow Tit opposite the entrance to Linton Lane NR. Just south of Warkworth Lane 27 Whooper Swans behind the caravan site. Two-three Fulmars prospecting at Snab Point. Glossy Ibis still in the field north of Lynemouth Flash. Other species included Jay, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Yellowhammer, Pink-footed Goose, Red-throated Diver
19th Lynemouth Flash: Glossy Ibis (in the rain)
17th Bothal: Grey Wagtail by the sawmill, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  Shadfen: Barn Owl
16th Pegswood-Castle Island-Wansbeck Estuary-Newbiggin-QEII CP: Another 14miles+ on foot, highlights a singing male Willow Tit beside the black rail bridge over the Wansbeck (briefly), Rock Pipit, a couple of Skylarks and 3 Stock Doves between the caravan park and Spital Point. In QEII Country Park a small flock of Siskins contained a single male Lesser Redpoll, while on the lake four Pochard increasingly scarce these days. A couple of Goosanders still around too.

14th Pegswood-Whorral Bank-East Shield Farm: (on foot) 5miles or so, highlights 17 Grey Partridges in fields at top of Whorral Bank, Mistle Thrush singing in woods at the bottom. A Marsh Tit with a small tit flock on the way to Collingwood Common then the mist dropped, a couple of Jays, later several Reed Buntings in the hedges around East Shield Farm and a single Meadow Pipit flushed from rough grass in Pegswood CP.
10th Pegswood-Newbiggin via QEII CP (on foot): 14.5 miles adding 17 new species for the FootIt Challenge including 3 Goosanders at QEII, the three Greenland White-fronted Geese at Woodhorn, 3 adult Med Gulls at Newbiggin.
7th Bothal/Bothal Pond: covered just over 4.5 miles from home to Bothal Pond via the village and back. New species for the year included 3 Buzzards, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Jays, a tidy flock of c.200 Linnets spooked by a Sparrowhawk, c.40 Tree Sparrows on a game strip and a single Yellowhammer. On Bothal Pond a drake Goldeneye has joined the two female-types and the 2 Shoveler remain in the north-east corner. 
5th Newbiggin/Woodhorn Flashes: Seawatch 08:10-09:10, on a calm sea 4 Red-throated Divers off Church Point and a further 21 flew past. A handful of Common Scoters also moved through. Single Bar-tailed Godwit flew south and Rock Pipit and 3 Purple Sandpipers were present. At the Spital Burn a female Bullfinch fed on sea buckthorn berries.
5th Bothal Pond: Two female-type Goldeneye, a single Pink-footed Goose amongst the Canada flock, Little Grebe, Tree Sparrow and 2-3 Snipe.
4th Newbiggin/Woodhorn Flashes: First visit to Newbiggin, opted for an early morning seawatch (08:00-09:10) from Church Point, cold, strong >S breeze. Eight Little Gulls the highlight, a group of five flew south at 08:20 (3 adults and two 1st-winters) then 2 adults and a 1st-winter were blogging c.1km offshore. A single Long-tailed Duck south close inshore, two Gannets, an adult and later a juvenile, again south and a handful of Kittiwakes and Red-throated Divers.
At Woodhorn the wintering three adult Greenland White-fronted Geese remain in the field west of the church pool along with a 1-200 strong group of mixed duck and geese. Gadwall numbers at 22 is a decent mid-winter count here, presumably reflecting the mild weather.

1st-3rd  Pegswood/Bothal: working, 23 species from the desk, best 3 Siskins and a single Goldcrest through the garden and a calling Nuthatch on a FootIt dog walk near Bothal village.