Monday 31 March 2008

Firecrest - Dipped!

So there I was wandering aimlessly around Morrison's this evening when my mobile goes, it's the Boulmer Birder "Have you heard about the firecrest at Druridge....." so the shopping was over and I hot-footed it up to Dru, got there just after 6pm and stayed until 6.40 but no sign. It had been seen well at 6pm seemingly, by the Budge screen, I had a couple of goldcrests and a reed bunt but nowt else, I shall be back down there tomorrow morning before work.
I've only seen one firecrest at Dru, it was trapped by Gary and Janet and must've been three years ago.

Here some pics from Spain, didn't get many bird pics, but there's some nice habitat shots n stuff:

The trip started in Valencia for the Fallas festival, which is totally crazy and very loud, absolutely no sleep to be had, but the bars are open til 7am so who cares!

First proper birding spot was the plains near Zaragoza (above) for dupont's lark, we tried in the evening but only heard them, so we went before dawn the following day and heard lots of birds singing and saw one, for about 5 views I 've had of Dupont's and new bird for JF. The site is the El Planeron site near Belchite, the place is lifting with larks, we had good views of thekla, calandra, lesser short-toed, short toed and crested. We also had black-bellied sandgrouse and monties harrier.

Riglos - spot the wallcreeper

Next stop was Riglos (above) for wallcreeper, which we got eventually (lifer for JF), also alpine accentor and rock thrush there, a stunning place too.

We then had a couple of days in the Pyrenees, based in Jaca. The only birds I needed on the trip were snowfinch and citril finch - we saw neither, but we did see the other high mountain species like alpine chough and lammergier. There was lots of snow which hindered our birding, a foot of snow fell in Jaca on our last night there.

After the Pyrenees JF headed home and I went to the coast, basing myself in Figueras, I birded the Cap de Creus and Aiguamolls de l'Emporda which is a fantastic wetland site on the coast. If Druridge Pools were managed properly, you could imagine them being a bit like the wet meadows here, lifting with dabbling duck and waders. They use Camargue horses to graze the meadows, maybe NWT need to get hold of some of those for Dru - I'll suggest it to them. As well as waders and wildfowl there was at least 18 water pipits and 10 marsh harriers topped off with great birds like cetti's, sardinian warbler, hoopoe and audoin's gulls. I also went to see Salvador Dali's museum in Figueras and his house on the coast at Cap De Creus - both very worthwhile...see told you I was cultured!!

Friday 28 March 2008

crap birder returns from Spain

Hola! Just back from two weeks in Spain, some birding, some partying and some culture (...anyone that knows me now will be gasping for air...Ipin....culture...shurely shum's true though I tell ya) and lots of fun..and some sun! some piccies to follow when I get a moment to catch up.

IF has pointed out, quite rightly, that the RTD I had on the pool during my WeBS count was actually a Black-throated Diver, see comments box in that post for my lame excuses and thus an explanantion of the title of this post.

BTD would be a year tick, but as I didn't properly ID it at the time, I won't count it..that'll teach me to take care more care next time!! Crap Birder indeed - this satement will not shock anyone who knows me though!

Hopefully will get down to the Pools tomorrow, if not defo Sunday..

Sunday 9 March 2008

year list update

I've just reckoned up my year list and found that I have missed three species off, yellowhammer, collared dove and skylark this makes me 81

I also totted up my Dru life list which currently stands at 211....I'm off to get a life!!

gull update

The Norwegians have sent an update on my colour-ringed gulls from Amble, more detail on the BHG and the gen on the herring gull, which was ringed as pulli in June last year in Vest-Agder, Norway, I have a friend who lives in Vest-Agder..

CR-Code Blue ring with white code for large gulls LBBW(J3LJ);RBMRinging Centre Stavanger (Norway) Ringnumber FA29729Species Herring Gull Larus argentatus Sex Unknown Age Pullus

24.06 2007
Herreholmen, Lyngdal, Vest-Agder, Norway
58°02'00"N 006°57'58"E
Marton Berntsen
21.02 2008
Amble-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, Great Britain
55°51'00"N 001°30'00"W
Robson, Iain

cool eh?

grebe's on the list

WeBS count today, so met JF down at Dru, I've not put any oats out for yonks, but there were 3 linnet on the dunes and offshore was a great-crested grebe, nearly into breeding plumage (a patch year tick! - they have been very scarce in the county this winter). The most surprising bird on the pool was a red..DOH! Black-throated diver - nice one for the WeBS count, it's yonks and yonks since I saw one of these on the lake, though they are virtually always present offshore, even in summer.

Crappy record shot of Btd

The other highlight was a little grebe, first one on the patch this year. There were also 10 shoveler, 113 wigeon, 72 teal, 14 shelduck and 7 goldeneye. Elsewhere on the patch, 2 pairs of stonechat were on the fence, a grey partridge was on the meadows and the male kestrel was being harassed by a crow, there were also a few mippits back, with at least four by the parking area.

In the fields opposite the hamlet there were easily 1000 pinkfeet, I didn't bother counting them cos many were more were over the brow of the hill, a scan through the visible one's didn't produce anything other than pinkfeet....oh for a white front.....

Thousands of pink-feet opposite Druridge Hamlet

The blog will be pretty quiet over the next couple of weeks as I will be on my travels, both work and fun!

77 great-crested grebe
78 little grebe

Sunday 2 March 2008

BHG update

Thanks to Ian Fisher, I have been through the 2005 Birds in Northumberland, the ringing report section shows J72J was also in Amble Harbour in July 2005, only three months after it was ringed in must like it here!

Been workin all weekend, so no news from the patch...