Friday 30 May 2008

Some migrants at last

At last, a change in the weather has produced some migrants, which has prompted a flurry of visits to Dru, firstly on Wednesday evening after reports on birdguides of lots of scarce visitors to the east coast. My time was limited on Wed night cos I was going to see Hot club de Paris at the Cluny.... The only mig I nailed was spotfly, I thought I had a barred warbler too, just as I was leaving and already late, but got very little on it, going by Jiz, i would have said barred but....

Next visits were Thursday morning and evening, as I pulled up at the entrance, a small falcon was powering off north, a long way up the track so distant, if it had've been July I would have said Merlin straight away...another one gets away. There were now 3 spotfly's and a couple of blackcap, patch year ticks were little tern (two flying over) and ruff.

On the strength of the number of mig's elsewhere, I decided to take today off as I know Janet was ringing, a later start than planned due to rain, and strong wind later, meant few birds, but the quality was good.


Nice linnet

An update on the patch list and ringing stuff will follow when I have more to the pub!

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Quick visit

A cold brisk north-easterly all day.

A quick visit to Dru after work produced very little, with reports of rb shrikes, rosefinches and iccies from the east coast, I decided to bash the bushes. I only had an hour and spent quite a bit of that at the Budge screen were I thought there was a twitch because of the number of people, no sign of the garganey or temminck's (they were reported at lunchtime), but a 1st summer little gull and greenshank were there.

There is rb shrike and rosefinch on the Farnes so will try Dru again before work tomorrow.

Sunday 25 May 2008

Temminck's Stints

Two temminck's stints on the Budge fields this morning, in true Roppa style, I was still in bed when Dave Elliott found them and called me, was soon down there to see them though...and nice they were too! Also new was wood sandpiper, the pair of garagney were still present along with the greenshank.

Him 'n' Her - garganeys

Spent the rest of the day with John Richardson looking for dipper nests in Upper Coquetdale and the North Tyne. Lots of wheatears and whinchats now in the hills, we didn't get to ring any dippers today but have a few nests staked out, we did ring a brood of meadow pipits though.

115 Temminck's stint

116 wood sandpiper

Saturday 24 May 2008

Reedbed Ringing

I spent this morning at East Chev, ringing in the reedbed with Ian Fisher. The first chore was to strim the net rides with the help of my neighbours big Stihl brushcutter, an end to Dave Elliott's peaceful morning! We caught about 14 birds, which is good for the first session of the year, all sedge warblers except for two reed warblers, I really enjoy ringing in the reedbeds, hopefully this summer will be a wee bit drier than last!

When we were packing up, we bumped into Biggsy and Lorraine who had tales of greenshank at Dru, so the gardening was on hold for a bit. As advised, the greenshank was on the Budge fields, but not for long, it flew of north shortly after I arrived. The garganey pair were still there, other than that, nothing else to report.

114 greenshank

Friday 23 May 2008

TFI Friday

A report of alpine swift at Woodhorn had me heading in the other direction, to Druridge, just in case it decided to go north, if it did, I didn't see it.

Nothing much else, there were still drake and duck garganey on the Budge fields. Two rtd's and a great-crested grebe were on the sea, still no commic terns though.....A ringed plover flying overhead onto the beach was a welcome year tick, there were also six sanderling and two dunlin further up the beach.

Boulmer Birder had added som China pics to his blog and BBxtra and

113 ringed plover

More China....The Crew

Our expert guide - Jesper

Rutter the bogeyman


Boulmer Birder " I used to be a ringer..."

Mr Biggs....Trip Leader

Aww Man... Turm

Rob Hopson...yorkshireman

Richard Dunn...trip photographer

and finally me....with me rubythroat

Wednesday 21 May 2008

back to reality..druridge this morning

Back home and back to Dru this morning to the WeBS count and....not one, not even three, but FOUR garganey on the Budge fields, a duck and three drakes, the third drake, which was in front of the little hide, wasn't in as good nick as the others, looking like it was going into eclipse, but it is way too early for that, maybe it was first year drake? Any thoughts?

Other than the gang of four, the first lapwing chicks were pottering about, I counted two broods of two. there were plenty of snipe displaying and a single displaying redshank.

Got some ringing feedback from Janet from the weekend:

A willow warbler was caught which was originally ringed in May 04 as an adult male and which was re-trapped in Jun 05 and Jun 06, meaning this tiny Bird has been to Africa and back at least 5 times! Two sedgies were caught which had been ringed in 2006.

Three year ticks from before China were:

110 cuckoo
111 grasshopper warbler
112 puffin


Here are a few pics from China, I might add some more later and put some on surfbirds....meanwhile, enjoy!

thick-billed warbler

Japanese grosbeak

'leucopsis' white wag

ibisbill 'on the jurb'

oriental reed warbler

Tristram's bunting

yellow-browed warbler

elisae flycatcher

a stunning bluethroat

Godlewski's bunting at the Great Wall

pale-legged leaf warbler

Ahem...what's this one again?

vinous-throated parrotbill

Only in China!

Tuesday 20 May 2008

I'm Back

Missed me?

I'm just back from a 10 day birding trip to China, thanks to my 'friends' who texted me to tell me about the lesser yellowlegs that took up residency at Dru whilst I was away. First for the pools as far as I am aware....and I missed it. I also missed Janet's first ringing session of the year..and look at what she caught!

At least I was enjoying seeing some fabulous birds, I will put some china pics and some ringing recovery details on the blog tomorrow night as jet lag has caught up with me zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday 4 May 2008

Quick visit...quick update

A brief visit to Dru yesterday, after SS told me there had been a spotshank reported. No sign of it but there were two drake garganeys, one on either side of the fence on the Budge field.


Other then lots of hirundines over the pool, nothing much to report.

Was in the Harthope Valley on friday doing Atlas work, it was a really nice, warm day with the occasional rain shower. Most of the expected migrants were recorded, restart, ring ouzel, tree pipit, cuckoo and dozens of willow warblers. Green woodpecker was heard near Langleeford and there were plenty buzzards. No whinchat or flycatchers, but it is probably early for the latter.

Mistle Thrush in the Harthope Valley