Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Purple heaven!

Last Saturday I viewed Marsden bay just before the light began to fade, at least 17 Shags in the bay and many of them flying in to roost on the seaward side of the main rock here. No Fulmars on ledges and not many flying around here either and only a couple of Razorbills on this visit. But the Fulmars have returned again since this day.
On Sunday I saw 6 Brambling at the Westoe feeders! Another female was with finch flock, but since then I’ve only seen 3 birds whilst on the dog walk and topping up duties here.
Tuesday brought another site record for me whilst doing the pier patch, me and Ian Mc. viewed 25 Purple sandpipers in a single flock which flew in far the north side of the Tyne onto the north side of the pier to feed. Also a Kittiwake was hanging around the walkway here today….another first for us both this year.Single Great crested grebe towards Trow and over 20 Shags in the bay here along with numerous Cormorants.
Todays Little leg’s walk here produced 18 Purple Sandpipers, again the birds in a single flock and very vocal…not very approachable at all unlike the lower numbers we normally get here which do not seem bothered by human disturbance…More than likely the time of year has a lot to play in this.
Both these last pier visits have been made at the lower tide mark which accounts for hardly any other waders present.

Friday, 4 February 2011

So far this week

The Knot onslaught (well a mini invasion to what we are normally used to) continued this week in South Tyneside. The Local dog walk of the pier produced my best count here since I’ve wandered the patch with around 60 birds present on two visits(Tuesday and Thursday) and another local seen a good number on Wednesday here. The birds have been resting up with the other canny count of waders here on the south side of the pier normally towards the high tide mark.Infact they flew in on Thursday whilst I parked me arse on the pier wall to view the other waders like I do on most visits(much to Max’s dislike as he’s tied to the old handrail on these occasions….).Also my best count of Purple sands here on Tuesday with 15 birds present.
The pair of Great crested grebes was just off Sandhaven again on Thursday again showing pairing up signs when they swam up to each other.

A walk of the Leas at the beginning of the week still produced no Skylarks or Meadow pipits!!! Its becoming a flipping joke now!..still not seen any this year yet and only counted 2 Rock pipits between the pier and Marsden. But both the usual Trowls showed on this day and the semi-tame worm hunting Kestrel in Trow quarry.

Marine park Tuftie count was the best I’ve had so far this year with 42 on Thursday and also best Pochard no. of the year with 10(8 Drakes).Another surprise here on Tuesday was watching a Great spotted Woodpecker grab a thorn and use in a hole it had been banging away at obviously trying to pick a grub out it could not reach, something Ive never seen for myself before!.

Despite 3 visits to Harton Cemetery this week Ive still not managed to see Ian Mc’s Treecreeper! I think he’s got a one as a pet…..but nice to see 6-8 of the Stock doves here, a site I would never thought of looking for them. Just show’s what patch watching produces.

And finally Westoe Cemetery- regular 20 odd Redwings along with slightly declining numbers of finches now. But 5 Brambling were around the feeders on Thursday(4 males) and seen 3 today. Still trying for better photo’s of the birds!...