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Post Info TOPIC: North East England


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RE: North East England invaded.


Hi Mike.

I suspect the trip was actually a cunning ruse by Riggers to get the Marsh Sandpiper to re-appear at Blacktoft after we'd failed to keep our appointment with it the previous weekend. In which case it worked

Either the petrels or the waders would have been good company (although not as good as your own, obviously). Sadly, none of them were kind enough to notify their intentions in advance when we planned our monthly trips back in January.

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Greetings Mr. Chorley.

Big Brother was keeping tabs on you from Madrid, so misdemeanour noted!; - (fancy sneaking up here when my back was turned!!)
Apparently you just missed by a day or so a record passage of Storm Petrels (340 plus, all heading north; - I wouldn't have minded a little of that myself).

You should have timed your visit for today though (Sunday 31st); - we could have rendezvoused and celebrated a bit more quality this weekend; - a Semipalmated Sandpiper (ad.) with at least one Temminck's Stint as supporting cast.

Cheers,
Mike P.


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North East England invaded......briefly!

With negative news from Blacktoft, the gang of four (Ausberger, Chorley, Riggers & Rip Van Rayner), headed to Saltholme this a.m. Sadly, the best the roadside pools could muster wader-wise were
3 Dunlin
2 Ruff
2 Black-tailed Godwit.

So we headed for Hartlepool headland were the highlights were slightly better:
Velvet Scoter 2
Arctic Skua 2
Manx Shearwater 3
Great Skua 2

before news from Blacktoft caused us to change threads.......

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North East England has been truly invaded this week; all news, relevant updates and directions concerning THE ROBIN is appropriately however on the "Mega news" thread.

Cheers,
Mike P.

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Hi Alan,

Re Surf Scoter:- well done on your find!
If you wish to submit details of your find to our county recorder for Durham, (Mark Newsome), please send to me a "PM" and I shall advise you of Mark's E-mail address.
Obviously the i/d is not in doubt; it's just that I think you deserve some credit for finding a really stonking and much appreciated bird.
Just to put this find in perspective, my pal Tony Armstrong has a Durham list of over 340, yet this was new for him and he was there today shortly after 5 a.m.!

The Velvet Scoters are generally absent from that stretch of coast at this time of the year, and the Common Scoter pack seemed today to consist wholly of 2nd calender year birds, which made this full adult male Surf Scoter really stand out all the more.

It has apparently reappeared in the same area for all this afternoon up to at least 17.00 so far, despite the Teesmouth birders hoping it will head permanently south into Cleveland, as half of the top 25 big listers there need it for their Cleveland lists!

We finished off this morning at RSPB Saltholme with an obliging Spoonbill on the reserve in front of the Saltholme Pools hide and "Saltholme Chicken Chips and Peas" in the restaurant to round off a pleasing morning.

Regards,
Mike P.

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Hi Mike,

I was the person who found the Surf Scoter at Blackhall Rocks yesterday afternoon, and I was on my way home to Warrington after visiting my father in law. I had no contact numbers with me so I could not report the bird till I got home. I am sorry I could not report the bird earlier however I am glad it stayed so more people got to see it.

I am hoping some one manages to digiscope the bird as it would be nice to have a photo of the bird. I was actualy looking for Little Terns but got them later at Crimdon both places new to me. When I picked up the Scoter I was scanning for Velevt Scoter as I have seen velvet Scoter off that pier that is off towards Hartlepool. So the Surf Scoter was an unexpected surprise to me and a welcome addition to my life list.

Cheers

Alan

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Alan patterson


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Barely six weeks after the Black Scoter up the coast in Northumberland, a fine drake Surf Scoter has appeared off Blackhall Rocks (just sea ward of Peterlee, Co. Durham).

The bird was identified yesterday afternoon and "put out" last evening.

Consequently Doug Smith and I duly appeared on site at about 10.20 this morning (after earlier confirmatory sightings soon after dawn).
The Scoter pack of about 200 birds was a good half mile away, rather to the north and a quarter mile out , but in favourable viewing conditions the target bird was easily picked out, despite a strong breeze making 'scoping less than ideal.
We hoofed it north for several hundred yards to reduce the viewing distance and obtained far better views (and some shelter) from the breeze for several short minutes, before the whole pack (irritatingly) took wing in two groups, all flying south.

We accordingly scuttled back to our original position by the small car park but found only remnants of the Scoter pack offshore there. The Surf Scoter almost certainly had continued south with about two thirds of the main Common Scoter pack, as we failed to locate it there or indeed later when we were scanning again further to the south.

- Nevertheless a fine bird for the County (and for me my first English record).


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Saturday April 30th.

A phone call yesterday had us making an unscheduled early evening visit to Teesside, to Cowpen Bewley Country Park to be more precise, (perhaps better known and well publicised over the last 2 winters for the overwintering drake Ring-necked Duck).

The main attraction last evening was a Common Nightingale, singing from dense cover.

Nightingale in Durham/ Cleveland (with perhaps 2/3 records counting this one) is anything but common, to the extent that Thrush Nightingale is a commoner rarity up here.

It was really special to hear and also glimpse this; a truly magical vocalist and the first I have heard in Britain for some years. Also a new county bird for many, including us.

I wonder how long it might stay?

Mike P.

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There have been multiple sightings of Woodcock in coastal areas over recent weeks, ranging from Teesside up to Whitburn and Bolden, (north of Sunderland). Birds are reported foraging beneath garden feeders and being seen in many open areas, seen also flying across roads by people driving to work, etc.
One count is reported today from Easington Colliery of 68 in one field, though not yet clear what they were feeding on.

Cheers,
Mike P.

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Mike Passant wrote:


Durham City late yesterday, at County Hall in deep snow and distressed, but not expected to survive.




You or the Hoopoe, Mike?????



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Durham City late yesterday, at County Hall in deep snow and distressed, a Hoopoe was seen and today (29th) taken into care. It is being fed mealworms but not expected to survive.

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Sad to say this evening, there was no sign of the Nighthawk, which has not been seen since Monday.
The construction workers kindly responded to Tim Cleeves' earlier request to search at least for a corpse; which they have done, without finding anything at all.
Only nine of us turned up tonight, and as as it got dark it became just another of those social events, though I did stand for a brief while looking wistfully at the solitary bush where it had been photographed, knowing that was as close as I was going to get....

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Click the 'sponsored by Birdnetinformation' link at the top of this forum to see the remarkable photos of the Nighthawk.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Well, it's a case of stand me on my head and call me Vladimir!

After initial scepticism, it's now incredulity/shock hereabouts following sight of the piccy's.
The bird photographed near Peterlee, Co. Durham, by a construction worker (apparently on Monday) IS a Common Nighthawk, (and from the white tips to the black primaries; - a bird of the year).
There will be a gathering on site of the "hopefuls" tonight and I shall update here (either way) ASAP after that.
Should the bird get seen, I shall post directions and a map reference for any Manky visitors.
Regards to all,
Mike

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An excellent full days birding at various sites in the North East in the company of messers Rayner and Passant. Good birds but even better views!

Woodchat Shrike-Hartlepool headland
Red-flanked Bluetail- St.Marys Island
Yellow-browed Warbler-Whitley Bay
Red-breasted Flycatcher-Whitburn

Dipped Great Grey and Red-backed Shrike at South Gare in fading light.

A lesson in bird topography from Mr.Passant using a dead Siskin we found as the model!

A cracking days birding in good companysmile.gif


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With clearer weather today we almost stayed locally around Wolsingham as there were newly arrived Redwings in the adjacent fields here feeding on the hawthorns. We did succumb to temptation though and made the 38 mile trip to the coast "on spec". It was soon apparent that most of the birds from the weekend had (as expected) moved inland, though we did see an obliging Shorelark and caught up with the Great Grey Shrike from Saturday, (still by St. Mary's church).

At nearby Seaton Carew a Red-eyed Vireo was caught and ringed, and I deservedly MISSED seeing it in the hand as my mobile was in my rucksack in the car boot.

I didn't see it in the field either; - but still, that's all in a day's fun!

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Trip to Hartlepool with my Dad today looking for the Woodchat Shrike and the Yellow-Browed Warbler which had been reported. Got very good views of the shrike but only saw the rear end of the warbler no.gif - another birder pointed it out and I just got a glimpse of it retreating - not a tick for me as I didn't actually get a good enough look. Still the shrike was a nice looking bird.

Fair amount of redwings about with more landing on the beach as we watched. Plus one male brambling, a siskin & a blackcap. The one thing that got me though was the sheer number of goldfinches, there must have been 50 at the very least with some coming within 3 feet. Should have known I'd get cracking views of something as I'd left my camera back in Morpeth!

All in all a cracking day's birding, always good to watch migration in action biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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Northumberland (late afternoon):

A reported Red flanked Bluetail at Newbiggin this morning; - and another, closer to hand in the little reserve opposite St Mary's Island, (showing well to 17.30 at least, when we left ).
At Tynemouth, yesterday's reported Radde's Warbler is in fact a Dusky Warbler, and showed pretty well and was calling quite a bit when we watched it tonight on our way home.

Durham (early afternoon):

Earlier, a scatter of Red-breasted Flycatchers, 2 of these at Whitburn where one was caught and ringed this morning, one south of the Tees in Cleveland; a Great Grey Shrike still at Hendon old gas works (south Sunderland), and another at Hartlepool headland, where the juv. Woodchat still lingers, and also a Barred warbler at Hartlepool.

Bird of the day though is the one that perhaps has got away.
Well seen only by the finder so far, (a very experienced local of proven ability) was a Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler close by Cornthwaite Park, Whitburn. The bird was/is lurking in a 40 metre square of chin high brambles, stinging nettles, hidden logs and snags, and general debris. An attempt at netting the bird resulted in a catch of ...... 2 Robins and 5/6 Dunnocks !!

All in all, we look forward to tomorrow.

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Nothing too extraordinary up here ,--just yet, we're all waiting, and reluctant to go out of area, (if Eastern Crowned Warbler can turn up, why not Sib. Accentor...?) We live in hope!

A Blyth's Reed Warbler was an appetiser at Whitburn the other night for the boys on the coast and a Barred Warbler was ringed at Whitburn this morning. The juv. Woodchat Shrike at Hartlepool continues to delight this afternoon, with a Yellow-browed Warbler close by (both in the vicinity of Verrill's chippy), also a very confiding Snow Bunting by the bowling green.

We await of course a twitchable Sib. Rubythroat (as everyone is still hurting from the one in the Sunderland garden a few years ago that no Durham birders knew about in time), also R.F. Bluetail is now almost to be expected in the county these days....?

Isn't October something?

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More serious bird news:

An adult Sharp-tailed Sandpiper appeared on Teesside tonight and was watched from 18.15 until dusk.
Directions are basically as if you were heading for the RSPB centre but at the big traffic island instead of coming off at the third exit for the RSPB, take the first exit off that island (as if heading for Seaton Carew).
The bird is in the Greatham Creek area, and directions are to park in the designated car park on the left of the road (about 1 mile after the big island). Walk to the bridge over the creek (some 300 yds NE of the car park)but do not go over the bridge; instead cross the often busy road and follow the creek side path seawards towards the Seal Sands hide, only going about 1/3rd of the way and scan the tidal pools on the right hand side. I understand the bird did not associate with the Dunlin and Redshank but more with the Teal and was actively feeding.

I shall be going tomorrow if the bird is still on show as I and quite a few still need this for our county lists.

Thanks are due to a Manchester birder for alerting us promptly to the late news!

So thanks to John Rayner, especially from Doug who got it tonight with about 10 mins of reasonable light still left.

Cheers and good luck to any who travel up,
Mike P.

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Mike, I don't suppose one of them was heard to say "Breakfast is for whimps" ?

biggrin.gif

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Mike,

There is an undercover agent currently posted in the NE!!!

cheers e

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North East England


August 22nd Sunday: -

It was reported that 3 Gr. Man birders abandoned their posts and launched a cunning strike by touring N.E. England ticking birds with gusto, with little regard for refreshments or other distractions. Such was their fanaticism that they even declined the offer of afternoon tea with home made scones, sensing (probably correctly) that the tea was drugged anyway in an effort to curtail their rampage.

Birds allegedly seen were Whiskered Tern, Spotted Crake, Roseate Terns, and others, though admittedly though somewhat shaken by this foreign incursion, these birds were non the worse for the encounter.

You 3 know who you are, so be warned; - I'LL BE BACK!


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