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Northumbrian Birding

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Old Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 11:21   #8801
Bob Biggs
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Originally Posted by Zappa99 View Post
Just so folk know, the water levels at Cresswell are currently at a level that suggest channel clearance programmed for this week or next may not be required immediately. NWT still has the option, if required, which can be exercised (although the terms of the current arrangement are a bit vague as it states autumn passage - I think that makes it flexible!). As a high tide is due it is seems sensible to wait otherwise the sand will be shifted back into the void.

The Trust are asking Natural England to consider additional works on the channel, above the current allowance and have approached local contractors for prices. Until NE respond, it remains limited.
Hi Steve

Thanks for the update. My limited knowledge of tides does suggest that the next few days are relatively high so if the weather throws something nasty at us, it makes sense to clear the channel after that if needs be. It was still a little high at the weekend but had a few waders on various parts.

East Chevington North Pool looked very good at the weekend so I hope that continues and isn't affected too much by different weather. there were so many birds there on Sunday. Just like old times.
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Old Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 11:46   #8802
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Hi Steve

Thanks for the update. My limited knowledge of tides does suggest that the next few days are relatively high so if the weather throws something nasty at us, it makes sense to clear the channel after that if needs be. It was still a little high at the weekend but had a few waders on various parts.

East Chevington North Pool looked very good at the weekend so I hope that continues and isn't affected too much by different weather. there were so many birds there on Sunday. Just like old times.
Not had a chance to look at East Chev for a bit! Too busy scraping away sand from Bronze Age stuff on my "days off" - Sounds good though. Just checked as well about reed cutting at C Pond - scheduled for end of month, 1st week August.
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Old Thursday 25th July 2013, 13:44   #8803
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A stop at Bothal on a short cycle loop over lunch didn't seem to be too promising, until I was just leaving, when a green sandpiper obligingly landed near me in the south west corner of the pond, poked around for a while and flew across in front of me to the south east corner. I couldn't pick it up again after that, but a nice addition to my personal Bothal list.
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Old Friday 26th July 2013, 08:31   #8804
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via Twitter; Hexham Courant (page 9) reports Red-backed Shrike as having bred in Northumberland this year. Would be rather nice if they have, but perhaps unsurprising considering the large spring influx.

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Old Friday 26th July 2013, 09:14   #8805
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wow! good news )

erm cynic chip just cut in, this as reliable as great grey shrike/honey buzz reports from the area?

the little kid in me is doing happy dance atmo!
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Old Friday 26th July 2013, 13:03   #8806
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via Twitter; Hexham Courant (page 9) reports Red-backed Shrike as having bred in Northumberland this year. Would be rather nice if they have, but perhaps unsurprising considering the large spring influx.

Mark
Brilliant news. More breeding success for Northumberland!
Here's an old story from the Courant about breeding Great Grey Shrike's from 2009.
http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk/news/...-moor-1.601591

It'll be Hoopoe's and Rollers in the not too distant future.
A
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Old Friday 26th July 2013, 14:55   #8807
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via Twitter; Hexham Courant (page 9) reports Red-backed Shrike as having bred in Northumberland this year. Would be rather nice if they have, but perhaps unsurprising considering the large spring influx.

Mark
Colin Simms, various Gyrfalcon records, the 2009 breeding GGS and now this latest report. I camped out on his doorstep and eventually was granted an audience in 2009 to interview him. Whilst happy to talk at length about a multitude of other subjects the details of the GGS remained elusive and vague despite my best attempts to keep coming back to the subject.

He claimed to have recovered eggshell that was to be DNA tested from below the GGS nest and provide the results, he never did. Unfortunately he has contacts with the Courant as he used to write a nature column for them and I think sometimes the lunchtime sherry and tall tales end up being published as fact by his former colleagues without checking any other sources.
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Old Friday 26th July 2013, 19:50   #8808
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Cresswell Shore

Superb full throated RT Diver about 30 foot offshore by Cresswell Ices this evening. Large numbers of scoter rafting to the north and big southwards movement of hunting sandwich terns.

Topped by 50-60 swift spiralling upwards about the house tonight
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Old Friday 26th July 2013, 20:33   #8809
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Red-backed Shrike breeding report in Hexham Courant is as Alan T said very iffy, It isn't signed but does include a statement from "local naturalist Colin Simms sic"but I'd agree with Alans assumption about the author the article title " Rare Bird of Prey Breeds in Northumberland for the First Time" says it all really

Published in todays copy so cannot supply a link yet. Article goes on to state they can be seen in the Coanwood Area
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Old Saturday 27th July 2013, 09:18   #8810
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....It'll be Hoopoe's and Rollers in the not too distant future.
A
And no doubt discovered by Mr Colin Simms...
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Old Saturday 27th July 2013, 11:16   #8811
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hmm sp sandpiper...thats tempting.....

nice find )
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Old Sunday 28th July 2013, 07:29   #8812
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Superb full throated RT Diver about 30 foot offshore by Cresswell Ices this evening. Large numbers of scoter rafting to the north and big southwards movement of hunting sandwich terns.

Topped by 50-60 swift spiralling upwards about the house tonight
The scoter were there from when we arrived at the beach at 11am until we left at 4pm. I reckon at least 200 of them, and quite close to shore at times, which caused a lot of interest from non-birders. Swimming in clear, almost flat sea with my girls (pleasant once you got used to numb extremities!) in amongst shoals of sand-eels, with terns fishing around us was quite an experience!
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Old Sunday 28th July 2013, 20:14   #8813
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A stop at Bothal on a short cycle loop over lunch didn't seem to be too promising, until I was just leaving, when a green sandpiper obligingly landed near me in the south west corner of the pond, poked around for a while and flew across in front of me to the south east corner. I couldn't pick it up again after that, but a nice addition to my personal Bothal list.
I had a look at Bothal this afternoon. Apparently nothing doing, and then 6 Sandpiper sp flew across the pond from nowhere and disappeared flying west.

Had better luck at East Chev, with 4 Wood Sands, Curlew Sand, 2 Little Egrets, Greenshank and just as I was leaving, a nice Ruff. There's more to come there.
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Old Sunday 28th July 2013, 20:24   #8814
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Swimming in clear, almost flat sea with my girls (pleasant once you got used to numb extremities!) in amongst shoals of sand-eels, with terns fishing around us was quite an experience!
Awesome! It's wildlife experiences like that which you never forget!
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Old Sunday 28th July 2013, 21:07   #8815
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Spotted Sandpiper on river Aln at "Foxton bends", found today at 14:00 and watched until around 16:00 when I left others viewing it. Stunning adult showing very well alongside Common Sandpipers, usually underneath Sand Banks with Sand Martin holes in. Well worth the effort to get to as it really is a stunning bird.

Also Greenshank, c.5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret, Curlew, Redshank, Sparrowhawk, Yellowhammer and a Whimbrel just downstream of last bridge over Aln.
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Old Monday 29th July 2013, 16:43   #8816
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Do any Tyneside birders fancy a couple of long days birding this saturday and sunday, if you have a car we can share petrol expenses and some company. Maybe do the whole of druridge bay area one day plus a bit of seawatching and a look at alnmouth if by any chance the spotted sandpiper is still around and go down to teeside for saltholme/greatham creek area the other day?
drop me an e mail or a private message if you are interested

thanks

chris
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Old Monday 29th July 2013, 21:52   #8817
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11+ White-beaked Dolphins south past St Mary's this evening. Also 1st summer Med Gull, 4 Whimbrel, Artic and Great Skuas, juvenile Little Gull and plenty of summer plumage calidrids.

Video of the dolphins http://youtu.be/nLGSEPchx4o
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Old Tuesday 30th July 2013, 08:54   #8818
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Not the greatest pictures, but here's a couple of shots of the scoter "raft" off Cresswell beach on Saturday. They were much closer to shore when we arrived, but once I had done my fatherly sandcastle-building duties, they had drifted further off-shore.

(Oh, and having had time to look at the pictures, I definitely revise my estimate upwards...perhaps 300 birds)
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 08:56   #8819
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Harthope Valley

I have a completely free weekend this weekend with no work and with family away, so I was wondering about heading up into Harthope Valley.

Is this a good time of year to see some of our upland species? Will ring ouzel be possible or likely at the moment, and any chance of red grouse? I also believe it's a good place for whinchat and flycatcher species...?

My plan is to head up there on my bike from the coast, so I won't be able to head too far off the track... is it naive to think I might see any of the above species without heading off the beaten track along hiking routes?
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 10:53   #8820
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I have a completely free weekend this weekend with no work and with family away, so I was wondering about heading up into Harthope Valley.

Is this a good time of year to see some of our upland species? Will ring ouzel be possible or likely at the moment, and any chance of red grouse? I also believe it's a good place for whinchat and flycatcher species...?

My plan is to head up there on my bike from the coast, so I won't be able to head too far off the track... is it naive to think I might see any of the above species without heading off the beaten track along hiking routes?
Take a look here for some info from my visit in May of this year
http://killybirder.blogspot.co.uk/20...ey-sunday.html

If your prepared to cycle up past Langleeford Farm and continue for about 1 mile there were certainly a pair of Spotted Flycatcher, Common Sandpiper and Whinchat in that area not far from the burn and road. Red Grouse also. Tree Pipit is also often seen in this area as is Green Woodpecker.
Keep an eye open for the Red Legged Partridge on route.
The area I find best for Ring Ouzel and Whinchat is on the quite steep path along by Hawsen Burn so your not going to get there on a bike. This area tends to get very overgrown later in the summer. I was unable to locate any Ring Ouzel in the are in May. I do know at least one female bird was seen that day though. Maybe others can comment on numbers and how the Ring Ouzels have fared this year. They do sometimes appear near the foot of the footpath from the valley floor and no doubt in other parts of the valley.
Raptors are always possible of course and I've seen a party of Ravens fly over on one occasion.
Redstarts have been reported in the valley near the cattle grid that you pass over. I've never managed to locate either Redstart or Pied Flycatcher in the area.

I reckon May and June is the best time to visit the area, but I'm sure there will be birds to be found still.

Cheers
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 10:54   #8821
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Re Harthope Valley

All possible, perhaps except Pied Fly (someone might have a site for that, though)

The only one you are likely to see from the valley floor is Spotted Fly. You'll need to gain height to see the others.

MT
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 12:44   #8822
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Thank you both for the info

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If your prepared to cycle up past Langleeford Farm and continue for about 1 mile there were certainly a pair of Spotted Flycatcher, Common Sandpiper and Whinchat in that area not far from the burn and road. Red Grouse also. Tree Pipit is also often seen in this area as is Green Woodpecker.
Looks like I might need to swap to my all terrain tyres, then! Out of interest, how far past Langleeford is it possible get? I'm no mountain biker, so would not be looking to ride off-track, but can cope with stony tracks and paths.

Anyway, Whinchat, Red Grouse, Spotted Fly and Tree Pipit would do me just fine!
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 12:54   #8823
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Thank you both for the info



Looks like I might need to swap to my all terrain tyres, then! Out of interest, how far past Langleeford is it possible get? I'm no mountain biker, so would not be looking to ride off-track, but can cope with stony tracks and paths.

Anyway, Whinchat, Red Grouse, Spotted Fly and Tree Pipit would do me just fine!
The road is quite good but, I don't really know how far it goes. You leave the wooded area and enter a more open area fairly quickly. I believe you can get up onto Cheviot by this route but I'm guessing you won't want to be going up there.:-) It's a fantastic area and usually very quiet. Weather looks to be good for the weekend so enjoy. Be interesting to find out what you spot.
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 15:19   #8824
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I have a completely free weekend this weekend with no work and with family away, so I was wondering about heading up into Harthope Valley.

Is this a good time of year to see some of our upland species? Will ring ouzel be possible or likely at the moment, and any chance of red grouse? I also believe it's a good place for whinchat and flycatcher species...?

My plan is to head up there on my bike from the coast, so I won't be able to head too far off the track... is it naive to think I might see any of the above species without heading off the beaten track along hiking routes?
As others have said August isn't the best time to be heading up there, without wishing to be negative you'll struggle for Ring Ouzel imo. I was guiding in that area a month ago and we saw Whinchat, Spotted Fly, Red Grouse, 2 adult and 3 juv Ring Ouzels (the juveniles were fully fledged though still 'attached' to the adults, they are likely to be independent by now) the Ring Ouzels took a great deal (2 hours) of patient scanning of the hillsides up one of the burns. Lots of Lesser Redpolls.
You are likely to get Whinchat and Spotted Fly still, possibly juvenile Cuckoo may still be around and Red Grouse is likely too though tough without a scope.
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 15:33   #8825
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Ring Ouzel juv at Housey. Came within about 2 metres of me.
May have already gone but this was an easy spot.
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