Sunday, 31 January 2010

Blockers - Do we all have em'?

I am sure some of my followers will have blockers? Birds that you can’t seem to see and add to your life list. I am not all about listing birds but I do keep a list and very much so enjoy listing, as you can tell from my new BUBO listing gadget.

My blockers are common birds! I am going to go through a few of my blockers. You don’t care? Fine! LEAVE! ;)

If you do care please continue to read on:

1) Wood Sandpiper – Despite havening gone to look for this fantastic wader I have still failed to see one. Could it be an addition to my life list this year? We’ll see.

2) Sooty Shearwater – I haven’t done much sea watching and when I have I haven’t seen much to be honest.

3) Pomarine Skua – See above description to why I probably haven’t seen one yet.

4) Common Crossbill – WHAT!? Yes that’s right, I have had Eastern Crowned Warbler but not Common Crossbill. Go figure.

5) Bewick’s Swan – I could tick this bird………….but a holiday to Norfolk/ Suffolk to see one is a bit to pricey at the moment. I never got a chance to go and see the birds in Durham in October. When I thought I saw 2 different birds a few weeks later they turned out to the Bloopers. Then ID’d as Whoopers.

6) Bean Goose – Again, there where some in Durham but I never got a chance to go and see them! I am still sad about that.

7) Woodcock – Again, go figure! I just can’t seem to find a Woodcock despite hoping fences and looking in the appropriate areas with Cut’n a Long story Short.

8) Wood Warbler – Have heard one but never saw it! Grrrrrrr.

They are some of the commoner ones. I hope to tick of 10 or so not mentioned here when I got to Norfolk/Suffolk in May/June with the rest of Stew’s Crew.

Woodcock and Crossbill, I still can’t believe I haven’t seen either yet.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Teesside + Life Tick

Areet folks? Havn’t had much time to post this week due to the mountains of work that I have on at the moment. Saturday is my day off so I thought I would update my blog.

First of all I think it might be a good idea to leave my mountain of work as I am sure a pair of Golden Eagle will eventually start circling it, or even better a White-tailed eagle? Secondly I got a life tick during the week! I went to Silksworth Lake in Sunderland to see the Black-necked Grebe that is present there. It was no kidding about 5-6 ft of it! What a showy bird. This was life tick number 230, making it British tick 228. This bird has been very controversial and I have voiced my opinions on Nerdforum (I might leave soon)

So we arrive at today (30th) and the second of last day in January! Me, DC, SA, and AR headed down south to Teesside for some birding. We decided not to go for the Black-necked Grebe again at Silksworth and instead just head to Teesside. Hopes where raised when the Bonaparte’s Gull was last seen flying over to Seaton Snook in County Durham. However there was no sign today at all and we even looked. Me and DC spent a while scanning the gulls on the beach near Seaton Carew but there was no sign at all of anything rare apart from 2 Mediterranean Gull. No Glaucous or Iceland Gull! Damn.

We had some good birds and loads of year ticks: Rock Pipit, Shelduck, Gadwall, Black Redstart, Twite, etc. I got about 11-12 in total. I can’t really remember to be honest. Black Redstart?!?! It was more than just a year tick as it was a life tick as well. Number 231 at that, British 229. We headed onto Greatham Creek to see what was about. We walked to the seal sands hide in Teesside and when I got near the end I saw a small grebe and DC (who was watching it) turned around and looked at me and said “Black-necked Grebe!”. I got my scope on it and it showed really well! What a fantastic little bird .

A good day all around and we bumped into Scuzz and JB and had a good bit crack. So all in all a good day, I am just looking forward to my next outing.

(Black-necked Grebe, Greatham Creek - Derek Charlton)

(Twite, Greatham Creek - Derek Charlton)

(Black Redstart, Newburn Bridge - LIFE TICK! - Derek Chalrton)

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Why not follow Cut'n a Long story Short?

Hi everyone,

A friend of mine from Durham Bird Club has just joined Blogspot. Steve’s blog is already looking fantastic and everything I have read so far has been very interesting, his blog is called “Cut’n a Long story Short”

Steve is very into local patch birding and is passionate about owls as much as I am about white-tailed eagles.

So why not follow him:

Fog....I mean Andrew Kinghorn

Goota' love them ducks

Whilst out birding yesterday with Brian (Killy birder) I received a text message of a Ring-necked Duck down in Teesside. I had been looking on BirdGuides the previous night at Ring-necked Duck as there was a bird down in South Yorkshire near Old Moor RSPB on a lake.

So this afternoon very kindly my Dad said to me that he would take me down to see the bird that was at Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park. What a cracker! This was life tick 229 and British tick number 227. The bird showed really well and it was a drake so I was well pleased with that. On the way I had 200c flock of Fieldfare around Rainton Meadows.

The only downside to this weekend was when I got home and signed onto the DBC page I found out that I had missed out on a Bittern that came in at dusk! Darn a year tick down the drain. But you can’t win them all!

Year List stands at: 84


Sunday, 17 January 2010

Yorkshire yesterday - But why?

So I went to Yorksire yesterday, but why? To be continued.
Right NOW!

A good day yesterday. Woke up nice and early to go to Tesco and do the shopping with my Dad. Got home and took the rabbit to the vets to get weighed! That’s right……..bunny’s do get a little bit fat but don’t criticise my bunny as I am sure you are carrying a few extra pounds! That pointless rant was for comic effect. lol

After that I came home and had my lunch and them off to North Yorkshire. Now why would I be going to Yorkshire? Fish and Chips? Well yes actually, we went for Fish and Chips in Scarborough but before that we went to Newholm in North Yorkshire to see the Black-throated Thrush that is still present. (Act like you are surprised, I know it’s difficult)

The Black-throated thrush showed really well. When I arrived the fella’ next to me said it had just flown off. At this point I twisted my face and thought I would be standing in the rain for ages looking for it. About 1 minute late it landed in a tree next to the garden for about 40 seconds and then flew off. About 5-10 minutes later the rain nearly stopped and the thrush returned and showed ridiculously well only disappearing a few times and not for very long. At one point I thought about picking it up, bagging it, and bringing it up to Durham and ticking it as a County Tick! Well not really but it did show very well.

(Black-throated Thrush - Newholme, N Yorks)

Life List update: 228 - Black-throated Thrush
British List update: 226 - Black-throated Thrush

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Slender-billed Curlew – Re found?

Well……….possibly. On the 20th to the 23rd at least. There where 2 reported by a WWF Dutch volunteer whilst surveying the area. A task force from the UK is going to join the finder. Let’s just hope they are verified and they are both Slender-billed Curlews the first confirmed record since 2001! Also this gives some hope that this species is still alive and we might be able to save the Slender-billed Curlew from extinction.

I have always been in the belief that they where not extinct and that there was still some hope in finding the species. At times I have not been so confident but this has refreshed my hope and optimism they are still alive!

See the last post on this thread for full details:

Could my number one bird I want to see more than any other still be alive! Will I get a chance in the future to see this fantastic bird?

I hope you can join me in saying “I want this to be true!”

(Slender-billed Curlew flanked by two Whimbrel)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Mediterranean Mandarin

The title did get you interested. Just admit it!

Another try for the Mandarin Duck today proved successful and I saw it again. A lovely bird and un ringed so yes I am ticking it! Also present was a drake Wigeon and apart from that not much else of note. Gave some of my friends the heads up and one of them (DC – who lets me use his images) came and saw it and this was most likely a year tick for him. I went for a walk this afternoon and was hoping to see Woodcock but still no suck luck! Like Merlin this is becoming a bogey bird for me! Even though I have seen 1 definite Merlin I have never seen a Woodcock to date.

The Mediterranean Gull I discovered on Saturday still remains in the same location and showed really well and was nice to watch whilst I waited for the bus to 6th form college. I don’t have any exams until May so yes I can sit on here and type away whatever I want. A downside is that I need to work very hard throughout the year on Coursework hence why I don’t post so much!

Rant over.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

RENAME: Andrew Kinghorn - The Teen Birder

I have changed the name of my blog. Fear not, you will get used to the new name soon.

The origins of this name is when a friend from my local club was having a laugh and called me "Foghorn" which is the large chicken called Foghorn Leghorn from Cartoons. It has stuck ever since and I am now called this often so to make my blog more humerous and not so boring I have renamed my blog!

Also!!!! I forgot to mention in the last post I had another self found Med Gull about 5 mins from where I live in my village. I had some fantastic views and it was a year tick. It would have been my best self found bird had I not re found the White Stork that went missing for about a week or so.

Andrew Kinghorn

The Wanderer Returns

So I return and I have had a busy few weeks with work and trying to get back into the swing of things. I have been back from Orkney about nearly bang on a week as I got back from Orkney a week ago late evening.

I have had some fantastic birds since the 18th of December. I was on the way to get the bus into 6th from college when near the end of my estate I saw a large bird soaring above me. It took me just a few seconds then panic…..I have re found the White Stork!!!! It circled over the park after flying over my estate then away heading S, SE. This was probably an escapee but I am going to count it anyway! But then again it might well be a wild bird there is no real way to know when you actually think about it.

Then I went away to Orkney and had a fantastic time with LOADS of Hen Harriers including a bird on New Years day and this was therefore a year tick! I had at least one nearly every day! The Hen Harrier roost I went to on two occasions was fantastic and the last day I had 2 and a few days before 4-5 birds!

On Friday I had a Mandarin Duck at Chester-le-street and this was a life tick for me as well.

Happy New Year everyone!
Andrew K