Sunday, 15 May 2011

Terns, Ducks, and the likes

On Tuesday of last week myself and a mate decided to check out the White-winged Black Tern that had turned up at East Chevington NWT in Northumberland the night beforehand. I wasn't hopeful the bird would still be present and in the interest of saving my fuel I waited until it was reported on BirdGuides as being present. Sure enough the bird had been reported as still being present and myself and my mate made our way for the short trip north to East Chevington NWT. My mate checked his phone just before we arrived on site only to be greeted with that sad face every birder hates to see on BirdGuides which symbolises negative news and the bird has gone. I still had to keep moral up and said it might come back.

We arrived on site and sat around for a good 45 minutes but the bird failed to show! We went back to the car and I decided I would have a snack before moving onto Cresswell Pond NWT for a look, I don't usually snack but it proved to be a good move. I saw my mate lift his bins and turn to his side and I saw the subject he was looking at; a small gull like bird gliding into the main pool at East Chevington NWT. He turned to me and said "That looked like the White-winged Black Tern", I smiled and he said something like "honestly". So we jumped out smiling and I peered over a nearby gate that looks along a hedge toward the pool. I caught a glimpse of about a second and knew straight away his eyes had not deceived him. We grabbed our gear from my car boot and made our way down to the hide. The bird performed excellently and it was my first summer plumaged bird; what a stunner!

(White-winged Black Tern - Andrew Kinghorn)

A quick check of Rainton Meadows DWT paid dividends when I managed to see a cracking male Ruff along with his female. Best looking Ruff I have ever seen:

(Ruff - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Ruff - Andrew Kinghorn)

On Wedensday I decided as a break from working on my Uni assignment I would have an hour or so fresh air and decided to head down to Rainton. The Ruff's were still present (this was when the above video was taken), a walk around Joe's Pond produced my first Garden Warbler of the year in full song. These are great birds in my opinion.

On Friday I went to Teesside with another mate of mine; I had one target in mind and this was Shorelark. It was a bird I missed when I went away to Israel for my unforgettable week. We went to Saltholme RSPB and had a cracking Wood Sandpiper from the new Phil Stead Hide, from here a quick check of Dorman's Pool when eagle eyed Martin spotted a cream crown Marsh Harrier hunting feet away from my window! I had incredible views of the bird before it flew up high and over Saltholme RSPB. They are truly superb birds. From here we checked North Gare where we had good views of a Shorelark on the golfcourse. As I am doing a county year list both of these birds were county year ticks for me. 

On Saturday I decided I was going to pop up to Gateshead again and this time in the hope of seeing a pair of Garganey's that had been reported earlier on the in morning. To my delight the birds were still present, although distant at first they decided after a rain shower they would move closer. Once they had moved closer I had good views of the birds bathing and preening as the videos will show. So a fairly eventful week for birding. 

(Garganey - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Garganey - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Swallow - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Sand Martin - Andrew Kinghorn) 

Until next time, Foghorn out!

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