Thursday, 21 May 2015


I've been away for a couple a weeks and have successfully managed to miss both lesser yellowlegs and pec sand on the scrapes during that time...... Typical eh !!

All a bit gripping, but it's nice to know the scrapes are producing some good birds this spring. 

A flying visit down there today and the only waders present were 2 ringed plover. However, a drake garganey was a brucie bonus.......

Drake garganey on the scrapes today.....

Monday, 4 May 2015


A quick thrash around the patch yesterday evening after all that rain and there were a few migrants in evidence....

At the Tin Church there was a single redwing and 3 garden warblers (my first of the year), then down at the pool there was a grasshopper warbler (my first of the year) and one of those grey looking willow warblers.

Finally on the scrapes there were 3 female yellow wagtails, 5 white wagtails and a single black-tailed godwit amongst the usual suspects.

Sunday, 3 May 2015



On Friday the spotted redshank was joined by a cracking drake garganey !

Great looking birds.
Spotshank and garganey meet ! An awful record shot, but a very rare event for the scrapes.
Also present on the scrapes were 4 white wagtails and the female pintail still.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Still Present.....

....... No not that bloody hudwit !

I am of course referring to the spotshank which is still present on the scrapes today, a superb bird.

As with yesterday it seems to be feeding well again. Also present were a summer plumaged blackwit, 3 ringed plover, the usual redshanks and oycs and 5 white wagtails.

Dabbling ducks were well represented today with pintail, gadwall, shoveler, wigeon, teal and mallard all present. Sadly no garganey tho.....

Garden Tick !!.....

......... and not a bird I had on my garden radar to be honest.

I had to double take this afternoon when I looked out of the window to see these trundling across our lawn.

Grey Partridge are great birds ! Just need a corncrake to do the same thing now.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


With the cold north westerlies taking hold I decided not to visit the patch today, I've had 2 days of not many birds and quite a lot of jobs at home to catch up on.

A text winged in mid morning from Tom, one of this years Farnes wardens. It read something along the lines of "in case you haven't been down today there is a spotted redshank on the scrapes"....... Nice one Tom and thanks for the text !

10 minutes later I was down there watching a superb summer plumaged spotted redshank, the first spring spotshank I have ever seen on the scrapes. Some record shots below..... what a stunner !

Surprisingly this bird remained until this evening, all of the previous birds I have seen here have dropped in but stayed less than 5 minutes before departing ! It seemed to be feeding well so maybe the scrapes have developed to provide more spotshank food than previously ?

The spotshank was rather agressive towards redshank, often chasing them and giving them a battering if they came too close.....

'Gerrof my patch !'

Also on the scrapes today....

5 dunlin
4 ringed plovers
1 yellow wagtail
5 white wagtails

Down at the pool both reed and sedge warbler were singing and the female marsh harrier was still floating around the area.


The weekend saw the winds swinging to the north west and the general flow of migrants slowing up a little.

A flog around the patch on Sunday morning produced no new birds at Low Newton, wagtail numbers on the scrapes had dropped off and there was no sign of that channel wagtail.

The only new birds were a few wheatears and a cracking male whinchat at Football Hole, sadly it was too flighty to get any pics.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Channel Wagtail

A flying visit and a quick check of the scrapes this arvo produced a cracking looking channel wagtail amongst the yellow wags. Record shots only tho I'm afraid.....

Channel wagtail with a white wagtail in the foreground.
Today there were 5 yellow and 6 white wagtails present, also a LRP and 2 common sands.

Nice to see that every local garage, outbuilding, shed and bird hide now seems to have these in residence, spring has well and truly arrived ! 

Noisy swallow....

In The Week.....

Regular checks of the patch this week have revealed a steady increase in the number of summer visitors including whitethroats and sedge warblers. There have also been a couple of grey/buff looking willow warblers in amongst the mix, presumably acredula.

I've been checking the local horse paddocks daily for a ring ouzel or black redstart (or hoopoe - in my dreams !!), but no joy, although I met a bloke who saw a ring ouzel a little further south towards Dunstanburgh earlier in the week.

The scrapes have seen a daily turn over of birds with yellow and white wagtail numbers fluctuating and also northern golden plover and whimbrel dropping in. 3 nice summer plumage dunlin have been regular over a few days along with a couple of ringed plover.

An unusual highlight of the week came when I looked out of an upstairs window at home to see a little egret flying from the shore directly towards me. It continued in a straight line towards our place eventually lifting up at the last minute to skim over the roof, it passed so close to the window it felt like I could have leant out and grabbed it ! Probably my closest ever view of a little egret.