Out a wandering Druridge area.


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Out a wandering Druridge area.

  • What a lovely time I had today!! Escaped just before lunch  .
    1st to Hauxley, 4 lovely whooper swans, 3 'local birders' arrived straight away they saw a stoat being chased by a rabbit, a sparrowhawk was mobbed by a carrion crow. 3 fluffy little grebe, widgeon were looking great as were the oystercatcher + peewit. A couple of heron floated in as well as some red shank + curlew. Loads of goldfinch in the trees by the carpark + a lovely tinkling sound announced the arrival of some sisikin  .
    Wandered down to Chevington where I'd seen the harriers but never ventured out to the ponds. The hides are something else + not sure I'll be going back in any of them on my own. Had to stand on the bench just to pin the window open - apologies for footprints - they are only wee though - the hide felt quite intimidating, esp as I was on my own. Wonderful views of a short-eared owl as it quartered the dunes + reeds sitting on the stobs for a wee while now + then.
    As I was in the hide a moorhen came into the cutting followed by a smaller bird wondered if it was a water rail but wasn't sure (till I looked at the pics!! ;-)  )
    Then met some folk that had just seen 2 bittern towards the west of the pond so of I went to see if my luck was in. Hung around but there was no booming + their camoflage was working brilliantly - no bittern - or bearded tit - or - slavonian grebe, think the light + my 8x42's were just no match for the wee grebe  . 3 lovely rbmergansers flew in from the sea. A gorgeous reed bunting was bobbing about in the buckthorn - I wonder how many walk along + never see these wonders. The hedges were teaming with wee birds - blue tit, great tit, wren,long tailed tit + the awesome wee gold finches fantastic!!
    Onto Cresswell but the light was very poor by now. A good nos Greylag geese feeding the fields on the corner of the road just north of the pond. Lots of widgeon, peewit + a few teal at the north of the pond. From the hide there were wonderful views of widgeon, peewit, mallard, curlew, mute swans, merganser. Then over the reed beds between the road + hide there was a barn owl out hunting it crossed to the dunes + went of down the coast towards Cresswell, fantastic exciting to watch. Too dark by now for the jack snipe or the long tailed duck. Then there was myown wee mini mermeration to enjoy as starlings whooped round till they fell into the reed bed!! What a racket they make chattering away toone another. A brilliant few hours out. Home to the family , pizza + a glass (or 2) of wine
    Sorry for poor pics had wee camera out with me  !! Sorry!!
  • Wow, osprey, what a day! Wonderful stuff, and I love the photos, the Shortie surveying his kingdom, and great to see Water Rail and Moorhen side-by-side :)

  • Thanks aiki.  don't get otu too often due to kids + Mr o works most weekends so always thrilled to get out + about. Beginning to know some of the birding areas in Northumberland which is wonderful, but has taken me a bit of time + effort as I'm not the most out going so goingto unknown places on my own takes courage.

    The seo was just brilliant to watch as it went too + fro it esploved the dunes!! Will have to go out soon as bittern will be (positive bird thinking!! ;-)  ) a new one for me, along with the beardy + slavonian!! Mustn't leave it too long.

    The water rail was incredible I was looking for the bittern + slavonian, saw the moorhen infront of me + at 1st thought a late brood survivor - looked again + thought no it can't be - but it was so woo hoo a lifer for me. Have been lucky with rails as many moons ago 1997ish I wandered in on a huge twitch atStodmarsh when a really unusual rail was around  it had been hidden for ages + came out just as we were there awesome but my memory of names is atroshis!!

  • Aha, that would have been the Baillon's Crake that was at Stodmarsh in 1999 I reckon. I had a similar experience in 1997 with a Little Crake at Bough Beech - got there, noticed huge crowd, wandered over to ask what was going on just as the crake strolled out of its hiding place :)

    Good luck with Bittern and Beardie and Slav next time!

  • Sounds and looks a superb day out! Love the SEO especially! Never yet seen one!

  • I see you have been wandering around one of my favourite birding areas Osprey,Druridge Bay is often our calling in spot when we stop up in Bamburgh. We are hoping to get up again  this winter.

  • Thanks all for the kind words folks!! I did have a great time all the more special as its been a rarety for me for a few yrs to do 'proper' birding, quiet hides + stable viewing have been disturbed + wobbled by enthousiastic boys;-) !!

    aiki your right it was a baillons crake a realy wonderful spot esp as it was completely by accident for us!!

    MarJusthe seo was a beauty + so close to where folk were walking. They are great as they are out in the day + even I managed adecent pic - not the same for the barn owl unfortunately:-/

    Alan it was fantastic to see the rail a first for me but will need to tack scope + big camera with me next time!! Knowing my luck it will be a day of expected birds!! Love all of those hugely though so would be quite happy.

    Seaman we have been here a wee while now but only just finding some of the wonderful birding sites which are wonderful. Bamburgh is heading to my home land + more faviliar stomping grounds. Spent the last day of the summer hols on the beach with the kids + my bins!!

    BW it was brilliant to see the owls, barns are so mysterious floating around the dunes in the half light. I had a great time being out + the water rail just topped the day of beautifully!!

  • Brilliant account of your day out, Osprey. Nice to be able to get some time for yourself. What a lot of different species you saw in just a few hours. Well done on getting a photo of the SEO, I've not seen one yet this winter. Caught my first glimpse of a Water Rail this winter but too quick to get a photo. Your shot of one alongside the Moorhen shows just how small they are. Hope you can make some more trips out.

  • Oh thanks TJ. It was great to be out + seeing the birds was brilliant esp the water rail. One of the most unexpected but wonderfully grounding aspects was listening to the still of the dusk fall + all the mummblings mutterings +mufflings of the different birds. The starlings chattering, the peewits had a call that I'd never taken the time to listen too before. There were ducks a non quacking + it was a lovely gift as I sat quietly in the hide.

    The water rail was a real surprise as I wasn't aware they were in the area, either they are seen so often they are never mentioned or I struck exceptionally lucky!! As for the size I was taken aback by that + when I first saw it I thought it was a young moorhen as it was o close + the size of their young. It was the  sticky up tail thatcaught my eye + got me thinking!! Had to wait till I got home + popped it on the screen before I could really believe it!!

    You are right I'm definately looking forward to getting out again soon.

  • Osprey,it must be difficult to get out birding when looking after 4 youngsters and Mr.O,we find even looking after our almost 3 year old grandson restrictive at times.There are some great spots in your are that do not require a lot of walking as you are probably finding out,the latest on our list is around the Cresswell village area with some great viewing from car park areas just outside the village.

  • Hi Seaman my youngest is 3yrs (other lads 7, 11 + 14) so know how it feels to be restricted Lol!!

    Haven't ventured around the Creswell village iself although the loos + icecream shop have both been frequented!!

    Spent the morning on the touch line of footbal pitches in Wooler, but haqd a great afternoon with my parents north of the border in Coldingham. Loads of curlew + cormorant.

    The beach was sounding wonderful with the waves making that sudden slap as they broke on the beach.

    Tomorrow its a morning on the rugby side lines followed by a walk through some local beech trees I hope!! If the weather is 1/2 as good as today it will be amazing!!

  • Lovely to see you writing about the Druridge area, especially Hauxley where we spent a week with our daughter and her family in the Old Schoolhouse. Kind regards