Monday, 30 November 2009

Bali here we come............

As the hail rattles down my chimney I can't help but feeling rather smug that in 48 hours I will be in Bali, sea watching from my hotel balcony, watching my first white-tailed tropic bird, and supping my first bottle of Bintang. Bonza! Rest assured I will keep you updated on how my tan is coming on :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Where there's water, there's a Water Pipit

If you venture out to see the Water Pipit at St Mary's, then here's a tip - take your wellies! From the Seaton Sluice end the paths are flooded, and that of course is where I started my pipit hunt. Once I got to the farthest point from where I parked, i.e. the north end of Whitley Bay beach, there was the pipit. Managed to get some video despite it being very flighty. Click here to view

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Short-eared Owl at Prestwick Carr

The sun was set by the time I found a couple of Short-eared owls at Prestwick Carr this evening. I managed to get a little video of one being hassled by a crow. Click here to view.

Bill 'the bike' told me that there are at least four, possibly six, short-eared owls at present, best seen from the goat pen on the bumpy road. And, as a bonus, there's a good chance of a barn owl or two. My advice is get there at 3.30pm for a 4pm start. Two young Buzzards still present in the field seen from the sentry point and another was seen flying.

Not every Woodcock makes it

This poor fellow was found on Whitley Bay seafront being dined on by crows. Thankfully there are plenty more that made it including one that flew through my garden yesterday. A garden tick!

Otter - Gone Fishing

I was fishing a lake near Longtown in Cumbria a couple of weeks ago when this Otter decided to join me. I hope it had better luck than I did. Click here to see the video.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ready, Aim, Fire! (Videoscoping at Beadnell Bay)

My intention today was to video short eared owl, but no such luck. I walked along Beadnell Bay, to the Long Nanny and climbed one of the dunes to get a good vantage point. No owls, but I found several Roe Deer about a mile away and wondered if I could videoscope them at such a distance. No problem - click here to see the result.

Still no owls but I came across a large circle of Fungi in the Dunes. Dunno what it is so it looks like I'm gonna have to invest in yet another field guide.

Not much else to report other than a large Common Gull Roost on the beach, oh and a flock of Twite I videoscoped - click here to view

Saturday, 14 November 2009

A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

Whenever I'm in Goa there's just one guide I use, Lloyd Fernandes; he catches birds with his hat! He sent me this pic a couple of weeks ago of him holding an Indian Pitta. It has taken up residence in his garden this winter and has become rather tame. Lloyd's other tricks include hypnotising nightjars in the Western Ghats with a spotlight. Here's the video to prove it - click here.

Seriously though folks, if you are going to Goa, get in touch and I'll give you Lloyd's contact details. He's the real deal.

The Invaders Have Arrived

This wee critter was seen in a Tynemouth garden on 28th Oct 2009 . Thanks to the clever people at the Harlequin Survey HQ (, it has been confirmed as a Harlequin Ladybird -'a dark version of the 'succinea' colour form. Late-emerging ones are often dark and heavily-spotted'.

Starlings are totally gorgeous

Starlings might just be one of most beautiful birds there are. In spring plumage they are quite stunning and, in the winter, their aerobatics are mesmerising. I captured some video of a flock coming together to roost just west of Haydon Bridge, Northumberland - click here to view.

Prestwick Carr

Went to Prestwick Carr at about 1pm and parked up by the house and walked up to the sentry point on the public bridleway. There were good flocks of Fieldfare with a few Redwing and Mistle Thrushes mixed in. There was a single Brambling amongst a small flock of Chaffinches - click here for video.

There were a couple of kestels and 3 buzzards (2 juveniles and 1 adult bird). I managed to videoscope a couple of them - click here for video.

Also caught a Willow Tit on video - click here for video.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Goa Vids Sorted at Last!

I've finally got round to sorting through video tapes from birding trips to Goa. So far I've digitised about 80 clips and stuck them on youtube. You can check them out at

The picture is of Lloyd Fernandes, our guide. He does a great breakfast!