Sunday, 30 November 2008

Waxwings - Preston(Victoria Street) - 30th November 2008

Statue of Sir Tom Finney with Icycles hanging off it!

For the third consecutive Day i was awoken to the sight of a pale grey frosting on every surface, and the air just screamed Waxwings. I knew that there were suprisingly decent numbers in Preston so we checked Stocks Road in Ashton first which drew a blank. Next stop was Victoria Street near to the Uni where even from a distance, the camouflaged Lenses of the assembled Cameramen/Birders ironically stuck out like a sore thumb. Present on Arrival were estimated c45 Waxwings...what a wonderful sight! I hope to visit here more often during the working week during my free periods at college


Saturday, 8 November 2008

North East Region - 8th November 2008

Black Grouse - Langdon Beck

We stayed in the centre of Newcastle on the evening of the 7th and headed back to Preston on the morning of the 8th stoping off at various sites to observe landmarks that the North East certainly isn't lacking! (the Bridges in Newcastle, the Opera house in Newcastle, Angle of the North, St James Park, Stadium of Light, Riverside, Transporter Bridge in Middlesborough, the Train Statue in Darlington as well as Teesdale High Force to name but a few!)

The Morning began with a spot of Sea watching with several decent birds turning up past Seaham south of Sunderland. Phalarops sp >S(presumed Grey Phalarope due to long wing progection and dark grey rather than almost black wings as on red necked...could not confirm however) 2 Black throated diver (lifer) >N, juv Gannet >N, fem Common Scoter >S, (and a rock pipit as my 'sea watching companion') but apart from that the sea watching was a little dull after about an hour so we moved on
Our next birding site was Langdon Beck near Barnard Castle but heading through Darlington a single Waxwing flew over the road next to the railway statue. At Langdon Beck, the Black Grouse were showing rather well until I got out of the car and all 24 of the males flew to a distant field on the hillsides. I did not locate any females just like last time.
On the trip home, I made a few sightings that proved quite pleasing and interesting. A female Kestrel was mobbing a male Merlin near Kirby Stephen, at Least 1000 Jackdaw flew over Kirby Stephen at Dusk making quite a racket and a large movement of Fieldfare over the moors as night fell.