Twitching . . .Goosander, and other news.

To get a good number of birds in NZ26 I do have to respond to other people’s sightings.  So a tweet from @whitleybirder of 4 Goosander on Leazes Park Lake was really welcome.  Even if it means that as others have been to or are planning to go to Aberdeen for the Harlequin I am working out how to get to see Goosander.

The lake was half frozen so the birds were easily seen and there were now 6 birds ( 2 drakes).  65 for the year.image

50-60 Black-headed Gulls sat on the ice allowed a check for rings and this time there really was one. T90N deserves to get its own blog post later but I was pleased with this find.

Number 66 of the year was a Dunlin at low tide by the Scotswood Bridge in B.  This did get bird of the day award over close second, Dipper.  This bird was feeding in the shoals exposed at low tide on the Derwent behind Swalwell B&Q – what glamour.

Outside of NZ26 I found two Waxwings ahead of an early meeting in Stockton.  This keeps up a good record of me finding my own Waxwings in 9 out of the last 10 winters. It does give me a problem, of I will probably need to go for someone else’s Waxwing in a year when, I have already found my own.  Not a real problem though you can’t see too many Waxwings.

This was passed though as bird of the week, by number 67. Back to W and the place where Britain’s first Grosbeak was found.


My find was not so spectacular but will cause some debate as to whether it should go on the list I am sure.

Along the river East from the farm at Bill Quay.  The air was full of Herring Gulls going bananas.  The river here is steep sided and I was looking down onto the spectacle.  The cause of this excitement was about 30 metres above them and for a few moments 10 metres directly over me.  A male Goshawk.  Close enough to see the long white display feathers and see there were were no obvious jessies.  I have heard there is a falconer with some large brown bird that uses an open area west up the Tyne, but the Gos after a a few minutes of really good views drifted East towards Hebburn and was lost to view.

And finally, I accidentally set my alarm an hour early one day but the plus side was a Tawny Owl calling from nearly in the garden at 5.30.  Always half full!