Don't forget if you have any records or photographs of natural history in Gateshead please send then to

Sunday, 30 December 2012

30th December 2012

Only 1 more day before the new lists begin but things are so quiet it's not looking like its going to be a good start.

Today all that could be found was
Shibdon Pond - 4 Shelduck
River Tyne Costco to Timber Beach - 1 Redshank, 3 Stock Dove, 30 Teal, 1 Shelduck and 2 Common Seal.
Watergate Park - 50+ Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 8 Tufted Duck
Greenside - 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Red Kite, several Tree Sparrows visiting garden feeders
Derwenthaugh Meadows - 100 +Curlew, 20+ Redwing

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Quiet before the big day

It's all quiet before everyone empties their year-lists and gets ready to start again on the first.
Shibdon Pond - 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull

A single Long-eared Owl was flushed from one of the traditional roosts

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Todays best record - a December Little Egret

Shibdon Pond - 200 Great-Black backed Gull on the pond in the morning. At 02.45 pm a Little Egret was seen being being mobbed by Gulls before it flew off.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day Otters

 Derwenthaugh - 2 Otters at 9am today  on the bank of the Derwent at Derwenthaugh Park adjacent to Longrigg by Metropolitan House (old Metro Radio building). They were very vocal according to the observer.
Shibdon Pond - A Lesser Black-backed Gull present briefly

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A couple of sightings from Christmas Eve

A couple of sightings from Christmas Eve
Watergate Park Lake - 2 Water Rail and 1 Weasel.
Kibblesworth Grange - 1 male Pochard   

Monday, 24 December 2012

Red Kite Survey

Red Kite Survey - Ian Kerr is requesting help with a PRE-SEASON SURVEY OF RED KITES

        During late March our Red Kite population will be involved in spectacular aerial displays while some early pairs will be busy defending territories and nest-building.
Friends of Red Kites (FoRK) is organising a regional survey on the morning of  Saturday, March 23rd 2013 with three main objectives:-
•    To determine the total population in the region.

•    To map the distribution of Red Kites across the North East and:-

•    To try and establish the number of potential breeding territories.

        The Red Kite monitoring team, which records, rings and wing-tags the kites and liaises with the BTO, the Rare Birds Breeding Panel and other bodies, is a small but very enthusiastic group and obviously cannot hope to cover the entire region without help.
We already have detailed information about most, if not all, the breeding sites in the core area but need help in examining other within the recording area of the Northumberland & Tyneside and Durham bird clubs and any help from Gateshead Birders would be very welcome.
For the past two years no breeding attempts have been recorded in Northumberland which is of great concern. If the re-introduction scheme is eventually to be judged successful the species has to break out of the core area. A few years ago breeding did take place in Hexhamshire but we know that birds there were persecuted.

Red Kites are regularly noted in areas just outside the core breeding zone in the Derwent Valley and we are anxious to monitor all these sites on the day.

We have deliberately chosen to carry out the survey during the morning – between 9am and 12.30 – because experience has shown that kites are most active over potential breeding sites during that period. Later in the day they tend to drift away to forage.

Anyone who offer assistance with this one-off survey (and have the chance of finding some really spectacular birds) can e-mail me at or call me on 0191-2676974 for further details.  FoRK has limited funds available but to help with this survey can offer 25p per mile for volunteers taking part. Now that’s something you don’t get from the BTO etc!

                                                                                             IAN KERR

You'll be looking out for something like this   [Roly Ingram]

23rd December 2012 - Record of the day - Mediterranean Gull

The original Gatesheadhead Birder site ( will be getting phased out over the next couple of months, but don't worry all of our records will continue to get published here (and also on the original site while it is up). The reasons are several including cost, the flexibility of using and updating a blog and it's accessibility. Unfortunately our email account will also be changing. The new one is but the will forward any messages for a while.
So, welcome one and all.

So what was about today in the strong wind.
Birtley Reedbeds- Watching at dawn this morning, the following emerged from roost. 234 Starling, 7 Reed Bunting, 12 Chaffinch, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail and a Bullfinch. Nearly 800 Black-headed Gull flew over as did 1 Common Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, a Cormorant and 23 Lapwing.
Lamesley Water Meadows - 73 Teal, 72 Curlew, 95 Lapwing, 2 Red-legged Partridge, 1 Grey Heron and a Grey Wagtail.

One of the two Red-legged Partridges at Lamesley

Clara Vale LNR -  Long-tailed Tits, Willow Tit, Nuthatch, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Bullfinch, Jay and Kingfisher.

The Kingfisher at Clara Vale [Derek Bilton]

Watergate Park Lake - An adult Mediterranean Gull

The Mediterranean Gull at Watergate [Rob Stonehouse]

A report of an escaped golden eagle in the Derwent valley around the time of the Chopwell White-tailed Eagle sighting last month. The falconer recovered the eagle after it was hit by a car on Fellside. This was maybe the eagle first reported on birdline over Chopwell Woods?