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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Get ready for 2014

Things have been quite quiet over the Christmas holidays but it's all go from tomorrow.
A few things to try for on the 1st January are -

 Greenside - About 30 Brambling with Chaffinches in Jackie's Wood with Tree Sparrows visiting feeders in nearby gardens. Mid afternoon on 31st 50 Brambling were counted here.
Dunston Staithes - Peregrine seen several times during the Christmas period
Clara Vale LNR - Willow Tit, Yellowhammer, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Sparrowhawk, Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Great Tit, Robin, Wren, Kingfisher, Tree Sparrow, Moorhen, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Tawny Owl (heard not seen), Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Magpie & Red Kite
Shibdon Pond - 2 Tree Sparrow in a small finch flock, with up to 1,000 Lapwing, 100 Dunlin and 350 Great Black backewd Gulls roosting
Chopwell Woods - several small flocks of Crossbill
Milkwellburn Woods - Again several small flocks of Crossbill

Tree Sparrow and Willow Tit at Clara [Derek Bilton]

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Garden Birds

Rowlands Gill - 8 Waxwings feeding on berries in one garden yesterday (20th)

Clara Vale - Female Blackcap in a garden in the village today

Monday, 16 December 2013

no sign of the Egret

Far Pasture - A Scandinavian race Chiffchaff,  Willow Tit, 8 Siskin, 4 Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Common Pochard, Little Grebe and a Sparrowhawk

Lamesley water meadows - No sign of the reported Little Egret which was apparently photographed but 177 Grey Lag, 6 Canada Geese and 6 Wigeon present,.

On Saturday
Far Pasture - Kestrel, Nuthatch, Willow Tit, Goldcrest, Siskin, Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Common Pochard, Little Grebe,  Snipe, Redwing, Jay and  Sparrowhawk,

Goldcrest at Far Pasture [Derek Bilton]

Kestrel at Far Pasture [Derek Bilton]

Clara Vale - Redwing, Willow Tit, Kingfisher, Siskin,  Nuthatch and Great spotted Woodpecker

Kingfisher at Clara Vale  [Derek Bilton]

Saturday, 14 December 2013

A Egret for Christmas ?

Lamesley Water Meadows - A Little Egret briefly but thought to be still in the area
Far Pasture NR - Single Little Grebe and Common Pochard

Little Grebe and Common Pochard (below) at Far Pasture [Rob Stonehouse]

Cowen Road, Blaydon - Magpie flew over carrying nesting material

Monday, 9 December 2013

The first week of December

Cowen Road, Blaydon - a female/immature Blackcap in a garden on 2nd December, with 2 there the next day but not since.

Blackcap at Cowen Road [Peter Harvey]

Shibdon Pond- nearly 1,000 Lapwing on the pond, plus 20 Teal. Also 1 Ruff, 2 Shelduck, 2 Sparrowhawk and a Dunlin with what appeared to be a transmitter on it's back.
Marley Hill - Red Kite, 5+ Greenfinch, 5+ Chaffinch, 2 Tree Sparrow, 4 Willow Tit, 3 Bullfinch 5 Goldfinch, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Fieldfare and 50 Lapwing during the moth
LamesleyWater Meadows - A juvenile Peregrine reported on several dates during December and a single Barnacle Goose and 3 Wigeon present on 2nd/3rd.

The Barnacle Goose at Lamesley [Rob Stonehouse]

Derwenthaugh Park - Water Rail on outlet stream of Clockburn Lake on 2nd.
Watergate Park - 50+ Siskin on 3rd.
Far Pasture NR : 24 Wigeon, 38 Coot, 8 Tufted Duck.
Sled Lane Pond : 20+ Common Snipe and a Kingfisher.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

It's now December

It's now December but here's the last of November's records.

Shibdon Pond - about 200 Lapwing flocking, pair of Shelduck.
River Tyne at Derwenthaugh - 200 Golden Plover
Milkwellburn Woods - Crossbills seen on a number of days during the last couple of days. Also 1 Woodcock.
Westfield Pasture- 1 Woodcock
Greenside - 10+ Brambling with Chaffinch flock in the beech wood. Tree Sparrow visiting feeders in the village

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday 24th

Sunday 24th

Sled Lane Pond - 26 Wigeon. 6 Tufted Duck and a Water Rail this morning.
Clara Vale - 4 Tree Sparrows in a garden in village. On the reserve - A nice male Siskin and a Willow Tit amongst the commoner species
Far Pasture NR - Willow Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Stoat, Jay, & Sparrow-hawk

Siskin at Clara Vale this morning [Derek Bilton]

Friday, 15 November 2013

A Walk in the cold

A walk in the cold yesterday, in the Burdon Moor area produced Great-spotted Woodpecker,10 Mistle thrush, 25+ Redwing, 8 Fieldfare ( one which was taken by a Sparrowhawk), 1 Common  Buzzard, a Common Snipe, 10 Grey Partridge, 5 Lapwings, and 4 Meadow Pipit.

The  Fieldfare taken by a Sparrowhawk [Richard Walker]

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Still some good birds around if you look

St. Cuthbert's Pond, Whickham - 10 Teal and 2 Fieldfare

Watergate - 1 Little Grebe, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Curlew and 1 Redpoll.

Lamesley Water Meadows - 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 17 Curlew.

Burdon Moor - 1 Peregrine, 1 Red Kite, 1 Kestrel, 1 Skylark and 1 Meadow Pipit.

Far Pasture Nature Reserve  -  1 Water Rail, a Kingfisher, 20+ Common Snipe, 1 Willow Tit and a juvenile Peregrine flew over

Shibdon Pond - 1 Ruff and 1 Shelduck. Also 100+ Lapwing, 40+ Teal, Kingfisher, Red  Kite, 60+ Black-headed Gull

Team Valley Trading Estate - 1 Woodcock at the Royal Mail Car Park at 21:15hrs

Peregrine at Burdon Moor [Rob Stonehouse]

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Waders at Lamesley

Lamesley Water Meadows - 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a Green Sandpiper present this morning.

A couple of adult Meds

4 November

Clara Vale - 1 Red Admiral

6 November

Watergate - 2 adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Water Rail, 1 Little Grebe and 13 Tufted Duck.

One of the Mediterranean Gulls at Watergate [Rob Stonehouse]

Lamesley Water Meadows - 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Curlew and 1 Tree Sparrow.

7 November

Watergate - 2 Water Rail,  3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Jay and 15 Tufted Duck.

Burdon Moor - c30 Meadow Pipit,  2 Skylark,  6 Reed Bunting and 13 Redwing.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Last week's bits & pieces

Shibdon Pond - 11 Cormorants arrived to roost on 28th The following plants were still in flower Yarrow, Autumnal Hawkbit, Common Ragwort, Creeping Cinqefoil, Scentless Mayweed and Dandelion.  Common Darter and Migrant Hawker present up to 30th at least
Far Pasture NR held 22 Common Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 4 Red Kite, 2 Little Grebe and 10 Teal on 30th. Also  Common Darter and Migrant Hawker.
Clara Vale LNR - 11 Redwing, 2 Goldcrest and a Willow Tit.
Greenside - Brambling still on the beech wood.

Little Grebe out of water at Far Pasture

and Redwing at Clara Vale [Both Michael Eccles[

Monday, 28 October 2013

Doorstep Newt

 Dyke Heads - A Great Crested Newt visited one observer's doorstep
Shibdon Pond - Single Ruff and Kingfisher. 400+ Lapwing


Great Crested Newt  at Dyke Heads  [Christine Wisher]

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The last few days

The last few days

Clara LNR -   5 Speckled wood, 2 Red Admirals, 12 Redwing, Willow Tit.
Marley Hill - 7 Redwing and 8 Mistle Thrushes, also 1 Red Kite, Kestrel and 8 Bullfinch
Dunston - Small Tortoiseshell in the vicarage garden
Far Pasture NR - 10 Common Snipe
 Crawcrook Quarry -  Corn Spurrey in flower  

Speckled Wood[Gordon Pollinger]

Corn Spurrey [Gordon Pollinger]

Friday, 18 October 2013

Mid-October flutterbyes

Cowen Road, Blaydon - 1 Small White butterfly as well as several bumblebee sp. 
Far Pasture NR - 2 Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard, 24 Redwing. Still many Common Darters on the wing, plus a female Southern Hawker and a probable Common Hawker, a very fresh-looking Comma, a probable Small White and a very ragged Meadow Brown.
Greenside - 1 Brambling

Comma at Far Pasture [Alan Mould]

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Saturday, 12 October 2013

12th October 2013

Shibdon Pond - 200+ Greater Black Backed Gulls on the pond this morning , 3 Gadwall and several Shoveler

Friday, 11 October 2013

Last of the butterflies and the Redwings are here

Yesterday, 10th October
Greenside - 13 Redwing over and small numbers of Song Thrushes flying over.

1-2 Redwing were also noted at other sites in the borough today

9th October
Derwent Walk Country Park -1  House Martin over Nine Arches Viaduct

8th October
Dunston -2 Red Admiral and 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Given the weather forecast perhaps the last butterflies for the year

Small Tortoiseshell at Dunston [Rev. David Atkinson]

Shibdon Pond - 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruf, 1 Greenshank, Redshank, 13 Dunlin, 10 Golden Plover, 400+ Lapwing,  30+ Common Snipe and a Water Rail in front of hide. Still a few Migrant Hawkers on the wing

7th October
Dunston - Red Admiral in the Vicarage garden

Red Admiral at Dunston [Rev. David Atkinson]

5th October
East Bradley Fell - 6 Redwing over this morning plus light passage of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails. Also Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk and singing Chiffchaff.  House Martin and 2 Swallow over the village.

4th October
East Bradley Fell-  2 possible Ring Ouzel heard but elusive in thick hedgerow before flying off high out of view.
Shibdon Pond - 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 12 Dunlin, c35 Common Snipe, c60 Redshank, c100 Lapwing.

2014 will mark the 10th Anniversary of the release of the first Red Kite chick in Gateshead's Lower Derwent Valley and the 5th Anniversary of the formation of the Friends of Red Kites. There are plans to celebrate. One of which is a Photographic competition, which is open to Members, non-Members and Young Persons. Details are on our website at:

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Late news for the first few days of the month

3rd October
Shibdon Pond - 9 Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Lapwing, Common Snipe,  Sheldduck and Shoveler. Plus a few Migrant Hawkers on the wing 

1st Oct
Shibdon Pond - 2+ Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, 400+ Lapwings, Shoveler, Snipe and Water Rail. Plus a Speckled Wood sampling the Apple juice nectar
Speckled Wood on apple  [George Simpson]

Monday, 30 September 2013

Another nice garden bird

Whickham - Continuing with good garden ticks. One observer had an adult Mediterranean Gull drift over Ancaster Road. Presumably its the bird that's been regularly visiting Shibdon.


Cowen Road, Blaydon - Single Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, and Blackcap. Also Speckled Wood butterfly.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Saturday 28th September 2013

Greenside- - Flock of 150+ Chaffinch

Dryden Road, Saltwell - 1 Chiffchaff and nearby a Sparrowhawk caught a young Pigeon
Cowen Road, Blaydon - 1 Chiffchaff
Shibdon Pond - 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Greenshank

Comma at Dunston vicarage [Rev. David  Atkinson]

Wednesday 25th September 

Shibdon Pond - Still 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank

Tuesday 24th September 

Lamesley Water Meadows - 1 Black-tailed Godwit

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Garden tick

Yesterday, 23rd September
Winlaton  - A single Greenshank flew over calling just before 6pm,  a  nice garden tick for one lucky observer.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Shibdon Pond - 2 Greenshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff and a Dunlin
Lamesley Water Meadows - 4 Black-tailed Godwit.
Burdon Moor area - Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk with 2 Gadwall on a small pond. Also Swallow, House Martins and a few Willow Warbler.
Near Marley Hill - Red-legged Partridge and Grey Partridge
Cowen Road, Blaydon - 1 Red Kite over yesterday
 Dunston - 2 Large and 1 Small White, 3 Peacock and a single Small Tortoiseshell all in the vicarage garden

Small Tortoiseshell at Dunston [Rev. David Atkinson]

Saturday, 21 September 2013


Shibdon Pond -   2 Greenshank

Yesterday (20th September)

Shibdon Pond - 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 4 Shoveler and 1 Mediterranean Gull

Black-tailed Godwits at Shibdon [Rob Stonehouse]

Mediterranean Gull at Shibdon [Rob Stonehouse]

Burdon Moor - 1 Little Owl and 1 Snipe.
Marley Hill - 3 Red Kite
Blaydon - Chiffchaff (singing on occasion) in a garden in Cowen road

15th Sept
Shibdon Pond - 8 Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank (catching fish), Ruff, Common Snipe, Redshank, Lapwing and Mediterranean Gull

It's been reported that the flock of 13 Black-tailed Godwits on 13th September consisted 12 Black-tailed & 1 Bar-tailed Godwit

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Mainly Chiffchaffs


Ryton - Single Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff in one observer's garden.
Low Fell - Single Chiffchaffs in a garden and at Saltwell Park

12 Sept
Cowen Road, Blaydon - 2 or 3 Chiffchaff
Shibdon Pond - 4 Black-tailed Godwits, three subsequently left flying off west, 4 Greenshank, 2 Ruff, 120+Lapwing, 100+Redshank, Common Snipe and  Kingfisher , Also Migrant Hawker.

Migrant Hawker at Shibdon [George Simpson]

Shibdon Pond - 13 Black-tailed Godwits on the 13TH, Greenshank, Ruff, Redshank, Common Snipe, Lapwing and Shoveler

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Yesterday and last weekend - a bit late I know

Yesterday (9th September)

Shibdon Pond - Ruff, Greenshank,Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Shoveler

Black-tailed Godwit at Shibdon [Paul Davidson]

Last weekend 

Tanfield Railway - Red Kite and Common Buzzard  
Burdon Moor - 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 100 Lapwing
Marley Hill - 1 Green Woodpecker 
Cowen Road, Blaydon - Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler in a tit flock, plus Speckled Wood
HaggHill, Derwent valley - 5 Common Buzzard
Kibblesworth brickworks Pool - Black Darters showed well

A tatty Speckled Wood at Blaydon [Peter Harvey]

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Shibdon still has stuff

Yesterday 6th

Shibdon Pond - 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Godwit invasion

Shibdon Pond  12 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank, 1 Ruff, 20+ Snipe, 20+ Redshank, 20+ Lapwing and 2 Red eared terrapin
Lamesley Water Meadows - 3 Black-tailed Godwit,  1 Green sandpiper, 20+ Snipe, 10+ Redshank, 20+ Lapwing

3 of the Black-tailed Godwits at Shibdon [Steven Fryer]

Yesterday (3rd)

Shibdon Pond - Snipe  Ruff , Greenshank , Redshank , Lapwings and a Common Buzzard

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Return Passage

Winlaton Mill - Large movement of swallows and house martins plus 3 swift south  this am.
Shibdon Pond - 1 Greenshank, 2 Ruff and 2 Green Sandpiper
Lamesley Water Meadows - Single Green Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit

Late News Friday
Shibdon Pond - 2 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and 2 Water Rail.
Burdon Moor - 1 Little Owl, 1 Common Lizard and good numbers of Wall and Speckled Wood.

Common Lizard at Burdon Moor [Rob Stonehouse]

Speckled Wood at Burdon Moor [Rob Stonehouse]

Far Pasture NR - 1 Kingfisher.
Metrocentre - Probable Crane heading north west from Metro Centre at 5pm.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Wheatears going back

Watergate Park - Tufted Duck and 2 Little Grebe.
Burdon Moor  - 5 Wheatear, 2 Common Snipe and 10+ Pied Wagtail.
Tyne Wear trail  Burdon moor to Watergate - 15 Grey Partridge and 7 Curlew

Burdon Moor  - 1 Wigeon & a Moorhen on a very small pond

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Shibdon's waders today

Shibdon Pond - 1 Greenshank, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Water Rail and Redshank
Derwenthaugh - On a little flash that has formed on the other side of A1 - Grey Wagtail and 1 Pied Wagtail 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Mainly Whitethroats

Dyke Heads Lane - A small flock of Common Whitethroat and lots of Peacock butterflies in adjacent field.
Ryton - A Common Whitethroat which popped in briefly (garden tick) and a Silver Y moth.

Silver Y & Common Whitethroat in a Ryton garden today [Paul Davidson]

Burdon Moor - This morning. 4 Common Buzzards and  2 Red Kite .
Greenside - 2 Purple Hairstreak

Late news, Monday
 Stargate Ponds - Black Darter, Common Hawker, Southern Hawker and Common Darter all seen, plus a possible Ruddy Darter.

Black Darter [top], Common Hawker [middle] and Southern Hawker at Stargate on Bank Holiday Monday [Derek Bilton]

Monday, 26 August 2013

On Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday

Burdon Moor- 5 Spotted Flycatcher and several Southern Hawkers
Shibdon Pon- 2 Greenshank, 2 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper and a Migrant Hawker

The Common Sandpiper at Shibdon [Paul Davidson]


Timber Beach - 1 Ruff on mud and 2 Common Tern

The Ruff at Timber beach [Paul Davidson]

Shibdon Pond - 2 Greenshank
Lamesley water meadows - 2 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Snipe, 7 Wigeon and 3 Shoveler

Shoveler at Lamesley [Paul Davidson]

Dunston - Painted Lady and Peacock in Vicarage

Painted Lady & Peacock in the Vicarage garden at Dunston [Rev. David Atkinson]

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Waders galore

This morning
Lamesley water meadows - 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Snipe, 5 Wigeon and a juvenile Shelduck.
Shibdon Pond - 3 Greenshank and 5 Common Snipe

Friday, 23 August 2013

Mainly waders and flycatchers

Near Burdon Moor - 3 Spotted Flycatcher.
Shibdon Pond - 2 Greenshank, 20 Redshank, 1 Common Snipe.
Far Pasture NR -  2 Green Sandpiper and a Common Snipe.
Cowen Road, Blaydon - 1 Blackcap

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Since I've been gone

Back from Croatia and here is what I've missed.


Lamesley Water Meadows - 2 Ruff and a Black-tailed Godwit

Ruff at Lamesley [Steven Fryer]

Shibdon Pond - 2 Greenshank

Greenshank at Shibson [Steven Fryer]

Winlaton Mill area - Purple Hairstreak, Speckled wood, Wall, Peacock, Large white, Comma and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.
Timber Beach - 3 Dunlin


16th August
Burdon Moor - 2 Wheatear, Skylark and 7 Curlew with a Spotted Flycatcher and Red Kites nearby. 

Peacock at Low Fell [Ali Campbell]

18th August
Lamesley Water Meadows - 2 Ruff and a Green Sandpiper
Burdon moor - 3  Whinchat 

Whinchats at Burdon Moor [Steven Fryer]

Shibdon pond - 1 Greenshank

Greenshank at Shibdon [Paul Davidson]

Far Pastures NR- Plenty of Common Darters

19th August
Shibdon Pond - 2 Greenshank 
Lamesley Water Meadows - 2 Ruff and a Green Sandpiper
Timber beach - 9 Golden plover  
Burdon Moor - No sign of any Whinchats

21st August
Shibdon Pond - 2 Greenshank
Lamesley Water Meadows - 2 Ruff

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A few updates

Cowen Road, Blaydon - Chiffchaff and a singing Willow Warbler. Also Comma and Peacock butterfly

Yesterday 14th
Shibdon Pond - 3 Common Tern and a Water Rail in front of hide

Cowen Road, Blaydon - 1 Common Darter

Tuesday 13th 
Shibdon Pond - Comma , Peacock , Small Tortoiseshell, Large White Small White , Green Veined White, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown on the wing today

Monday 12th
Shibdon pond - black tailed godwit, water rail
Lamesley flash pool - 2 Ruff
Timber beach - 1 Common sandpiper

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A few more Commas

A few more Commas hatching with adults on the wing at Blaydon & Low Fell as well as other more regular sites. Purple Hairstreak again in a garden at Greenside.

Comma at Low Fell [Ali Campbell]

Monday, 12 August 2013

The same waders about


Lamesley Water Meadows - 2 Ruff still
Shibdon Pond - 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Redshank and 2 Snipe.

One of the Ruff at Lamesley [Paul Davidson]
Greenside - 1 Purple Hairstreak
Westfield Pasture - 5 Purple Hairstreak
Clara Vale - The micromoth Catoptria margaritella caught was the first for the borough since 2008

Catoptria margaritella  [Gordon Pollinger]