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Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Last Post

Due to several reasons but especially as more and more people are now using social media to inform everyone of their sightings, fewer numbers are now examining Blogs such as this one. That's just the way it is, things change, so unfortunately this will be the last posting.
However don't worry as I know not everyone has Twitter or Facebook account so by all means email in your sightings. I have created a new Twitter account Gatesheadbirder and will tweet any sightings (and any good pictures) you email in to the Gatesheadbirder email account.

So for the last post

Thurs 10th AprilBurdon Moor - 1 Ring Ousel still present

Wed 9th April
Derwenthaugh Park between Winlaton Mill and Nine Arches Viaduct -  Willow Warblers and Blackcaps singing
Burdon Moor - 1 Ring Ousel

Ring Ousel at Burdon Moor [Paul Davidson]

Tues 8th April
Shibdon Pond  - 1 Common Sandpiper. Also Orangetip, Comma, Speckled Wood. Small White butterflies as well as Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell on the wing

Butterflies at Shibdon [George Simpson]

Mon 7th April
Paddock Hill Wood - 2 male Blackcaps in sycamores by river Derwent and Kingfisher and Goosander on the river there.

Sunday 6th April
Dunston Vicarage Garden - 2 peacock butterflies

Peacock in the Vicarage garden [Rev. David Atkinson]

Burdon Moor - No sign of the  Black Grouse.

Saturday -5th April
Clara Vale LNR - Had 24 species in 2 hours  highlights were Yellowhammer, Siskin, Tree Sparrow, Chiffchaff, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk & Kingfisher.

Siskin at Clara Vale [Derek Bilton]

Burdon Moor - Amazingly a female Black Grouse was seen  here. Also 2 Wheatear present

Friday 4th April
Lamesley water meadows - 50+ Sand Martin, 1 Swallow, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Shelduck.
Ravensworth arms - 20 tree sparrow
Watergate - Pair of Teal, 8 Tufted Duck & 2 Little Grebe on pond. Pair of Goosander and 2 Grey Wagtail over.
Ravensworth Fell - 3 pairs of Little Owl.

Little Owl at Burdon Moor [Rob Stonehouse]

Burdon Moor - 200+ Golden Plover & 2 Red-legged Partridge.
Shibdon Pond - Ruff
Blaydon - Waxwing still showing well.

Thursday 3rd April
Blaydon - Pair of Oystercatchers nesting on roof of Churchhills factory. They mnest on teh roof of Komatsu in Birtley too. Waxwing still present and Chiffchaff singing in Cowen Road
Stargate - Short-eared Owl hunting

Sparrowhawk at a garden feeder [Ali Campbell]

Monday, 31 March 2014

No sign of yesterday's waders

Blaydon - No sign of  yesterday's reported Avocet
Team Valley - 1 Tawny Owl
Shibdon Pond - 1 Ruff but the Little Ringed Plover has moved on
Axwell Park, Swalwell - 100+ Sand Martin and a Swallow
Clara Vale LNR - Single Woodcock in the nature reserve at Clara vale today. First the local observer has seen here for several years.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Avocet at Blaydon

Blaydon - Single Avocet  on the tyne today around 5pm under the old rail bridge at Banks Court.
Shibdon Pond - The wintering Ruff still present and a passage Little Ringed Plover. Several Sand Martin both here and at Lamesley Water Meadows

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wheatears and Kittiwakes


Burdon Moor - The first 2 Wheatears of the year.

Wheatear on Burdon Moor [Steven Fryer]
Tyne Bridge -  150+ Kittiwakes on the bridge.

Kittiwake on the Tyne Bridge [Steven Fryer]

Shibdon Pond -  The Ruff still present

The spring flowers are starting to appear with Lesser Celandine, Moschatel, Wood Anenome now all out

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sand Martins now in

Lamesley Water Meadows - 1 Sand Martin, 1 Pink footed Goose, 2 Shelduck, pair of Wigeon, 2 Oystercatcher, 14+ Tree Sparrows, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 adult Lesser black-backed Gull.
Cowen Road, Blaydon - Lesser Celandine and Field Wood-rush in flower

During the week
 Lots of Chiffchaffs singing around borough
Shibdon Pond - 1 Sand Martin  late morning, stayed for less than a minute before fluttering off west yesterday, Friday 21st. The first of the year.
Shibdon Pond - 1 Common Toad and Caddis-fly larvae found

Common Toad and Caddisfly larva at Shibdon [George Simpson]
Clara Vale LNR -  4 Chiffchaff singing

Singing Blue Tit and Chiffchaff at Clara Vale [Michael Eccles]

Lamesley Water Meadows - 1 Pink footed Goose, 3 Common Buzzard, 46 Teal, 12 Pied Wagtail, 14 Tree Sparrow  and 1 Oystercatcher

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mid March Marsh Tit

 Sunday 16th
Birtley reedbed pools - Now 3 Gadwall present
Shibdon Pond - Ruff still present
Metrocentre - 1 Peregrine soaring overhead

Saturday 15th
Barlow - 1 Marsh Tit the first since possibly 2011

Clara Vale LNR -  Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, Grey Heron, Goldcrest, Willow Tit and Yellowhammer 

Yellowhammer at Clara Vale [Derek Bilton]

Friday 14th
Lamesley- 24 Pink-footed Geese.

The Pink-footed Geese at Lamesley [Paul Davidson]

Team valley - Tawny owl 1 hunting & 1 singing Chiffchaff
Winlaton Mill - At  least 3 Chiffchaff singing in Winlaton Mill area of Derwenthaugh Park. 2 pairs of Goosander on river Derwent.
Shibdon Pond - No sign of the Mandarin but now a Muscovy Duck has appeared.

The Muscovy Duck at Shibdon [Carl Jewitt]

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Manadrin at Shibdon

Shibdon Pond - a drake Mandarin with the Shelducks this morning

Mandarin & Shelduck at Shibdon [George Simpson]

More from yesterday
Greenside - Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma butterflies seen.
Lamesley Water Meadows - pair mating Goosander, 3 Shelduck a pair of sparrowhawk, Kestrel on pylon above angels' head and  68 Curlew. 20+ Tree Sparrow and 2 Stock Dove behind Ravensworth Arms.

Pair of Goosander at Lamelsey [Lee Harris]

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Sled Lane - 1 Goosander, 2 Mute swan, 11 Coot, 5 Moorhen, 10+ Tufted Duck
Lamesley Water Meadows - 4 Greylag, 1 Wigeon, 100 Lapwing 4 Redshank
Clara Vale LNR - 2 Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) yesterday in a garden and a Comma there today
Crawcrook Quarry - Green Sandpiper on March 10th. Green woodpecker calling.
Shibdon Pond - Ruff still present though most of the Lapwing have now left for their breeding areas. Also a Kingfisher, a pair of Goosander, Oystercatcher, Sheldduck, Redshank and  Common Snipe. A Common Buzzard over drifting North. On the wing today  Peacock , Small tortoiseshell , Comma, hoverflies and Bumblebees

Comma, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell all enjoying the sun at Shibdon [George Simpson]

Tree Sparrow at Pennyfine Lane [Lee Harris]

Sunday, 9 March 2014

A pair of Gadwall

Today, Sunday 9th

Birtley reedbed pools - a pair of Gadwall, 2 Little Grebe & a singing Chiffchaff.
Lamesley Water Meadows -  - 95 Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, 1 Common Snipe. 30+ Tree Sparrow   behind the Ravensworth car park
Watergate - 2 Little Grebe, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Siskin & 1 Grey Wagtail.
Clara Vale - 1 singing Chiffchaff
Chopwell Woods - 50+ Crossbill, 50+ Siskin, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker & 4 Bullfinch.
Ravensworth Grange - 4 Tree Sparrow 

Tree Sparrows at Lamesley [Lee Harris]


Burdon Moor - 1 Red Kite, 200+ Golden Plover, 38 Curlew, 10 Teal- and Skylarks singing.
Lamesley Water Meadows -  89 Curlew, 1 male Wigeon, 1 Shelduck, 46 Teal, 3 Oystercatcher and 2 Common Buzzard 
Pennyfine Road, Sunniside - 1 Tree Sparrow  near Silver Hills nursery

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Chiffchaff now singing

Monday 3rd March

Far Pasture NR - Chiffchaff singing. Kingfisher on pond and Lesser Redpoll in car park. 
Shibdon Pond - 1 Ruff. 
Lamesley Water Meadows - 1 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon and 102 Curlew. 
Kibblesorth brickworks Pool - 2 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Curlew, 1 Green Woodpecker,

River near Copper wood - 2 Dipper and 1-2 Kingfisher, both giving great views. 50+ each of Canada Goose and Grey Lag in field juts over the Gateshead boundary there

Saturday 1st March

Far Pasture NR  - 5 Goldcrest around the car-park area, 4 Roe Deer in adjacent meadow, 4 Red Kite, 2 interacting, Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, Kestrel, Tawny Owl heard not seen, also Long Tail Tits, Nuthatch, Jay & Water Rail of note.

Goldcrest, Roe Deer and Red Kite - all at Far Pasture on 1st [Derek Bilton]

Sunday, 2 March 2014

100 up

Tuesday 25th Feb

Between Marley hill & Thornley - 2 Goosander (male and female), 1 Dipper, 2 Cormorant on river, Numerous red kites, 2 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel and lots of Wren singing and Dunnock displaying.
Cuthbert Hill pond, Sunniside - 20Curlew, 100+ Black-headed Gull, (one with full black head), l Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Common Gull, Herring gull, 7 Teal, 10 Moorhen, 40 Redwing, 30 Starlings, 2 Reed Bbunting.
Far Pasture NR - Red kite, 2 Common Snipe, 8 Teal, Canada Goose, Mallard.
River Tyne at Dunston - 2 Peregrine hunting along the river

One of the Peregrines over the Tyne [Steven Fryer]

Shibdon Pond - 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lamesley - 3 Oystercatchers 

Thursday 27th Feb

Watergate - 5 Waxwing flew through south. Also 1 Cormorant, 2 Tufted Duck and 1 Grey Wagtail.
Burdon Moor - 2 Stonechat along with 10+ Skylarks, 2 Red Kites.
Lamesley - 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Oystercatchers.
Stella - A 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull reported on 26th.

1st March

Wrekenton - 1 Ring-necked Parakeet flew over at 09:30
Chopwell Woods - Single Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, plus  Goldcrest, Siskin and Red Kite.

That makes it 100 (I think) for the year

Monday, 24 February 2014

At the weekend - Nothing but LBBGs

Watergate - 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Cormorant & 1 Grey Wagtail.
Lamesley - 1 Wigeon & 2 Oystercatcher. Dipper singing under the bridge.
Timber Beach - 2 Oystercatcher & 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
Shibdon Pond - 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull & 1 Ruff.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Thursday 20th February 2014

Bradley Hall Lake - 2 Wigeon and 1 Shelduck.
Sled Lane Pond - 6 Goosander and 2 Goldeneye.
Far Pasture NR - 1 Kingfisher
Lamesley - 2 Oystercatcher & 100+ Curlew on the flash pool.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Another butterfly and a barbaric ending to a Gateshead Red Fox

18th February

Dunston - A Peacock butterfly in the vicarage garden was the second butterfly of the year on 18th.

Marley Hill - A Red Fox had been killed and hung up on show for all to see at Marley Hill

At the weekend a Mediterranean Gull was present at Shibdon Pond on both 15th and 16th, as was the wintering Ruff

Monday, 10 February 2014

A Mediterranean weekend

Rowlands Gill - The first butterfly of the year - a small Tortoiseshell out in the sunshine on 6th February

The Small Tortoiseshell at Rowlands Gill [Alan Mould]

Last weekend

Sled Lane Pond - Pair of Goldeneye engaged in courtship display including mating. 2nd male also present, plus 17 Wigeon (10m : 7 f)
Clara Vale LNR - Very quiet only Grey Heron, Bullfinch, 2 Long tailed Tit, Treecreeper and Nuthatch. A Tree Sparrow came onto the seed feeder briefly and a Sparrowhawk flew over.
Lamesley Water Meadows - 1 Wigeon and 1 Shelduck.
Watergate Lake - 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull and a fly over Grey Wagtail.

Lesser Black-backed, Herring and Mediterranean Gulls at Watergate [Rob Stonehouse]

Far Pasture NR - 30+ Long-tailed Tit, 6 Bullfinch, Willow, Coal, Blue and Great Tits, Lesser Redpoll, Goldcrest, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. Grey Wagtail on hide roof and a Pochard on pond.

Grey Wagtail at Far Pasture [Rob Stonehouse]

Shibdon Pond - 1 adult Mediterranean Gull and 1 Ruff were both present on 8th and 9th.

The adult Mediterranean Gull at Shibdon [Rob Stonehouse, top and Paul Davidson]

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Green-winged Teal

Yesterday  Tuesday 4th Feb 

Far Pasture NR -  A Green-winged Teal found by Rob.  Also a Common Pochard and a Kingfisher

The Green-winged Teal [Photos: Paul Davidson & Rob Stonehouse]

Lamesley Water Meadows - 1 Wigeon
Cowen Road, Blaydon - Blue Tits already occupying a nest box
Saltwell Park Lake - The Common Pochard at this site this winter
Watergate - 1 Water Rail.
Burdon Moor - 2 Red Kite & 1 Skylark.
Chopwell Wood - 6 Crossbill

Rowlands Gill - A Lesser Redpoll on a feeder was a first for one particular garden

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Med Gull and Marsh Marigold

Sunday 19th January

Shibdon Pond - Ruff still present and Kingfisher seen.

Yesterday  20th January

Fellside, Whickham - Mediterranean Gull on playing Field
The Mediterranean Gull at Fellside [Paul Davidson]

Far Pasture NR - 2 Chiffchaff, 1 of the Siberian race present
Clara Vale - First Marsh Marigold in flower, as usual, much earlier than any other around.

Marsh Marigold [Gordon Pollinger]

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Gateshead during the last 7 days

14th January

Kibblesworth brick works pools - 1 Green Woodpecker
Kibblesworth Grange - Little Owl and 3 Pink-feet with 51 Greylags
Little Owl at Kibblesworth [Steven Fryer]

16th January

Shibdon Pond -
Nearly 1000 Lapwing and a Ruff. The three apparent 'Nordic' Jackdaw still present

Ruff at Shibdon [Gordon Pollinger]
16th January

Shibdon Pond - Nearly 1000 Lapwing and a Ruff. The three apparent 'Nordic' Jackdaw still present

'Nordic' Jackdaws at Shibdon [Steven Fryer]


The Ruff still at Shibdon [Steven Fryer]

Far Pasture NR - 1 Chiffchaff
Kibblesworth Grange - 6 Red-legged Partridge
Lamesley - 3 Pink-footed Geese   remain   with the Greylags.

Pink-footed Geese at Lamesley [Steven Fryer]

17th January

Shibdon Pond - a Peregrine put up all 500+ Lapwings

Lapwings flushed by a Peregrine at Shibdon [Peter Harvey]

18th January

Shibdon Pond - Still 500+ Lapwings, 6 Shelduck, Canada Goose with injured wing and several Teal
Burdon Moor - A few Fieldfare, Teal, Song Thrush, Common Snipe and  Linnet.
Far Pasture NR - Common Buzzard, 10 Red Kites circling over the pasture, Sparrowhawk, Goldcrest, Willow Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Jay, Robin, Coal Tit, Pied & Grey Wagtail, pair of Water Rail, Mallard, Teal and Moorhen.

Water Rail at Far Pasture [Derek Bilton]

With Skylark, Red-legged Partridge and Little Owl, together with the 3 Pink-footed Goose being  added to the year list due to observer pressure, the list stands at 93. Has anyone seen  Budgerigar in the borough so far this year? :-/

Robin's Pincushion at Shibdon [Peter Harvey] -   Diplolepis rosae is a gall-wasp whose larvae overwinter in the gall calldd Robin's Pincushion created by them on wild roses. They overwinter in the gall emerging as adult wasps in spring.