Newcastle Birder’s Nature Diary

Birdwatching and wildlife photography

On the 21st August 2018

Our visit to what seemed like the Iron Islands from the Game of Thrones proved out of this world. It was the original reason why we chose Anglesey for our summer holidays, and it didn’t disappoint. We were lucky to enjoy at least a dozen Chough.

This was the first time I had seen Chough. They were a lot smaller than I expected and very friendly,

All the seabirds had finished nesting however we got amazing views of GoT stars Ravens and close to the lighthouse there were about a dozen Twite, and at least 6 Rock Pipit.

A Common Tern from Gosforth Park last year. The Common Terns will be leaving us soon… I will miss them… I didn’t see as many this year, along the River Tyne and Newcastle Quayside.  There seems to be less Cormorants also, or is it just me!..

A Barn Owl from…. near Newcastle.. lots of twoggers out and about spending whole lifetimes, chasing Owls nowadays… Owl addicts.. and some using toads as bait. how much is a photo worth? how many owl photos, do you need? Of course most birders are respectful to Owls…

A Fulmar from St Mary’s, Geordieland. Fulmars have to be one of the best flyers. They are also so friendly, I’m surprised we never see them in animations more…. Studio Ghibli would do them proud..

On the 24th July 2018

Lots of Kittiwakes were still nesting on and around the netting and spikes. The netting and spikes had no effect on them, other than to cause them injuries and to trap them.. so whats the point, why spend to have such things installed, if all they do is cause pain and suffering.  

I wish the owners of the buildings and those that visit them could appreciate our red-listed Kittiwakes as much as I do.  

The colony on the River Tyne is the furtherest inland Colony in the world.

On the 17th July 2018

I wonder what I looked like through this young deers eyes? as I relaxed, enjoying the sunshine and the peacefulness.

I was surprised to see this young visitor on Saturday. It came so close, I didn’t need any optics. I’m sure i was noticed, but it seemed I was very welcome, as my presence, was accepted with any worry. My favourite nature reserve is always full of surprises….

On the 23rd June 2018

A Great Crested Grebe from Druridge Pools earlier. Two adults were catching lots of small fish; and at times shared them with their juv.

An adult Great Crested Grebe getting ‘Jiggy With It’. Like Goldeneyes, they are great dancers…

On the 19th May 2018…

A Rose Coloured Starling
Fatso Humpty Dumpty. The best I could manage of the Rose Coloured Starling on Saturday at Ashington. All other birds were chased away.. Pink comes to Ashington… Photo through fence… I was wishing I had brought some stilts…

On the 6th May 2018

To be or not to be….. Glossy Ibris… another major bird from Druridge Pools in Northumberland. I’ve been so busy I’ve not been up much, missed it…

On the 16th February 2018…..

I had planned to choose another site to visit as my ‘local patch’ for 2018; however, I continue to be drawn to Druridge Pools again this year. I simply love the fresh coastal air, large selection of birds always on show and of course, there is the luxury of many other top class nature reserves, only within a very short drive.

I have decided, i’m am going to wander more during my visits and spend some time on the beach in the summer and walk up to East Chevington etc and stretch my legs a bit more.

I was very lucky this afternoon, as not only was a Water Pipit on show for nearly an hour, just in front of the ‘Budge Screen’ hide, but a Little Egret came up really close.

The Water Pipit seemed very healthy; rather plump and for the most part, seemed to to enjoy a relaxing nap.

I could watch Goldeneye all day. They are very entertaining with their dramatic courtship displays and geordie colors.

On the 28th January 2018….

A couple of ♂ Goldeneyes, surfing at Druridge Pools in the wind.


On the 30th September 2017….

As Saturday morning dawned, I opted to spend my birding time on the coast at St Mary’s again in the hope that I may find some autumn migrants.  I was lucky to catch up with at least two Yellow-browed Warbler’s and a lone Chiffchaff.  

For the last few years, I’ve regularly encountered Stonechats  when visiting St Mary’s Island and Wetland.  They are always a welcome treat Everytime! I found this bird today out in the sunshine.  

I also enjoyed a couple of star Waders as I relaxed in the early morning sun, enjoying the fresh coastal air. The first was a Grey Plover; which is a Plover I don’t record at this site very often.  Some years during the autumn/winter months a few birds can be found.  These are often away from the large flocks of Golden Plover that love St Mary’s every winter. 

Second was a Redshank; kinda of a shy bird, so not easy to photograph.   As soon as you get near, they tend to fly off making that familiar loud call.  Today was different however and a bird stayed close; perhaps because their were gangs of those Ruff waders still around. 

I counted 12-13 Ruff still present in the field as you drive into the car park at St Mary’s. There was also small flocks of Linnet, Goldfinch and up to nine Curlews.  No Grey Herons were out fishing today. 


On the 24th September 2017….

Bees swarming on the The Millennium Bridge close to the ‘BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art’.

I was relaxing with Adriana in the cafe this afternoon and we talked about a video that had been showcased at the Baltic in the past. This was about a bee keeper. It was really good. Little did we know that we would experience some fans, first hand. Shame they missed the show!

On the 23rd September 2017….

An early morning start at St Mary’s is always very rewarding, especially in the autumn.  Highlights today included a smart Lesser Whitethroat and a group of 10-13 Ruff, which is a species I can’t remember ever recording myself at this site.  I am however recording Ruff more and more in the County.  

There were only a few Curlews around today with less than ten out and about.

Five Grey Herons were enjoying the sunshine; with two more at Old Hartley.

I took some time out to relax on the nearby rocks nearby and enjoy the warm sunshine.

I”m sure it will not be long before Little Egrets join the Grey Herons at St Mary’s as regulars.


Winter is coming and it is not long now till my feeders at home will be full of Blue, Great and Coal Tits. We are hoping this year for a Long-tailed. Fingers crossed…..