Thursday, 20 April 2017

Catch Up...

Apologies, I didnt have time to write anything for the newsletter, I must try to be more time conscious! Here are a few shots taken over the last couple of weeks...

This Ferruginous Duck attracted a stream of admirers down to the Silverlink Park.

While, a pair of Mandarins were on DBCP, they seem to be getting commoner in spring along the coast.

March was good for moths being quite mild, here we have clockwise from top left - Twin spotted Quaker, Small Quaker, Pine Beauty and March Moth.

Great White Egret, distant on the Budge Fields, Druridge...

...replaced soon afterwards by this Spoonbill.

And finally 4 more Shorelarks closer to home at Boulmer...
 Write this out 100 x ...'I must be on time'...

Friday, 10 March 2017

Reptile update

A short walk on the outskirts of Branton revealed only 10 Adders today, as it was early afternoon and quite warm many were probably off hunting, however the walk was given further interest by the first Slow Worm of the year, a lovely bronze coloured individual, there was no sign however of yesterday's Mandarin.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Full of Eastern promise

A lovely sunny morning saw us checking out Branton Ponds, the waterfowl were busy chasing one another and even a few Bumblebees were to be seen, amidst all this spring activity Keith suddenly noticed and interesting duck lurking along the waters edge, on closer inspection he realised it was a first for the site in the form of a drake Mandarin, what a stunner with it's gaudy colours and feathers held at jaunty angles, this now brings the site total to 170 species, not bad for an inland site.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Grey Wagtail

I know the back lane  behind our cottage is a bit wet at the moment but it was still a surprise to see a Grey Wagtail poddling about in the small pools there this afternoon.

Monday, 27 February 2017


Three nice Waxwings have been frequenting Embleton for a few weeks, at the north end of the village around the quarry and bottle banks mainly. On Sunday we found two of them just inside the housing estate on the west side of the main road. Still there today.

It all adds up

Even though the forecasters are predicting doom and gloom over the next few days there was a spring like feel to the air this morning. Around the ponds birdsong has increased, winter visitors like Wigeon are still here in numbers but there has been a steady build up of summer breeders over the last week, Curlew on their way to the uplands, Shelduck and Oystercatcher which nest on the site and even the Black-headed Gulls are making their presence felt. No further sign of the Bittern today, it was last seen on Friday but Frogspawn has suddenly made an appearance and the numbers of Adders are gradually rising with 11 seen basking today, so it really does add up, spring must be on the way.

Monday, 20 February 2017


On Sunday I got a text message from Mike Carr to say he'd just had a Bittern at Branton Ponds, we were straight out  but didn't see the bird. Mike then sent us a stunning flight shot of the bird which left us drooling, so at first light on Monday we were in position staking out the site, eventually we briefly saw the bird as it flew from one side of the pond to the other, then back home for breakfast.
This is the second record for the site after a bird in 2014 and many thanks to Mike who provided the photos.