Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Black Redstart’

With two of the “A” team needing to see the Pacific Diver that has been present at East Chevington, Northumberland for a while and with the promise of fine weather, we arranged to go. We met in Newhey at 6am, a time that our driver Steve K seemed unfamiliar with having had to miss his regular large breakfast. Myself, Bob K & Chris B made up the numbers. We made good progress using the satnav in Steve`s car, even allowing for some of its eccentricities, we reached the car park at Druridge Bay at 8-50am. We had a good look at Ladyburn pool first and could not find the diver, so we headed for its regular haunt, North pool. The weather was really nice and sunny, but not that warm. We soon found the Pacific Diver and all enjoyed its diving and preening in the sunshine, handshakes all around then. We called into one of the hides and had good views of a few Scaup and eventually saw the Slavonian Grebe, a bird that I have not seen for a few years.
After a slog over the sand dunes we found a flock of around a 100 Twite, Bob K went and got a few good pictures of them. We did a bit of sea watching and saw: – Guillemot, Razorbill, Red Breasted Merganser, Shag, Common Scoter & around ten Red Throated Divers, a few Sanderling, Ringed Plover also. After 40 minutes or so a single Skylark began singing and seven Shorelark flew onto the beach near the Twite, we really enjoyed watching them for the short time they were there. Some really nice birds at this reserve and lots of people out enjoying the weather.
We decided to go and have a look at the long staying Eastern Black Redstart at Skinningrove, Cleveland. We reached the area after a bit of my dodgy navigation (as I had been before) we got to the bird’s favoured area and apart from: – Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Robin & Wren, the bird was nowhere to be found. A few early returning Fulmar entertained us high up on the cliffs, but after 30 minutes most of us returned to the car for refreshments, apart from Bob K. After a long search of the area he had found the Eastern Black Redstart and it was now back in its normal place on the rocks, well done Bob. The bird performed very well for us all and lots of pictures were taken. On our way back to the car Chris B casually mentioned that he had not added Pine Bunting to his British list. Next stop it is then.
After a very long slog over the hills south of Whitby, which are very picturesque, also with lots of Sunday drivers, traffic problems etc our chances of seeing the Pine Bunting had gone. We did go to its daytime area at Dunnington, near York, but it was too late as all the birds had gone to roost. We headed for home after a really good days birding at around 7pm.
Dave O.


After debating where to go at the weekend our minds were suddenly made up for us when a Pied Wheatear was re-identified late on Saturday evening. It was thought that it was originally a Desert or Black Eared type of Wheatear. An early start from Rochdale was required as I was meeting up with the York crew at 7-30am. Mark K, Nigel S and Paz with Mark driving. News of the Pied Wheatear being still present at Redcar came through on our way there. I have never been to Redcar before and it was a bit of a surprise to realise that it was a seaside resort, mind you the steel works put me off a bit! The Pied Wheatear showed really well and apart from the dismal light conditions lots of pictures were taken by the assembled throng of birders. Lots of familiar faces were again seen during this really memorable autumn period for migrant birds, what will turn up next?
An Eastern Black Redstart has been around a few days at Skinningrove also in Cleveland (Yorkshire, really) so we headed up to another place I have never been to before. Again a big iron / steel works and a sharp drop into a beautiful coastline with lots of potential for migrant birds. We admired the various sculptures around the car park and all headed off to see the redstart. The bird was busy feeding in and around the coastal defence boulders / rocks but with patience showed really well at times. What a little cracker this bird was, much brighter than the Holy Island bird of a few years ago. A Twite was seen by Paz and duly pointed out to us, well done Paz! Time for sandwiches and a coffee break as we returned to the car.
News again came through that the Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike was showing really well in South Shields, Tyne & Wear at a place called the Leas, famous for once having a Lesser Kestrel there and the place where the Great North Run ends (for the more energetic amongst us) We had to go, blue skies and very mild weather made the journey up quite enjoyable. On arrival we could see a few birders watching the shrike and after a 200 yard stumble we reached the bird. It showed really well down to 10 yards at times but was quite active catching insects etc. We all managed lots of pictures of the bird and all enjoyed the bird. A very late Whinchat was also in the area then, Mark told us of a roosting Little Owl sat in a gully on a rock in the sea. It was the first time for all of us to watch a Little Owl with the sea in the background! A trip to pay homage to Trow Quarry, famous for the Eastern Crowned Warbler twitch a few years ago, made up our birding for the day. We then spent a few minutes feeding the local gulls with Nigel S hoping for a rare gull to drop in.
What a day out, we managed to see all three “headline” birds without having to wait very long. Mark got us back to York very smartly and I got back to Rochdale without too much bother on the M62 around 6-30pm. Thanks lads for a great day out.
Dave O.

A 6:30 Blastoff, Pitch black, but dry for. Three of the team are once more of to the North-East..Wi-Eye. No sooner than we get as far as Huddersfield ( has ozzy mentioned he had an aunt here?) we hit fog, which sticks to our car till we get to Hartlepool. Glorious sunshine from here on.Thankfully the fog lifted 30 minutes before our first stop.
Hauxley Nature Reserve: A quick look at the map, and we yomp-off to the wader hide. Peep inside, Two photographers here – No sign of the bird from here, try the next hide. A short walk and we meet a small group outside the hide – It was seen here earlier, but now has flown out of sight. We check inside the hide – just about fitting in. After about 10 minutes of scanning here and thier, a group of Redshank fly past us, about 50 yards -I’m already on them. As they near the shore, they drop their lading gear, All red – except for the second bird from the right which showed bright Yellow. “Got it! Second from the right” I say. and one by on everyone gets the bird – A Greater Yellowleg. A lifer for me!. Boberto says it would be great if it flys and lands in front of the hide, and that is what it did – Honest! Only 10 yards away. Stonking views. Dave gets a lughole full of someones massive lens – ‘Do ya mind!!’. Me and bob leave before it gets nasty. Oustide handshakes all round. Ozzy comes out complaining he’s just had been pushed in the face by a large camera lens. We know.

About 40 minutes up the coast we head of to Holy Island to get there as the tide reveals the road 10:50am ish. we park away from the Pay and Display (Tight? thats us alright). We have come to see a Black Redstart – No big deal usually – (Local bird for us), but this one is of the Eastern race, far more colourful than ours. And it’s showing it’s head off. We all get some great snaps, and then have a mooch about the Island. A flock of 90+ White Fronted Geese fly above us, what a day this turning out to be. We hear that the Grt.Yellowlegs has been flushed, and gone – shame for the other birdwatchers.
We leave about 2:30 and Roiters informs us of an interesting geese flock about 10 miles away in Embleton. In a field with hundreds of Pink-footed geese was also White fronted, Barnacles (50+), Tundra Bean Geese (18), and 2 Ross’s Geese. But only for 5 minutes before a low flying plane sends them all into the air. The all fly above our heads – Fantastic sight the fly out of our sight – Lucky or what? And that was about it for the day. We timed everything just right. We hear that our friends spent 4 1/2 hours tear arsing up and down the coast before catching up with the Grt. Yellowleg.
A trip of 420 miles in total thoroughly enjoyable.