I've been really busy at work the last couple of months so haven't had time for blogging. Here is a quick round-up of what I've been up to.
We spent the last week of August on holiday in Aviemore and we've never been at this time of year before so wasn't really sure what to expect. We had planned on walking up Cairngorm on our first full day there, but the wind was gusting 85mph at the top so we decided just to get the train up instead. From the cafe there was a flock of about twenty Snow Bunting feeding on the path just outside, which included an unusual looking leucistic bird which really stood out in the flock. The only Ptarmigan seen that day was a very distant bird, so I was a little disappointed with that.
During the week we had a few walks around various forests on Speyside and all of these produced Crested Tit but the most Crestie's we saw that week was on a walk around Glenmore. By the end of the week the wind had dropped a bit so we decided to walk up Cairngorm, which gave us good views of Ptarmigan a lot lower than I was expecting them.
On our last day we decided to go to Chanonry Point to see if we could keep our 100% record of seeing Dolphins and they didn't disappoint.
During September I managed to get up to Druridge a few times, luckily catching up with the Red-footed Falcon but not a lot else. I did get some nice shots of a Greenshank at Druridge Pools though.
I managed to catch up with the Shore Lark at Blyth a couple of times and this was a cracking little bird to spend a bit time with.
A recent trip to Holy Island didn't produce as much as I was hoping, just Yellow-browed Warbler and Brambling of any note. Although it was nice to watch four, possibly five, Short-eared Owls hunting the fields around Straight Lonnen.
On the way home I stopped off at Stag Rock to photograph Purple Sandpiper. I got so focused on the Purple Sands that I forgot about the White-rumped Sandpiper that had been seen there. I was putting my gear back into the car when I noticed a small pale wader on the rocks below, hanging around with two Knot. I quickly got my camera out of the car and hurried back down to the rocks. The tide was coming in quickly so I grabbed a few quick shots before the waves flushed them further along the rocks. As I got close to where they had landed I could see the White-rump looked quite settled so I crept closer and crouched down.
I got a few shots in very difficult low sunlight and as I went to change the settings on my camera a big wave flushed the two Knot and off went the White-rump with them into the wader roost and out of sight. Hopefully it will hang around so I can have another go at improving on this shot.
A couple of none birding events over the last couple of months have been the closure of RAF Boulmer, which means we will never see the big yellow Sea kings again. Very sad!!
Also the last remaining airworthy Vulcan bomber will be grounded at the end of this month. It was very nice to see her do a circuit at Newcastle Airport on her farewell tour.
A wonderful sight and sound hopefully to be seen and heard again sometime in the future.