Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

Birdwatching in & around Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, County Durham.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

1st of Autumn - Morse Code Birding

After reading Foghorn Stinkhorns account of his recent coastal haul, i thought id give it a try.
I headed to that well known sea-birding hotspot at Grangetown, Salterfen Rocks.

Apparently, so i was led to believe, some of the seabirds had been passing close to shore....
.......whether this was the English or Norwegian coast still isnt clear.....

I found a nice vantage point on top of the crumbling soily cliff tops on which to set up my folding cracket :-
Featherbed Obs

& that was it - seabirds instantly appeared & were constantly in view...... but what they were is another matter...... dot, dot, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash.

But, after a short spell i got my eye in & managed to see :-

Whimbrel 3 W
Lapwing 121 S
Knot 2
Common Sandpiper 1
Oystercatcher 48
I'll foto-shop the Coots & Canadas in later.....
Turnstone 7
Curlew 2
Redshank 3

with the seabirds mostly heading North :-
Sooty Shearwater 2
Manx Shearwater 7
Puffin 5
Red throated dots
Red Throated Diver 3 family parties fishing offshore - 2prs with 2 & pr with 1.
Eider 2
Common Scoter 22
Wigeon 21
Teal 1
Arctic Skua 4
Pomarine Skua 1 adult N 16:16
GCGrebe 1
Fulmar 8
Common Gull
Mediterranean Gull 1st winter N ( best period ive known for this species locally )
Common Tern
Sandwich Tern 20+
Arctic Tern 3
Little Gull 2N

heres an image showing a sea-bird at close range on a local boating lake :-
Another stunner from D.Johnson

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