Sunday, 4 November 2012

Remember, Remember, the 4th of November.

A day that will stick long in the memory I'm sure, with three of my favourite birds seen in a matter of hours.

The most spectacular and most bizarre was a European Bee-eater which had found its way to my home town of Sunderland in early November! today its third in the Seaburn area (a regular drinking haunt of mine in years gone by, ah memories . . .) but I digress, the bird was quickly located and though highly mobile gave excellent views all along its new-found territory, a good 20 minutes at our site as it fended off the attention of local blackbirds, my record shot hardly does justice to its amazing rainbow plumage.

Next, back to Gateshead and with an influx of waxwings and 11 seen at Shibdon Pond yesterday we checked a few of the most regular spots for the species and turned up trumps at the second attempt with 3 in trees along the central reservation on the busy road outside Blaydon Station. Again my record shots don't do this spectacular winter visitor justice but fantastic to see at this early stage of the season.

We next decided to pop back to Shibdon Pond for a while for a celebratory cup of tea/coffee from our respective flasks, and our third highlight was excellent views of a water rail, another of my favourites, as it teased us in and out of the undergrowth along the channel to the left of the hide, eventually making a dash right past in front over the iced over water.

So three cracking birds in one day, best days birding in a long while. And if you want to see how those birds really look, take a gander at some proper photos by Steven 'Ace' Fryer :

      If in any doubt, from the top : Bee-eater in flight, Bee-eater at rest, Waxwing tucking in to berries, Water Rail playing hide and seek.   

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