Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Saturday I went up to Newbiggin to check out the 4 Black Redstarts that seemed faithful to a short stretch of beach , not the best of days very dull but at least not raining , birds located fairly quickly by just walking along the top of the dunes , but I could only get three and it took most of the afternoon to finally get a total of four . I also tried a short seawatch with only a few Wigeon and two Velvet Scoter as visibility was some what restricted , talking to AMc he picked up a Grey Phalarope as it crossed the headland and seemed to drop in the bay but it was not relocated .
Sunday we also called in to Newbiggin with the report of a Glaucous Gull on the breakwater and it was also a much brighter day , so I thought I would go around for the Redstarts but when I got around the area they where frequenting was in shadow anyway so I checked out the beach where a concentration of birds where feeding on the shoreline . A quick look through and I picked out at least 12 Med Gulls in with the mass of Black Headed, Turnstone , Redshank and Sanderling , I could only see one Med with a colour ring on , several attempts made to get the number but without success
At least five Med Gulls in this shot by far the best place in Northumberland to see these fantastic looking Gulls
Saturday, 29 November 2014
A run over to North Blyth/ Cambois area which is only yards across the river but about 15-20 mins drive, primarily to check the beach for any Little Auks or perhaps a Black Redstart , failed to find either but I did come upon a flock of at first 22 Snow Buntings which I had just behind Alcans loading facility , they relocated to the start of the pier area where there was also a flock of Linnets and a flock of Starlings . The Snow Buntings where rather restless so I just sat on the edge of the breakwater and eventually they came nearer , just had my SX50 which was difficult to pick the birds up amongst the grass but it does have some reach , and with a bit of sun for a change it was great to just sit and watch them in the hunt for seed , till they would lift and then quickly re-settle always giving that tinkling little call . Wishing I had taken the scope as a flock of 100+ Common Scoter with some Divers amongst them would have been good to check out , actually the bay seemed to hold lots of birds scattered far and wide , with 3 Mergansers coming out from the Wansbeck. Oddly Blyth Bay never seems to attract more than the odd RTD and a few Eider off the Sluice
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 16:14
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Monday the 24th caught up with the Hume's at Briardene having first checked out the three Waxwings nearby just in case they decided to feed elsewhere , what a dull miserable day it was , but the Hume's being faithfull to a nice Sycamore tree still with plenty of leave on and presumably providing food of some sort . So it was not long before the bird appeared calling loudly and profusely at first as it relocated ,views where very cood whcich is the main thing but trying to get any shots in the dull light of a small bird in thick cove r was a challenge to say the least . I tried to get some recordings but someone would talk just at the wrong time , a Willow Tit also passed through the tree picked out by DE on a short visit from his usual patch of East Chevington area . Well the bird went off to the far side of the dene so I headed down to St Mary's for a walk around Tree Sparrows and Grey Wagtail in the Cem but St Mary's was quiet although a Grey Phalarope was reported later near the causeway on the high tide. It brightened up somewhat in the afternoon so I headed back to try and get some more shots of the Hume's , indeed it was much pleasanter with the Sycamore bathed in sunshine alas the bird decided the feeding was better on the far side and it took an hour before it popped back flitting around as close as it was going to get ,but sod it didn't the camera battery die on me and even the spare was dead ................ always check your gear before going out !!!!!
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 11:54
Monday, 13 October 2014
Labels: Seaton Sluice
The first two weeks of October over already been enjoying the sunshine and the last flush of Butterflies & Dragonflies also some good seawatching with large numbers of Little Gulls passing through the area ,this is just an overview of the Month so far .
Small Tortoiseshell also in good numbers as are Red Admirals of which I have seen many but did not get any photos and a couple of Painted Ladies
This is the Little Stint from Cresswell I just wanted to see what sort of shot I could get from the hide and it's not bad given the distance
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 11:39
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
As can be seen from the photo dates earlier this month I took advantage of a visit to the engine room of Newcastle's famous Swing Bridge , although we did not get to see it open the action was very well explained, it uses only water power to open and close having two huge accumulators that store water ready to operate the gears. Everything is very heavily engineered and will easily go on for another hundred years or more .
The Bridge was erected in place of a fine classic Georgian stone bridge to allow ship access to Armstrong's works further up the Tyne
Later that day I visited the Victorian tunnels near Ouseburn , this was a tunnel that ran from Spittal Tongues pit right down to the quayside to carry coals to the waiting ships , during the war the tunnel was used as an airaid shelter with numerous entrances added along it's length at one point I asked how deep we where 55` , it's not open for all it's length as some has collapsed, blast walls where also added during the war as was lighting and it was used as a convenient walk way well lit fairly dry access to the City which was in a total blackout situation , they are well worth a visit and have plenty of history , like the cost of adding entrances which spirraled out of control due to the difficult conditions and the large cost of "light bulbs" having to be continually replaced not because they wore out but where removed , the explanation was courting couples where drawn to the fact that they could access the tunnels and not wanting to be seen the bulb was removed and once removed you could not see where to put it back so the bulb went off in some blokes pocket !!
One guy spent the whole war living down the tunnels having come through the first world war .his family taking food etc down to him . Somehow I cant imagine today's generation putting up with it no phone signal for one thing 1
It's well worth a visit takes a couple of hours but can be rather chilly and chilling !
On along the Quay To visit the Victorian Tunnels well worth a visit
The following are copies of a photo display showing the shelter from I think the 60's
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 15:10