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Saturday, 19 May 2007

19-05-07 Wild West (wind)

What a wild day fed up sitting in decided to have a run to East Chevington via Bothal pond wasn’t to bad once you got tucked in the hedge,2 Widgeon, 2 Gadwall, Mallard. Shellduck, Little Grebe, 2 LBB, 1 Barnacle, Ringed Plover & 1 L RP, with 17 Ringed & 1 Dunlin dropping in ,12+ Swifts & 8 Sand Martin hawking over the pond, went past Longhirst Flash plenty of Gulls sitting in the field but the wind to strong to check so it was on to Linton ,a couple of guys that where ahead of me at the flash where pulling out of Linton as I turned in so it didn’t look good for much here ,I went to the East side first but nothing going to the West side a couple of birders that had been at Bothal where also coming back and said there was not much about, I had my flask so I thought time for a coffee anyway, but not long after I got in to the hide I picked out a Ring Necked Duck not being sure of all the points to look for and wary of Hybrids I took a sketch and checked off all the points I could remember a very smart Male keeping close company with a Female Tufted for most of the afternoon, so it turned out to be a good afternoon after all, also present 2 Fox, 1 LRP, 4 Barnacle and the usual duck and Little Grebe.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

17-05-07 Three Men in a Boat

Another very dull day at St Mary’s the Garganey dropped onto the wetland and on the sea the Marine Rescue unit hailed a small boat with engine trouble, the three men must have been frozen sitting out in the exposed bay , Rescue was eventually called and they where towed away back to the causeway where they had launched from, a very bad idea given the rocks underwater & looks like they had no life jackets etc.
Fox again, Willow. Whitethroat, Reed Bunting singing & Ragged Robin in flower on the wetland

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

15-05-07 St Mary's wetland

The day started off dull then brightened up so I cycled to St Mary’s , Wheatear. Stonechats, Whitethroat and lots of Linnets on the way up a couple of Grey Partridge in the mast field, not much on the wetland 4 Turnstones , 5 Dunlin, and plenty of Gulls but no white wings, the tide was in I expected more on the pools. A Fox took a Rabbit at the far end it seems to have left the Goslings alone for now, perhaps it’s waiting till they fatten up some more !!! , they are starting to get feathers now.
I waited for the Willow Warbler to do the rounds of its chosen patch to get a couple of shots, also two Sedge near the Willows, Swallows & Sand Martins with a couple of House Martins feeding over the area.
Willow Warbler
Feathering starting to come in
Fox taking home a cuddly toy !!!!!!

Sunday, 13 May 2007

12-05-07 St Mary's Wetland

An early run to St Mary’s but not much around Sedge, Willow, Reed , Linnets and at the top end a Garden Warbler singing softly but not showing well (at least for the camera) did see the Fox Cubs out and about probably for the first time, a few Manx moving North plenty Gannets and Terns now ,also Whimbrels over in one’s and

Digiscoped Nikon 4500 + Kowa 823

11-05-07 Holywell

Cycled to Holywell hoping the Short Eared Owl would be on show later in the day the Garganey still there just sitting outside the hide, plenty of Swifts and Swallows over the pond 4 Lesser Black-Backeds in with the Gulls, GSW on the track and at the top end.

Friday, 11 May 2007

9-05-07 St Marys & Holywell Pond

Short Eared Owl

A very early start at St Mary’s to look for the Fox it was on view immediately but at the far end it did come down the East side but still distant with more and more dog walkers showing up it melted away, I did have my first Whimbrel over its good they like to call as many would go unnoticed ,later I went to Holywell heavy showers soon followed so I just sat in the shelter, but a very dull day by now, suddenly the Garganey dropped in and started to display then took off North only to come back again, male Shovellers did the same constantly moving around ,the Garganey settled down in the corner and was there when I left as a SEO took my attention so I went to try and get some photos it was a very dark individual a great end to the day.


Fox on the wetland

Sedge Warbler

8-05-07 Birds & Bees

Cuckoo Bee

First part of the day was learning about Bumblebees but the weather was not looking good ,we did see six species including this Cuckoo Bee as the name implies it does lay eggs in other nests and take over, called into a couple of places on the way home did have my first Redstart of the year rather distant but giving good views, I also surprised two Deer I was standing still at the time but even the click of the camera alerted them and they where off A Buzzard mewing over the nearby fields is a sound I like to hear, heavy showers at times but a good day out.

Heard me
Saw me
Redstart kept his distance

Mewing Buzzard

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

7-05-07 Here and There

Digiscoped fox LInton

Out very early today and headed for Holywell Pond found the Garganey male at the East side fast asleep beside a Shoveller even when this left it still sat at the edge with its head tucked in ,it eventually woke and swam in front of the hide then flew up to the far West end still a couple of Swift hawking the pond.
Stopped at the Beehive flash two Redshank and a Wood Sandpiper but the wind had started to pick up took a digiscoped shot and a couple of record shots not much to add from St Mary’s so I headed home for a late breakfast.
Thought I would head up to Linton Pond , on the way picked up an injured Barn Owl from the spine road and took it to the Wildlife Sanctuary they seemed to think it would be OK I will call later in the week to see what the outcome is, a Fox on the far side of the Pond plenty of Canada one new brood on the East pond and a good collection of Gulls but not much in the woods

Digiscoped but the wind as always at this location rather strong
Wood Sandpiper and Redshank
Displaying and calling like a Caper' without the plop

6-05-07 North Northumberland on a windy day

What a day we have chosen for a walk to Alnhamoor started off at Alnham followed the well rutted ( by motorbikes) track up the hill then headed for Alnhamoor the wind was very strong no chance of raptors in this wind Skylarks still attempted to sing but where drowned out, plenty of Meadow Pipits as usual, also Wheatears but not as many as I would have thought for the area Curlews flew over calling they always look and sound better on the moors, at the farm plenty of Sand Martins, Swallows and a couple of House Martins also two Oystercatchers, and further on two Common Sandpiper on the burn, two Red Legged Partridge lifted in front of us they now seem more common than Grey, followed the valley below Little Dod towards Salters Road, plenty of Reed Bunting here with Stonechats and my first Whinchat for the year but no chance of a photo, onto the track and back to the car not a stroll this but had the weather been better I would have taken more time where the birds where, the wind never let up with one heavy shower making the going tough.
Small Copper,trying not to get blown away