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Tuesday, 31 July 2007

27-07-07 Friday

Friday cycled to Hauxley via Cresswell and East Chevington still not many waders on the pools I remember one year on a small pool just through the end of Druridge Bay there was a flock of 115 Black Tailed Godwits and yet despite all the rain that pool has not come back. There was a large camp of Gypsies in the field near the pools but they seemed an organised bunch with marquees and flags flying etc, A good number of Sand Martins over the water tried to get a couple of shots ,Spoonbill still on the Island at Chevington and a single Black Tailed Godwit on the way back hoping for Roseate here but as yet none onto Hauxley the Little Egret also still there till it flew south 3 Greenshanks and a common Sandpiper with Tufted one with very small young and this Hybrid ? with an older single chick also Whimbrel in the area its hard to see out from the Tern hide in the late afternoon as the sun is straight in your eyes, back in the small hide something shot through and put all the waders up I only got a glimpse of it but back on the road something dropped in at the side of the road ahead and as soon as I tried to get nearer it flew off again some way off what the hell is that I thought but as I could not make it out it was just to far, so I got a few shots before it went around and back the way it came turned out to be a Juvenile cuckoo the first I have seen for some time.

Silver Studded Blue wrong it's a Female Common Blue ,only got the one shot before it was off.
Sand Martin picking off the water
Tufted Hybrid ? No just a worn female thanks BB

Tufted with younger chick

This Juvenile was just too far for my bins to make it out but this heavily cropped shot sorted it out.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

24-07-07 Butterflies & KItes

Today was forecast to be sunny a good day for Butterflies perhaps so I went to try and see the Purple Hairstreak & White Letter Hairstreak I should have read up on them as I expected them to be much larger the Purple were tiny and very hard to spot and even harder to get a photograph of but as it was sunny I just stood around till I did no sign of the Whites for me but there was a reported sighting a few newly emerged Commas on the wing looking very smart and bright, I then called in to a pool and just outside the hide these little Grebes nesting so I won’t say where it is just incase someone has a go at them this was my lunch stop but not much else around no Dragonflies other than Blue & Blue Tailed.
In the afternoon I went to have a look at the Red Kites view point and managed to find one of the juveniles sitting in the trees an adult brought food to it and I noticed it came in through cover of the woods so as not to give it away as there was a direct route which is how I could see it three Kites flew around overhead but too high to get some shots, so I took some of the juvenile to try and get the tag which was A3
Newly Fledged A3 Digiscoped in the canopy

Little Grebes with at least 5eggs just outside the hide
Purple Hairstreak high up on the Oak
Puple Hairstreak out in the sun

Thursday, 26 July 2007

22-07-07 Monday

Cycled to St Mary’s for the high tide but not much around came across this Whitethroat having a sunbathe on a bench near the butts got a couple of shots before it left but I just stood still and it came out and settled again, the lure of the warmth from the sun was to hard to resist and that is how I left it ,still not many Terns on the rocks and the wetlands levels very high so no chance of waders on there, the Fox was sitting amongst the nettles at the top end with the Rabbits keeping an eye on it but it just melted away with no chance of a photo, two families of Stonechats around it was a good afternoon and evening weather wise but not much bird wise.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

21/22-07-07 The Weekend

The weekend was rather dull and rainy again, the juvenile Herring Gull made its first flight and landed in the bushes where it stayed most of the afternoon the adults swooped down on me when I went out to get some pics joined by birds from nearby they flew around making a right noise, had a run as far as Hauxley as much to look at the flowers as anything, surprised to see the Little Egret as we opened the hide shutter at the out flow having come in from the south ,I was even more surprised that it did not fly off so we watched it rapidly picking out small fish from the edges, before it finally left flying south, there is a good range of flowers here, near the visitor centre (with list of whets around which I check then look for the ones I don’t know )and along the track to the hides also good for Butterflies usually but not more than loads of Meadow Browns on to East Chevington having a look for flowers in the dunes but my favourite spot had a large family camping out with large tent and all the gear, huge flock of Scoter still on the sea and ever increasing numbers of Juvenile Terns at the out flow with Common Blues around .
The water levels very high with weed starting to grow in large parts of the north pool sheltering from the rain one day I went into the centre hide which gives good views onto the island but the grass is upto the windows so you can’t see the Terns as they bathe just along the shore and the large red lifebuoy is right in the way but on the plus side I did stay dry.
First flight

Digiscoped @ Hauxley

I never tire of these gorgeous birds
Orange Hawkbit
White Selfheal
Whotsit on a thingy ?
Common Blue

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Out and about before the rain

A break in the weather so I went off to look for Dragonflies or Butterflies I visited several sites most held no surprises but did manage to get a few shots before the heavens opened for one almighty downpour , there are not the numbers around as last year perhaps its still early for some ,also checking out for any new flowers that I may come across it’s a slow learning curve as for every three I learn I forget the names of two others, one year I started very early in the year and checked out everything as it came through but it got harder as June & July came in ,same with Dragons & Damsels I would find them even harder if I could not get some shots of them.
I thought plants needed light to grow,or is it just strength
A rather wing battered Female Emperor Ovipositing

Male Emperor on patrol

Common Darter

Ruddy Darter

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

14/16-07-07 Triple Dip on the Caspian Tern

Just another roundup from the weekend and Monday came across a Female Red Grouse leading her six young into the open to pick up grit looking very dark bird the light was not very good added to the rain so not the best of photographs but with the bins the cryptic camouflage was fantastic.
Saturday got caught up in the hunt for the Caspian Tern and missed it three times but did have the Otter pop up just offshore for a couple of shots and that evening we went to Souter Lighthouse for the Storm Petrel ringing we waited in the cove were the nets where set up and the tape lures blasting out into the night it never really got black dark ,there was a good turnout of people but they started to drift off as tiredness set in I said lets wait till they check the nets again then go home as it was now 1am,they where slow in coming back and I had the hope they where taking out a catch, sure enough one bird in the hand it was processed and shown to us all. I had not thought about how to focus on the bird in the hand as you could not see it through the view finder I had a red light but it was far to bright ,so if you go on anything like this take a small torch with a red filter just to help you find the bird.
Not getting to bed till after 2am Sunday was a slow start went past Cresswell 7 Black Tailed Godwits and 4 Knot, on to East Chevington Little Egret and Spoonbill on each side of the island but did not come together, 6 Common Sandpiper still at the outflow pool with more juvenile terns being fed on the beach and a dead Seal further along.
Monday just cycled to St Mary’s for the high tide but not much on the rocks although 5 Common Sandpiper dropped in and I had 2 Juvenile Wheatears in the dunes of Blyth not sure if they have bred locally or just passing through , I waited till the tide started to drop Sanderling and Dunlin along beach ,but again not much dropped onto the rocks other than a couple of juvenile Sandwich Terns, Herring Gulls nesting on a nearby house with three young showing well in the falling sun ,not popular with everyone !!!!
I have uploaded the photos in the wrong order !!!!!

Waders return to the beach as the tide drops
Juvenile Wheatears in the dunes at Blyth locally bred ?

Little Egret flying around the island at East Chevington

5 of the 6 Common Sandpiper at East Chevington ( not the best digiscoped shot but did get 5 in)

Storm Petrel hard to believe these little birds are off our coast ( I can still hear the call ringing in my ears)
The nets and ringers just visible in the evening light about 23:15
Otter showed at Big Waters apparently there is also a Little Waters
Red Grouse with 2 of the 6 chicks
Female Red Grouse about to lead her chicks out to feed

Thursday, 12 July 2007

10-07-07 Red Kites

Female "16" she looks as though she is looking right at me but she was actually a long way off
digiscoped Nikon 4500 through Kowa 823

Tuesday we decided to go over for the nesting Kites walked to the viewpoint , Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper along the path sides got my eye on this Butterfly convinced it was something new to me till I looked it up another Meadow Brown much more defined shape in the hind wing and bolder pattern on the forewing
I presume this is a fresh individual, I have made a note to look at all Meadow Browns I see ,There is lots of Holly in this area but could find no Blues around them .
At the view point I set up the scope and scanned in the hope of picking out one of the chicks sitting out in the open but no luck the Female paid two visits and the young could be heard calling ,she flew out and settled on a nearby tree and I digiscoped some shots the camera was telling me not to take them as by now it was late afternoon and the light not good but I tweaked this one up showing the wing tag “16” and the bird in a majestic pose it was some way off but I am more than pleased with the shot ,with digital you might as well go for it and see what you get, sightings of other Kites to the West & South with also 4 fledged Kestrels testing there flying ability , called in at Shibdon pond a good number of Common Terns on the platforms the chicks taking advantage of the pantiles for shelter coming out for a walk around and popping back out of sight ,this is a good area to visit drop the shoppers off at the Metro Centre/Ikea (brownie points assured )and have a walk around the board walks and open areas there was lots of plants new to me.

This Meadow Brown was much brighter than the others around
This Tufted was just below the hide at Shibdon thought it was going to be an Otter as it bubbled around underwater before showing
Great Burnett
Not sure if this is fully open, garden escape perhaps ... Shibdon
My thought at the moment is Marsh Willowherb ,flowers they give good views and you can photograph till its dark if you want and they never fly off ( die off yes) but they are still hard to I.D.