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Friday, 23 May 2008

14-15-05-08 More Lesser Yellowlegs

14th May cycled via Holywell to St Mary's Island but the only birds of note where two Little Gulls at Holywell Pond an adult and first year bird hawking over the east end.
15th looked a little brighter so I went back to Druridge to try and get some better shots of the Lesser Yellowlegs, but it was still overcast so I tried some video they show the bird as it preened and also one with a Dunlin and also one of it calling back to a Wood Sandpiper (to my ear) and also the cuckoo as it came along the fence with Meadow Pipit

Lesser Yellowlegs calling with what sounds like a Wood Sandpiper calling overhead

Lesser with Dunlin

A couple of shots with wings spread

Monday, 19 May 2008

13-05-08 Lesser Yellowlegs

Spent most of the afternoon at the open hide trying to get some shots of the Lesser Yellowlegs another dull day so not the best conditions for photos, there was a fly over of 4 Garganey with three males chasing a female, and later 2 males dropped onto the pool, also 3 Cuckoos in the area one giving a great display as it sat on a fence post with the three birds all in view of my scope. Lesser Yellowlegs Druridge Pools ,as it flew around the area

Digiscoped Lesser Yellowlegs Druridge pools ,still a rather dull day not helpful to digiscoping
Digiscoped Lesser Yellowlegs
Digiscoped lesser Yellowlegs ,no droop in the wing on this shot.

Lesser Yellowlegs,it seemed to have a problem with the left wing ,it drooped slightly at rest and some of the flight shots show a clear gap, a damaged feather shaft perhaps

Garganey 3 males chasing a female Druridge Pools
One of two males that dropped in near the Lesser Yellowlegs chased off rapidly by a Shellduck !!
Header shows Cuckoo , one of three present on this day ,this flew over with another chasing after it.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

11th May Flower Power

Sunday the 11th May another nice sunny day so we had a run out to look for some flowers and reacquaint ourselves with them ,the first Orchid of the year with I think an early Purple unable to get close without stepping on other plants I had to take the shot from some distance,any comments welcome,Herb Paris in flower and one or two others I still have to check for names.
Plenty of Spotted Flycatchers around today with 12+ birds singing (if you could call it that ) also Garden Warblers and two Wood Warblers ( still no photos ) with Blackcap, Wrens also Singing everywhere, how do they sing so loud for such a small bird , Long Tailed.Blue ,Great Tits two pairs of Dipper feeding young, several sightings of Nuthatch and Coal Tit.
Herb Paris in flower

Early Purple Orchid ?
One of the Mares Tails only a small number had these flowers is there male and female of these, as I have said new to flowers and there is a lot to learn, I will have to read up on these, very decorative plant when you see lots together. EDIT these are Horse Tails it was thought many years ago that these where the males of the plant and Mares Tails the female.
Dippers feeding young which where in the dark area.
Garden Warbler after singing just above us starting to collecting nesting material ,the grey on the side of the neck can just be seen

8/9-05-08 Harthope Valley Northumberland

I missed these couple of shots from Killingworth Lake of Common Terns 6-05-08.
8/9-0508 Had a trip to the Harthope Valley for some year ticks started with a walk through Happy Valley, Cuckoo, and later 2, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, and plenty of Red Legged,
also numerous Garden Warblers along the stream edge and a large number of Chaffinch giving fleeting glimpses just enough to catch your eye so you had to check them out, more Willows than Chiffs singing, only the briefest glimpse of a Redstart and no Wood Warbler.
Next a walk along the Carey Burn not sure what time it was by now but only Whinchat, Buzzard and 2 Wheatears with a pair of Grey Wagtails on the stream.
Checked everywhere for Adders with no luck I have come across them often with no problems , I had a close up lens to get some portrait shots but I never saw a one, nor the next day as it warmed I searched and searched with no luck.
I did get Tree Pipit and Spotted Flycatcher , also Ring Ouzel + Whinchat they always kept there distance another Cuckoo, young Dippers on the stream also young Song Thrush around, GSW but no Green ,one Small Copper, Orange Tip, and loads of Peacocks everywhere
6-05-08 About 16 Common Terns at Killingworth Lakes a good place to get some photos if you are patient and just sit and wait
Common Tern on the fishing platform8-05-08 Small Copper Harthope Valley Northumberland
8-05-08 Harthope Valley plenty of Red Legged Partridge I struggled to see one near home earlier in the year.
A few Whinchat around but I could not get very close ,Harthope
Surprisingly I did not see many Wheatears given the distance covered
Mistle Thrush collecting sheeps wool for nest Harthope

Willow Warbler also collecting nesting material Harthope 9-05-08
1st Spotted Flycatcher of the year Harthope 9-05-08
Also Siskin in the neaxt tree
Swallows and House Martins gathering mud from the track Langleeford Harthope 9-05-08
This Ring Ouzel sang from the top of a tree and could be seen from the valley road .but when I hiked up and around to where it was ,it was always half hidden .9-05-08 Harthope

Sunday, 11 May 2008

5-7- 05-08 Photo Roundup

Just a few shots of the week

Grey Wagtail Bellingham
My first Common Sandpiper of the year Falstone 5-05-08
Little Tern actually the day after the Black Terns, Big Waters 5-05-08

4-05-08 Black Tern Big Waters
One of two Black terns at Big Waters pond
Two Hares Digiscoped, 3-05-08
Red-Legged Partridge Digiscoped 3-05-08
Cuckoo Druridge Pools

Cuckoo feeding on Caterpillars Druridge Pools,6-05-08 crashed through the undergrowth looking for prey.
Sand Martins gathering on the small Island of Druridge Pools, 6-05-08
Digiscoped Willow Warbler
Digiscoped Willow Warbler 6-05-08

Digiscoped Golden Oriole ,poor shot of a very scarce bird for Northumberland 7-05-08
a great find by a dedicated patch watcher , it seemed to be a new county bird for many that saw it ,my thanks to the finder for not just putting out the info, but re-finding the bird so that all could see it.

Otters at play

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

2-05-08 The Pools

2-05-08 Had a drive up the coast first past Cresswell Pond ,still Goldeneye around, no sign of any Yellow Wagtails in the field just north of the pond , other than that with the water still very high no waders on the main area although the small pool looks good to the north, sometimes viewable from the Bridleway .
passing Bells farm or Hemscott as it Hill, a flock of Linnets, circled the field favoured by winter Twite,Druridge Pools 3 Heron, lots of Teal & Lapwings ,Sedge, Chiffchaff & Willow singing, near the screen (Budge) not much from the main pool water here also very high.
Hauxley Ross's Goose on the bank, Teal Gadwall. and a couple of Wigeon,also the Long Tailed Duck still around following a Shellduck,it rained very heavy so I was glad for the comfort of the new Tern hide, named because the Terns used to come in to bath and preen it was one of the best places to see Roseate away from the nest, but not it seems anymore
East Chevington and the same tale water very high, I am told it's draining slowly away, Redshank and Dunlin (thats one of each) the only waders I could see , plenty of Stonechats around the links ,a walk to the outflow and a Whimbrel on the shore my first for the year on the ground as it where, I digiscoped it and as I did a further 15+ dropped into a pool and immediately started to bath and preen , joined by the lone bird, they quickly flew off shortly followed by a large flock in off the sea easily 40+ and later another group of about 20, with lone birds calling trying to rejoin the main group
Willow Warbler very confiding bird I even Digiscoped it at a later date
Green Veined White along the path to the main pool

Redshank from the hide with the carpeted seats, not sure if it's axminster or wilton not very good at carpet ID, comfortable place to sit if you like to take photos, only problem is not much to see and what there is ,is a bit distant, there has been some very good birds here so still worth a visit. There is a list of Flowers in bloom ,and being newly into the subject I go off and look for those that are new to me.
Gadwall beside the carpet hide
Not one of my favourite places, it seems to have declined over the years , an opportunity missed for a really good reserve, I don't know what effect the large number of Canada Geese in the area has on the pools
Just a few of the Whimbrel coming over at East Chevington
Lone bird calling trying to pick up the flock