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Tuesday, 26 August 2008

26-08-08 Cresswell Pond

Cresswell Pond today for most of the time despite the high water levels the waders are still around ,everything to far for photos the summary was,
2 Little Stints
5-6 Ruff
12 Black Tailed Godwits
10 Knot
30 + Dunlin
35 Curlew
3 Greenshanks (5 at the weekend)
1 Common Sandpiper
100 Golden Plover
300+ Lapwing
Snipe in good numbers hard to say how many at least 40
1 Kestrel
2 Merlin ( what looks like a Juvenile made three flights over the pond without success,it joined a second bird that was sat in one of the tall Hawthorns )
1 Peregrine ( made a lenghty flight around the area not seen to be successful )
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Buzzard
9 Grey partridge
1 Goldeneye
Wigeon.Teal, Mallard,Pochard.Gadwall,Tufted ,etc,etc & 1 lonely Sandwich Tern
it's the place to be at the moment, surely something will turn up here soon !!!!


Little Gull Lynemouth digiscoped this shot just to keep my hand in .

Little Gull Lynemouth
Ruff one of four at Lynemouth
Eristalis tenax ?

I should have taken a shot of this spider from the other side to ID it, the legs are spiny ??
The humble Large White
Carrion Crow looks rather comical from this angle

One of two Egrets at Lynemouth

21-08-08 More Dragons

Southern Hawker caught in flight as it checked me out,just as well it's not slide film I took several shots to get this one !!!!
Another Southern Hawker lying up as the sun went in

Female Southern Hawker near the male they hooked up in a wheel when the sun came out and flew off ,but it was over in a second and I missed the shot


Black Tern at Cresswell on the wednesday

This very large Otter cruised the pond at Creswell look how thick that tail is, this is a Very large Male I would have thought
Large flock of Siskin
Ruddy Darters flying in tandem as the female lays,it must be quite some feat
Helophilus pendulus


When the weather allowed tried to get some Dragonflies but still not much around Common Darter looks newly emerged
Emerald, a very nice Damselfly
Not sure what these are yet it looks like a few things in my book , the other insect just came from behind as I was focusing

Crop from the image below showing the eggs which are just pumped out ,most like these will probably provide a meal for something

Original from above
Emperor pushing through the surface tension to lay her eggs
Ruddy Darter
St Mary's Island
Waders at St Mary's coming in on the falling tide

Thursday, 14 August 2008

11-08-08 Black Stork

Word of Black Stork in the area at the weekend was good news but also bad news, I was tied up for the weekend , nothing to do with bondage as that's later in the year, a first aid course, I suppose I could have seen it if I had really put myself out. Monday morning the report of it back near Newburn and I was there within 45mins, but alas it was gone , hoping for it to return some of us hung around till the message Black Stork Clara Vale allotments, so a convoy of cars headed off , the allotments where eventually found but the bird had gone, talking to one of the gardeners he said the kids had hearded it to one side trying to catch it ,eventually it flew to the crest of a hill landed and then over the top , talking to someone else over the hill he said it seemed to go south , the consensus was it may have gone back to Greenside, so three car loads went off that way, I decided to have my lunch and see if it would be reported, after that and a look around the area, I decided to head home via Shibdon pond , leaving Clara Vale I passed a ploughed field glancing over it as I drove past the entrance I saw a large lump in the field (birder's technical term), turned around and parked in the gateway, there it was feeding as it walked across the field, "get in" I had refound it for myself ,Digiscoped a few shots in case it flew, then in the corner a very large tractor started up , the farmer must also have been for his lunch in the nearby farm, and was about to till the field , I flagged him as he was about to pass and told him about the Stork, a young Australian lad he couldn't give a Castle Maine four X about it, I asked if I could go around the field before he got there knowing it would take flight at the noise of the tractor , so I got a few shots before it flew , I again had it sometime later flying over , and I gather it returned to the field later that evening.
One annoying thing I sent in a text of it's location, but they only repeated the message from earlier?
Great bird and a good day out.
Black Stork with Crawcrook in the background

Large - very large wingspan
A couple of Woodpigeons looking on in awe at the size of this thing, as big as it was it could soon vanish from sight
A hide Spider, one of those that are always present when you open the shutter of a hide.
Common Darter, teneral male ?
Southern Hawker Male

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

8-08-08 "MINKIE WHALE"

Friday the 8th I spent most of the day at Cawfields on the Roman Wall a project to extend hay meadows it was overcast and warm and the midges where out in force,heavy force, for some reason my jacket attracted them in thousands, even later in the day they where still everywhere.
Called in at Whittle Dene the hide is locked and a no access sign not much around so I did not stay long later I called at the Sluice on the way home ,what a change from midges in your hair and choking on the ones that get in your mouth, I love the coast, BD was already in there and informed me there was not much doing , but he suddenly called out MINKIE WHALE heading South I got on what I thought was the line and saw it as it came to the surface, it showed incredibly well the head coming up and a good portion of its body showing how bulky they are, it showed off and on for awhile as it turned and came back on the same line . this is only my second sighting of a Minkie what a great end to the day !!! no photos of it I'm afraid,maybe next time.
Wall along the wall,but on a fence
Juvenile Willow Warbler I will have to check if this "EXUVIAE" is a Southern Hawker,perhaps the one on the other side trying to get some sun
Not much in the way of birds today

Sunday, 10 August 2008

4-08-08 SWIFTS

Looking out the bedroom window one morning a Swift seemed to leave the nest under the eaves so later that day I switched on the CCTV, this is the nest that failed in June when the chicks died, but as last year the Adults returned to the nest for a few nights staying till morning , I have not seen many Swifts of late, not sure why they do this , perhaps it's pair bonding before they depart for the Winter ,or just using the nest to preen and rest before going South
The view is actually quite good on the TV as you can see the flat flies running around on there backs, with Moths and Spiders all looking a ghostly white .
Saturday the 9th at least a dozen Swifts screaming around over the gardens, the most I have sen for awhile.
I have lots of video but can't get it onto the computer so have just taken a couple of photos from the TV hence the very poor quality

Two Swifts, the other facing away thats it's wings to the left and the entrance hole in the background
This one is sitting on the ceiling beam, they look really pale faced in the infra red light


Cresswell Pond North end seems to be the place to go at the moment with ,Green & Common Sand, Greenshank, Ruff, Black Tailed Godwit, Little Gull, Bean Goose, & Marsh Harrier over,
I had a look on the sea for any Cetaceans from Druridge Bay, only about 10 Red Throated Divers, and three Mergansers, I did Have a look from Newbiggin one day with about 5 Harbour Porpoise, a couple of Manx, and 2 Arctic Skuas, a couple of visits to St Mary's for the incoming tide .
A few of these Moths in flight hiding, in the long grass
This looks like Southern Hawker Female to me only got a couple of shots and it was not seen again, newly emerged perhaps
Kittiwake, it was ringed but could not read all the numbers
Adult Roseate Tern

Monday, 4 August 2008

1-08-08 St Mary's Island

Roseate Tern Roseate Tern
Roseate tern (with bling)

Click for larger image ,I will have to practice the highlights
Juvenile Common tern (added highlight as it looked wrong without it)