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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

24-02-08 Firecrest

23-02-08 Ovingham


Gulls with the camera

And through the scope to pick out this ring
Digiscoped images

Just come a little nearer !!! digiscoped

Med and its tail as it came over head and all I got was it's tail

Ringed bird on the beach
And as it drops on the sea


17-02-08 Hareshaw Linn

Friday, 22 February 2008

16-02-08 Saturday

Another fine sunny day so I decided to go and look for Goshawks arrived at a suitable spot it was colder than I expexted with a breeze from the west only took about 15mins to see the first one as it came across and headed off west, also Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, and Buzzards with 5 in a stack and another 2 nearer 7 Buzzards in the air at the same time wow!! a further 2 Goshawks looked as though they where going to display but eventually drifted off , Chaffinches and Tits in the nearby trees and 2 Crossbills came over my head turned and headed back, ended the day on the coast with a rumour of drake Smew but no sign. not a single photo taken.

14-02-08 Castle Island

Northumbrian Birding
Thursday 14th decided to have a look at Castle Island area in the hope of the Iceland would be around, parked and walked down, the first thing of note the water was gone leaving a narrow channel with at least 20 little Grebes beside the bridge ,Long Tailed duck, Tufted ,Teal and Wigeon + Shellduck and 3 Heron, I wanted to go for a walk so I had not brought the scope ,checked what I could of the Gulls most of the nearer ones Black headed & Common with the larger Gulls more distant,walked along west to the weir plenty more BH picking along the exposed shore, Redwings on the north side just down from the houses, GSW calling, hoping for Green but no,pair of Goosanders just further along and another Heron, had to walk up the hill and through the estate to get back on the south side and back along to Castle island, for another check 2 jay in the bushes on the hillside, but nothing else new but I did have a SEO on the way home, managed one digiscoped shot and a couple of other shots as the light fell, a good walk on a fine sunny day, there was three what looked like white mallards on the island just like the one I saw at Holywell.
7 of at least 20 little Grebes near the rail bridge you can see how low the river is
Goosanders where the stream joins the river
SEO slow shutter speed in the gloom
Only one of 5 that I digiscoped came out due to the very slow shutter speed.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

12-02-08 Holywell, The Dene. & St Mary's

Northumbrian Birding
Tuesday and yet another sunny and at times warm day, so got the bike out and headed via the tracks to Holywell stopped at a point where there was plenty of bird activity with Blue, Great & a single Marsh Tit, with Goldcrests then I noticed a small bird picking through an Ash tree hovering now and then to pick off insects it was a bit distant and I could not get any nearer as the tree was in a field got a couple of shots just for the practice, a ChiffChaff which has probably overwintered or perhaps given the long spell of good weather may have moved north, as I was waiting for it to reappear I could sense something behind me turning, but looking towards the light I thought it was a dog going off but thought it would have barked at me, then across in front of me a Fox , it stopped and had alook at me then dashed off into the thick cover, no sign of Red Legged Partridge on the way up I have had 30-40 on this run many times , at Holywell another tree blown down but it lets a little more light onto the pond, a smart white Mallard not an albino, but it does look good (one of the Castle Island crew perhaps see later post) Summer Great Crested, and about 15 Pochard, Goldeneye,Tufted, Teal etc:, Great Spotted in the willows and a Reed Bunting actually feeding from a hopper, I know they come to feeders but I have only seen them feed in the open. A Lesser Black Backed Gull was my first for the year on to St Marys via the dene with nothing unusual nor at St Marys again plenty of Snipe on the wetland , still searching for a Jack Snipe to photograph, no sign of the Water Pipit today, a small flock of geese flew out to sea and landed on the water about 40 birds but I could not make them out could have done with the scope there is a limit to what I can carry on the bike ,but another good day out, the temperature drops rapidly as the sun goes, it was freezing cycling home.
Chiffchaff in the sun
Fox also out in the sunshine

Great Spotted with it's tongue out
White Duck (perhaps one the Castle Island mob)
Reed Bunting on the feeders don't remember seeing this before, but it's probably common
1st Lesser Black Backed of the year

11-02-08 Plessey Woods

Northumbrian Birding

Decided to have a walk through the woods along the river to look for Dipper, another sunny day birds very active in places lots of Nuthatch calling, and three Woodpeckers drumming not with real vigour but still sounded great, found my Dipper but on a shaded stretch , also came across a Goosander that let me approach before paddling away upstream , more Goldcrests today feeding down on the branch tips, nothing exciting to see just a great walk with lots of atmosphere as the sun warmed the ground, called in at WH on the way back no SEO but the Harris Hawk on the lampost tops ,it just seems to fly up and sit for ages.

10-2-08 Shibdon Pond

Northumbrian Birding

Sunday and it was a run to see the Red Kites at far pastures and the hope of a Jack Snipe to photograph,only one Kite in view and no sign of Jack Snipe,Sparrowhawk, Kestrel,Teal Mallard, & 6 Common Snipe all gave good views,also had a long walk around Shibdon pond, a Fox sunned it self being carefully watched by some Canada geese it was at such ease it lay flat out for a snooze,this was just a walk round to get familiar with the site,good for Dragonflies in the Summer, a flock of Long Tailed Tits followed us around and we came across this large Cabbage? its over 3' tall and looks well nibbled on the stalk by Deer,as did some of the trees with the bark removed
plenty Teal on the pool with also small parties on the pools via the boardwalk, usual Canadas in residence and Goldeneye,Mallard Tufted, with also 100+ Black headed and a few Common Gulls

Friday, 15 February 2008

9-02-08 Hulne Park

Northumbrian Birding
Saturday 9-02-08 we drove to Hulne Park on the outskirts of Alnwick ,tried our luck at the gatehouse for Hawfinch but with no luck, 4 Buzzards overhead gave good views,Bullfinch,Greenfinch,Long,Great, &Blue Tits in the area with Fieldfares over and Kestrel ,access is allowed to the park but only on foot there are some good walks although sometimes not much to see regards wildlife perhaps you have to get there early which is a problem as access is only after 11am,I have yet to see a Rabbit or even a sign of one ,I did find this Bat on the track not sure if it was predated those are its legs that look as though they have been pulled out and a view of the teeth and ears those flaps look like baffles perhaps to funnel sound, I should have kept it for the skull but had nothing to carry it in ,should always carry a body bag, a walk to the tower and around with Peacock on the way also a large flock of Siskin with some males singing also more Fieldfare & Redwings another look for Hawfinch but again no luck, we enjoyed the walk anyway and it was good to see the tower without the scaffolding a fine piece of work, also the new presume memorial garden with the stunning wrought & cast gates although the stones at the base looked very odd I thought someone had just stuffed them in, have a look for yourself they really are fantastic

This Bat looks fat to me me ,wings damaged and blooded legs
Those teeth look very sharp, ear baffles ?, and look how thick the fur is
The name escapes me for now Brizle Tower ?, well worth a look

The new gates
These are fantastic gates,but can't help but think if they where elsewhere they would be stolen for scrap, such is the world we now live in !!!
View from the gates looking West I think
This tree amazes me how it has grown on what looks like the bare rock
Finally stopped for a sunset shot on the way home