Monday, 31 March 2008
Friday, 28 March 2008
The day started off wet and grey so I thought Linton ,get the flask and sarnies and sit in the hide, still would like an adult Glaucous, but I got stuck in a very long traffic jam for some reason and I realised I had not brought my phone or pager so I turned around and went back home ,message of a Firecrest not 10 mins old so off I went , not a soul there so I worked the whole lenght of the willows twice before I picked it up on call ,sounded to me hoarser than Goldcrest, anyway it showed very well giving good views but the light was poor and when the sun came out the bird had gone , in and out of view and I took loads of photos many have been binned ,my reactions where always behind the bird and I got many shots of a bare branch.
also in the large triangle patch Goldcrest, Redwing, and a Chiffchaff.
I thought i had taken plenty of shots but I should have went back when the sun came out, the big lenses where there,check out JM site link ,he got a stunner shot as the bird was at the pool for a drink. wait till I get my 800mm!!!!!!!!! (DONATIONS WELCOME !!!!)
Not sure what these are it is feeding on
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 20:18
The message of a Ross's Gull adult past Seaton Sluice in the morning ,so I thought what the hell go out and have a look at anywhere that it could have dropped into , checked the beach at Blyth plus the estuary,Castle Island Newbiggin ,QE11 lake but nothing , this is a great find for SSWT just goes to show put in the hours and the rewards will come , still hoping it will turn up somewhere along the coast. stopped to have another look at the Cranes with what I thought was a White Wagtail in the gateway and two Long Tailed's working the hedge, can't be anyone who has not seen these birds by now ,did not think they would stay this long , on to Linton 2 x Glaucous on the pond, and Barn Owl on the way home.
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 19:36
Monday, 24 March 2008
Today we went to Harthope Valley with the hope of perhaps an early Adder not sure when they are about this far north, but actually when the sun was out it was very warm ,but it changed very quickly with some heavy snow showers, not much snow lying other than on Cheviot, Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the stream, three Buzzards over and 2 Kestrel, plenty of Red Grouse calling as we where walking back to the car I saw this one at the road edge but with only my 50mm lens on I just walked nearer and nearer, great views of a Green Woodpecker as it called from the top of a dead tree and then flew off, 2 new birds for the year list ,also GSW, and Blue/Great/ Chaffinch with c12 Song Thrush & 5 Mistle Thrush, and a pair of Mallard on a small puddle also a Marsh or Willow did not get good enough views and two Treecreepers having a fight just feet away from me with a shaft of sunlight showing them off superbly, but alas 50mm lens is no good for birds this small,I was trying my hand at some scenery shots,but I am useless at it the shots just look flat and dull, I have joined a Photographic Society to try and improve my technique which at the current standard would not take much.
I did notice plenty of Hares chasing around they looked to me much larger than I have seen in the local fields , on the way home a Barn Owl showed in front of the car stopped and changed my lens but it had moved back along the road sitting on a fence post we had just passed ,a car stopped within feet of it from here it just moved a few posts ,the car neared and stopped again,fro here it looked as though it was going to come right over my head but veered off,followed by a very heavy snow shower, thats it home !!
These look good enough to eat!!!!
Looking across the valley
Not bad for a 50mm lens
The red really stands out , you could pick the birds out well up on the hillside.
Barn Owl number ........hundreth, but I never tire of seeing one
Have just been looking at Google Earth, and you can actually see this rough ground the Owl was hunting over, its fantastic !!!!!
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 19:15
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Saturday the wind seemed to have eased somewhat but with flurries of snow and sleet ,I headed up to have another look at the Cranes calling at Castle Island not much on show gave it a good scan from the hill and moved on to Longhirst flash plenty of gulls along the edge put I think I flushed them putting up my scope, I had to sit in the car for 10 mins while it bleached down with snow, but the sun came out and I had a good look around ,Teal, Wigeon, Shellduck, and Gadwall, but nothing out of the ordinary in the gulls , so off to Linton a tree down across the path , it absolutely heaved it down thankfully its not lying, a Glaucous on show , followed later by an Adult Iceland Gull and another Glaucous, Shoveller in good number with a count of 22, still Goldeneye, Tufted, Teal about 30 Wigeon, and the usual honkers, no sign of the Cranes on the way back, but about 30+ Pied Wagtails in the west end of the field.
Not the clearest of shots but it does show how "clean" they are, Stunners I think
now where is that Adult Glaucous ????
Second of the Glaucous gulls
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 18:08
Thursday, 20 March 2008
I thouight I had edited this post re the ring on the Common Crane it turns out just to be a photo artefact or leg colour and not a ring !!!
Another shot amongst the Jackdaws, ring clearly shown
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 23:49
Wednesday not sure of where to go today I thought a cycle through the fields to Holywell not much around other than I caught up with 2 Red Legged usually in good numbers in the fields but these the first of the year, sitting in the hide just checking the gulls as they dropped in along with the usual Greylag + 5 pinkfeet, the pager went off with the message of 2 Common Cranes near QE11 park this was at 3:30 ish but the time quoted was 2pm ,so what to do had they been there but by now gone , or where they still there, a couple of phone calls gave no further info , so a while later I headed for St Mary's only to get the call the Cranes where still present, so I decided to go for them, cycling all that way was a no ! no!. back home for the car scope and digigear, first problem a puncture, so I had to stop frequently to pump it up, then I got onto the coast road and into the wind, bottom gear and it was still hard work, but I had decided to go for the birds and so I had to battle on, I was Knackered when I got home with having to pump the tyre up and cycle against the wind, got home got my gear and was off, but just around the corner the petrol light came on and with stations few and far nowadays thought I had better get some ,pulled up filled up and went to pay ,bugger no money and no cards, in my haste to get out forgot to pick my cards up, so I went in to explain, had to fill a form in and leave my mobile, and then it was off the sun setting fast as I pulled up and there they where, fantastic got a couple of shots, they showed well but where at some distance for digiscoping, eventually just before dark they flew west and where later reported at Longhirst Flash ,as predicted a suitable roost site .but as I had no phone I could not ring in an update!!!!!
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 11:39
A spell at Linton Pools where there is always plenty of gull activity produced 3 Glaucous, and later an Iceland Gull, no sign of the 2nd Winter bird with the damaged bill not seen for a few weeks, it was great to see the Iceland much better finding your own than going off for birds seen elsewhere, there should be a few around over the weeks. A guy in the hide whos name I did not get had an adult Yellow legged gull but I did not see it,will have another spell here soon.
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 11:24