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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

29-04-08 Red-Rumped Swallow @ Swallow Pond

Digiscope to my rescue which enabled me a few shots as the bird sat just a bit to far away ,a new County bird for me !!!!

What an idiot I am ,still had the new Polarizing filter which I was trying on when the message came about the Swallow, camera could not focus ,with Skylight & Polarizing filter on thought at first it was broken
This Mistle Thrush still attempts to sing ,even with a gob full!!!
First Orange Tip of the year for me
First Comma of the year for me also 3 Peacocks

Monday, 28 April 2008

21-27 -04-08 Two old knees in the Pyrenees

Two old knees to the Pyrenees.
A cheap flight £50 to Girona and a drive to Andorra for the start of the trip ..............

Thursday, 17 April 2008

16-04-08 Fullcrest

Some mystery bug saw me ill on Tuesday and not much better on Wednesday, but it was brighter and the Pallas's was reported singing so I went to try and get some shots , Goldcrests displaying for me on the path up, a few birders around but not the bird ,with nobody really looking I checked the areas it had last shown just walked back and forth slowly but a no show, I thought I heard it late afternoon, but it was deep in the scrub/wood at the South end. Willow Warblers singing , and then the pager message I did not want to see "Red Breasted Goose" (colour ringed) at Linton Pond, now dubbed a plastic bird which although its obvious now that the ring has been seen ,that the bird is an escape, does not do it justice as it is still worth seeing .
Later at home message "Pallas's Warbler still at the South end " oh !!well I did look
A Fullcrest Coldcrest
Gives the impression of the head parting and out comes the fiery crest
Not sure if she is impressed or not ,
Willow Warblers in fine voice.

Not mushroom in here.

Spring is here, though it was still bloody cold when the sun went in
Optimistic Collared Dove nesting behind a sky dish

Monday, 14 April 2008

14-04-08 Red Breasted Goose

The report of two Avocets in the area of Cresswell saw me drive that way, going over the hill at Hemscott I could see the pools where larger than usual so I thought I would have a look on the off chance they had dropped in there, walking through 7-8 Yellowhammers , and three Redshank lifted, which reminded me that most birds flush from here as there is no cover, looking at some Geese to the side just to count them I was very surprised to find a Red Breasted Goose,but they had seen me and where off, a few shots before they where in the distance towards East Chevington,which is where it landed , (on the drive there the Hooded Crow was in the field so I stopped for a couple of shots )hidden by a hedge and a dip in the field it only showed in small gaps, about 7pm it took off and flew back South. I know there is going to be a great deal of doubt about it's origins, but I was thrilled to find it for myself a bird I have looked and longed for , for some years, being a life tick, I don't give a monkeys what anybody else thinks it's on my list !!! ( it could be around for months and take the edge off a bit ,but we will see )
Went down to Druridge Pools for the Avocets which showed well also a Green Winged Teal, and a Barn Owl right past the screen with another at Cresswell as I drove past

Hooded Crow the dunes just north of Cresswell

Green Winged Teal Druridge Pools

Kestrel Druridge Pools with prey Digiscoped
Avocet as they headed East

Saturday, 12 April 2008

12-03-08 Pallas's Warbler

What a turn up for April , message of a Yellow Browed singing at Swallow turned into a Pallas's Warbler so it was off despite the grotty weather, no sign when I got there but it showed after about 1/2 hour so I rattled a few shots off, it went from the screen to the far end of the pool which is some distance, it showed off and on for sometime giving good views but very hard to get any shots,it sang for awhile as the weather improved very like a Willow Warbler but only half the song , these are my feeble efforts not much for an afternoon but cracking bird,also House Martin & Blackcap for the year.

Friday, 11 April 2008

11-03-08 Garganey

I think I missed the best part of the day , by the time I headed up the coast it was starting to cloud over stopped at Cresswell to look in the fields for Yellow Wag but none, picked out the Hooded Crow further along it was some way off got out to get the camera and it was off very flighty these crows ( you should always keep your camera on the seat I keep reminding myself)
it settled on the coast side but all you could see was its head and then they where off again so I gave up, pulled in at the screen at the pools to find a pair of Garganey in with the Teal the light was very grey by now and did not improve so I headed home early about 6.

10-03-08 Pochard +

Report of Red Crested Pochard at Swallow Pond, not my favourite place to visit but the bird showed well despite the very noisy kids that came to feed the Swans etc,(Pochard did not come to bread so that's it ,it's a good un !!) the birds do not seem to mind the surrounds beyond the pond these areas are vital for birds on passage etc.
Some very heavy showers later it started to brighten up so I went inland for owls ,a Barn Owl within a couple of minutes showed very well lost count how many I have seen this year already, a Short Eared showed briefly and the Barn Owl continued to give good views sitting on the fence often ,the SEO or another as it came from a different direction showed again but at a distance, and finally a Long Eared Owl put on a show at one stage it sat in a tree, it was immediately mobbed by a Mistle Thrush which gave it such a shock it fell off its perch and hit the branch with a belly flop falling to the ground with its wings outstretched like an Angel, as it cleared the branch it took flight , absolutely magic to watch, it settled again but further off and partly obscured , also first Pipistrelle of the year, great afternoon and evening well after 9:30 before I got in !!!
Distant Long Eared Owl in the gloom
I could watch these anytime it came overhead as I stood in the bushes but the branches got in the way
Looks like Tintin !!!
Whatever it's origins, this is a very nice bird it showed well ,probably stay for a while now !!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Saturday the 5th Garganey still at the wetland ,called in to have a quick look to see if the Cranes where still there dead Red Legged Partridge gave me a good view of one , called at Linton Glaucous 1st y, another Swallow+ 3 Sand martins, with three Chiffs singing in the woods,Longhirst flash another Glaucous with 1st y Iceland & 14 Whooper, Bothal pond 2 Ringed Plover and about a dozen Sand Martins .
8th an afternoon at St Marys no sign of the Garganeys, Fox spent the whole afternoon asleep in the grass I waited for it to get up for some action but it was still there when I left, no sign of the Water Pipit either, water levels here also very high and plenty of water in the fields .
9th Bothal pond was the first stop not much to report there, Longhirst the next stop I was just pulling in to the gap by the trees when I noticed a Stoat with it's head down a hole right out in the open it ran away into the hedge,so I reversed out quickly and it looked at me from behind the tree,and went back to digging in the hole after a Vole perhaps, I was just going to get what I thought was some great shots when a car pulled into the gap and it was off, the annoying thing was they just sat in the car trying to look over the hedge with bins your not going to see much here with that approach,a good chance missed for me I was gutted !! ,2 Buzzards over ,Linton had a 1st y Glaucous but it was great to see a Little Gull feeding on and from the water looked very small amongst the Herring & Black Backs,ended the day with 2 Barn Owls they showed well but the light was very poor.
10th Tried for the reported Great Grey Shrike with no luck 1st Wheatears for the year with 2 males weather very changeable plenty of Sand Martins over the pools water levels very high here and at Cresswell.
Garganey at StMary's just a different view from under the chin looking like a platypus
Curlews into the wetland as I waited for the Fox to get up !!
Little Gull looking small and dainty amongst the big boys !!

Barn Owl showed well but the light was very poor

Digiscoped Barn Owl about 1/2 sec exposure
My first Wheatear of the year ,one of two from Druridge to East Chevington

Sunday, 6 April 2008

2/4-04-08 St Mary's Wetland area

A cycle to St Mary's on Wednesday to perhaps get any migrants like Wheatear ,failed to produce any along the coast other than ever present Stonechats, no sign of the Water Pipit , there where 21 Whoopers on the sea only had my old scope it was hard work trying to check them out for Bewicks ,they did drift closer and while getting a couple of shots I noticed what I thought was a Harbour Porpoise breaching behind them ,a few shots later and I suddenly realised it was the tip of the wreck just showing as the tide went out ,I waited for them to take off to try and get them past the Lighthouse, the honking got louder and louder and they where off but they kept low to the sea and gone in seconds, I did notice some Cowslips in flower along the bank and off in the distance of the bay what looked like a Red Necked Grebe but just to far to be sure.
Friday 4th report of a pair of Garganey at the wetlands saw me there again now a strong west wind the birds sat asleep only lifting there heads when the Redshank took off ,they did show better later but to windy for digiscoping, two nice birds good to see them back again.
21 Whoopers on the sea just off the rocks
Surprised at how quick they where up and gone !!!
Cowslips on the banks.

Rather poor effort for the afternoon ,missed the Fox & Stoat for photos