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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Nothing at all to do with Birding ..........just a bit of fun !!!

Sometimes TV is just rubbish ,with more entertainment in the adverts this spoof from one of the long running ones !!!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Holywell,Big Waters, & St Mary's, blah ! blah! blah!

Another week of just visiting the ponds it's a way of getting out of the wind , Holywell was very quiet six Whoopers on as I arrived but again they took off in minutes.
A visit to Big Waters the water level the highest Iv'e seen the hides surrounded by water and the feeding station was also flooded which attracted two Little Grebes feeding on worms , it was rather surreal a family of Mute swans and 2 Grebes feeding below, Tree Sparrows, Blue Tits , Greenfinch, & Goldfinchas they hung from the feeders, Great Crested Grebe still around no sign of Otter or Kingfisher the water very murky.
Cycled to St Mary's in the winter sun , Water Pipit in the same area of the prom , a couple of Purple Sandpipers feeding on the seaweed wrack, about a dozen Gadwall and a few Teal on the wetland again was hoping the GWT would drop in here but no, from sun to dull in a matter of minutes today , nearly dark by the time I got home.
Six Whoopers just leaving Holywell , what happened to the days they used to roost here in good numbers, only one juvenile in with these.

Big Waters I had time to kill so set up the digiscope gear for the Little Grebes


Great Crested Grebe also Digiscoped

The Inevitable Tree Sparrow

I'm sure this must have happened before, the feeding station flooded allowing the Swans to swim in

Little Grebes finding plenty of drowned worms from within the feeding station , they came in several times while I was there

just a single Bullfinch going for the Niger seed

I think it could hear the camera, but wasn't sure

Just outside the hide .............

Bullfinch not coming too close

A Purple Sandpiper at St Mary's feeding on the huge pile of seaweed

Water Pipit still around

Saturday, 14 November 2009

12/13 & 14th but not much birding

Thursday the 12th a run up to Cresswell & Druridge Pools with a walk to East Chevington, was very quiet, the highlight of the day was at the beach of Chevington scoping the Sanderling for colour ringed birds , one stopped and coughed up a pellet , I was tempted to go and get it but a wave washed it away, not seen a wader do this before , although I know they and numerous other birds eject them, Druridge water level the highest Ive seen for a long time, huge roost of Great Black Backs nearby and plenty passing overhead , Cresswell water level not too bad, Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows down the hedge, 2 Mergansers dropped in, very slow day otherwise, stopped at Lynemouth to check the dunes but nothing..........went to do some shopping in the end !!!

Friday being much nicer than I thought it was going to be, headed to Holywell , but again not much around , a Whooper landed briefly but did not stay , some Greylag in the field with a couple of Pinks, Gull numbers building up but no more sign of the Iceland.
Saturday and another session at Holywell , Digiscoped a few shots as the light was OK, Sparrowhawk through the feeders, but another slow day , my corned beef sandwiches being the highlight. This ring of Fungi was about 30' across how long does it take to get to this size ?

Whooper in and out !!!

Heron chasing each other

and working it's way past the hide

Digiscoped this as much to keep my hand in

The shore at Holywell is good for digiscoping attempts, more shots to add to my huge number of gull photos

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Big Waters........11-10-09

I have been to Big Waters for awhile so I thought I would have a run there on Wednesday, 3 and then 2 Roe Deer out in the fields as I drove along the A19, it was bright when I arrived but soon became dull with some light rain although I seem to have missed the worst.
The Otter showed after about 30 mins feeding along the north side at one point it looked as though it was going onto the island , always a number of Tree Sparrows on the feeders , probably one of the easiest places to see them, a Sparrowhawk tried for one just below me it was all over in a flash, not sure if it got one or not ,it was some time before the birds returned in numbers.
Great Crested Grebe, a few assorted duck , 3 Goldeneye, a couple of snipe over , the water level very high ,where has all this water come from must have been some heavy rains through the nights.
Kingfisher put in a brief appearance no time to get a photo it flew off to the right of the hide probably to the willows to fish from.

This looked a little bit like a face, and no my nose is not as big as that !!

Digiscoped the Goldeneye

View from the front of the hide

and view from the side

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Water Pipit......... n ......waders

Monday I went up for the Water Pipit it was showing well at the start of the prom, but is very flighty and you just cant get near it perhaps when it settles down I may get some photos , still a couple of Sanderlings with colour rings one has just the stub of its leg having lost it's foot cant see any rings on what is left but it was ringed on the right,also went to Holywell Pond for an hour or two but nothing new to report .
Tuesday and I had another run to the fish quay but looked for a few hours with no sign, so I dropped in at the boating lake the Barnacle Goose is well settled now coming to bread with the gulls and Mallards, again another look for Sanderling with rings on photographed a couple which I think I already have , the Water Pipit located easily enough but still no photos, it sat on the rocks for ten or so minutes in the late afternoon two Grey Wagtails also and later near the Dene 4 Grey Wagtails seemed to be going to roost there
Barnacle Goose Tynemouth boating lake

Fox on the wetland and lots of Teal ,was hoping for the Green Winged as they where showing well and the light fantastic

I do like to see Sanderling ........all the way from Iceland

Water Pipit keeping its distance which is a pity as it sat here for some time ,but by now it was very late in the afternoon

Friday, 6 November 2009

The call of The Sabines ..............

Last Sunday in the heavy rain I ended up at Holywell Pond I must have misheard the weather I thought it was showers then heavy rain but no just rain till late afternoon when it got out OK , not much new on the pond other than the Iceland Gull the same one from Blyth estuary it has a drooping right wing but seems to fly OK , something not quite right about it but not seen it in any good light yet.
Monday I headed back to the quay to try for the Sabines , it showed a couple of times but I missed it , a very cold wind coming straight down the river.
Tuesday I went for a walk around Gosforth Park, just a couple of Jays , no sign of any Squirrels , on the way home called in at Holywell again , the Green Winged Teal drifted into view late afternoon a total of about 80 Teal present .
Wednesday and yes it's back to the Shields , this time earlier to catch the Sabines at the quay which I eventually did , and despite getting some full frame shots and some too close shots , I still have not got the shot I wanted , but hey ! perhaps it will hang around for awhile yet, it was great to hear it call a single soft "kree" ( thats how it is described in the books, and one states high pitched , but perhaps thats an adult, I thought it more a rasping buzz )which it uttered a few times , one Black Headed Gull took a dislike to it and chased it a few times. Eventually it headed back over to what looked like Sandhaven beach.
Thursday I had a look along the estuary but should have taken the scope , 4 probably Mergansers just too far away , a large number of Oystercatchers on the jetty on the Cambois side and a couple of hundred Redshank just along the wall so I did not go any further so as not to flush them just for the sake of it .
Iceland Gull Holywell Pond in the gloom of Sunday the 1st

North Shields fish quay 2nd Nov, ..............but no sabs today........ for me anyway.

GWT at Holywell Pond late afternoon of the 3rd.

Magpies along the hillside .

Coming towards me as it cruised the quayside.

One of those Angel of the North type shots,

One of the many shots that have gone wrong the bird too close and has gone out of shot !!!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Holywell to Shields...........31-10-09

Had a run to Holywell Pond, Goosander at the east end ,3 Whoopers over turned and landed but where chased off , a group of Greylag dropped in and in with them a Greenland Whitefront Goose and a few Pinkfeet they did not stay long the Pinkfeet left first then the Whitefront left on its own, Jays again along the north hedge ,Migrant Hawker along the pond edge again.
Sabine's still showing at Shields so I headed off,arrived to see it drift across the river mouth turn along the north shore then drop on the sea by the prom, here it stayed for some time till it eventually went over to the haven , I took a chance and headed to the quay, and about 1/2 hour later it just appeared in front of us and plied back and forth , eventually it headed over the river high up but turned back towards Sandhaven again . I have taken many shots of this bird but for some reason I just cannot get any top shots given the bird has showed so well, and today the light seemed ok in the late afternoon but still not got any shots I should be proud of, so if it stays beyond Sunday ,it looks like its back to the quay for me next week !!!!!!
Whoopers over the pond

Greenland Whitefront heads off

Larus sabini , now here for a full week

Just picking from the surface