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Friday, 30 January 2009

28-1-09 Catcleugh

Wednesday morning the 28th January 9:30 and I was at Catcleugh Reservoir, not somewhere you here much of ,it's a fantastic setting ,there was a heavy mist on the way over, I stopped for a couple of Buzzards on the ground in a field , they just walked over the crest and watched me heads just visible but not that far off, till they took off and quickly went out of sight , anyway at the reservoir in the NE corner were some Whoopers at least 6 (2 A ,4J ) with about another 10 birds hidden in the reeds so could have been Mute in with them, a single goose at the extreme range of my scope and vision I took to be a Bean Goose, only got a couple of shots, but it looks to me like a "fabalis" Taiga , a single Teal, and a male Goosander the only other birds I could see, looked back later but a heavy mist sat over the area which took ages to clear, more Buzzards over one mobbed by a Raven, 2 Dippers on the river and about 100 Fieldfares over , came back via Elsdon Gibbet, in the hope of Crossbills which seem to often get right onto the edge of Harwood sometimes , but not today it was cold, dull and damp here, so heading back towards Morpeth taking it slow,I past a Barn Owl poking it's head out of a tree & another mixed flock of mostly Redwings , Starlings and a few Fieldfare, also in the same tree line to far off for me a flock of 60+ smaller birds.


One of the original workmans huts is still on site which is Private with no access but is open for one day in the year a great opportunity to have a look around, I recommend it , look out for details , also well worth a look is the small church just outside of Byrness, this has some great stained glass dedicated to the men women & children that lost there lives building the dam ,
Bremenium a roman fort near Rochester is also worth a visit

Fabalis ?



Swans in the distance gives you some idea of the size of this water





Mist set in it was mid afternoon before it started to clear




Some information here
http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/catcleughreservoir

Glaucous ,Iceland Gull,Snipe, Jack Snipe, Willow, Blue, Great,Long Tailed Tit, Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Merganser,Goosander, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Shoveller,Gadwall,Shellduck Goldeneye, Eider,Pinkfeet , Greylag ,Canada, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Sanderling,Bar Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed , Common , Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent , Redshank, Rock Pipit, Waxwing (s), Kittiwake, Tree Sparrow, Bullfinch , Raven, Dipper, Bean Goose,














Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Garden Tick.........no not mine

Check out this link for a garden tick that most would drool over ,imagine coming home and the missus tells you, as she was doing the washing up, she had a funny bird in the garden ,it was there ages so I got a couple of snaps....................


http://www.jackiefreemanphotography.com/goshawk.htm

Monday, 26 January 2009

23-1-09 Friday ........a slow day

Friday and I could not get out before about 1pm , so I only went to Linton Pond , but not much to see again the surrounding fields are holding huge amounts of water and nice open areas for gulls to lounge around , passed easy a thousand just by the roundabout, walked to the west hide about 50+ Redwings and a few Fieldfare, a Fox on the far side but not much in the way of gulls, time for a run further north I think, called at QE11 on the way back most birds are at the South end , with the Swans hanging around the carpark , I always look for a Med Gull here but so far not had any or any of the other looked for gulls,got home early another slow day

Fox eyeing up the Mallard

Little Grebe, always pops up looking fluffy !!!!!!!!!!


Adult Herring Gull , well I had to photograph something



There are always Common Gulls sitting on these rails


Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Mergansers, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet Geese, Greylag Geese, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent Geese, Redshank, Rock Pipit, Waxwing (s), Kittiwake, Tree Sparrow, Bullfinch


Saturday, 24 January 2009

Checking the Internet

I was just going through the Internet looking for ideas etc. I was planning to go down to Devon to see my sister before they move , so I thought it's a long drive down, check the flights, so I got into FLYBE , Newcastle to Exeter only 1:09 thats one pound and nine pence,each way though, and there would be two of us so thats 4x 1:09 ,still cheap so I put in some dates, still only 1:09 each way ,till I started the booking process, luggage add *****, Taxes add *****, admin add *****, credit / debit card use add *****, so by now it's 168.97, then there was fuel surcharge and some other stuff to add and subject to change, plus I would need car hire. This is where I gave up, after all it's not that far to drive I'm sure there will be somewhere to call into on the way down.
Idea two, It's been years since I was on Bass Rock, and I fancied going back, I had an old Exacta camera the last time I was there , so it sounded a solid idea, check out "The Web" it did not take long to get some info, but now it seems photography trips are big earners as a run over and landing costs 95 pounds, not sure how long your there etc.

Idea three pay the 48 pounds for a return flight to Barcelona ,......................... done !!!!!!

So in order to offset my carbon footprint, I will get some new tyres(recycled of course) for the bike and go everywhere on it , anybody any idea how long it would take to cycle to Holy Island and back , to the nearest day would do !!!!!

22-1-09 Holywell pond

Thursday I was late in getting out with some work to finish ,so I just went up to Holywell pond to see what gulls where dropping in , got down to the hide , the door is still broken looks like they will have to put a new one on , anyway opened the shutters to find very few gulls using the water , and thats the way it stayed not more than 20 mostly Black Headed and a couple of common , plenty Wigeon ,Tufted and a few Teal at the far end , with a good flock of greenfinch coming to the feeders, along with a few long Tailed Tits, and Goldfinch , I sometimes walk down to the old railway line and beyond, as there is usually a flock of yellowhammers around somewhere. Open day here on the 24th bit late with the news though............
Goldfinch I hadn't noticed how big their bills are before

The ever present Woodpecker, but I'm not complaining

Be quick and get your shot, cos I'm busy.


Flight shots of even common species of duck are hard to come by for me ,they are always to far away.

Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Mergansers, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet Geese, Greylag Geese, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent Geese, Redshank, Rock Pipit, Waxwing, Kittiwake, Tree Sparrow, Bullfinch


Friday, 23 January 2009

21-1-09 Cresswell to Hauxley

Wednesday

A run along the coast via Cresswell to Hauxley was todays routine, passing Cresswell the car park had a few cars in so I drove past and picked out the Barn Owl on the fence at the edge of the reeds, so I pulled up and waited for it to lift , it came over the dunes area down towards the other car park then back over to the farm, checked out the pond and the north end, then headed past Bells farm (Hemscott farm ) pulled in to look for the Twite it took about 10 mins for them to appear but once they did, they where all over the place took a couple of flight shots as they past by but did not check them out on the ground, to mobile.

Pulled into Hauxley carpark and thought what have I come here for looking out from the centre the sun was blinding, but I trekked round to the wader hide I think it's called the one with the carpet , opened the shutter onto nothing, so I had my coffee , a couple of Mergansers came along then Goldeneye, and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a cat over the other side looked through the bins to find an Ermine Stoat as it hurried around looking for Rabbits, it made my day and I was glad I had stayed for awhile instead of heading out.

Not a great deal else to see added Tree Sparrow for the year no Yellowhammers at the feeders, a flock of 53 Whoopers on the way home and about 15 Mute checked them out in the hope of Bewicks................ no chance !!!




Probably one of the most viewed barn Owls in Northumberland


I am going to check all my Cresswell Barn Owl photos and see how many there are , this one has a very pale necklace



Pinkfeet spread out over the fields just north of the pond





Twite over the fields near Bells Farm



About 80 + in the flock at this time

Thuis Pheasant walked towards me I wonder if someone is feeding it

At first clance I thought it was a cat, but no better than any cat an Ermine Stoat, looking a bit conspicuous in the bright sunshine
This made my day can count on one hand how many I have seen , in this guise







Every nook and cranny explored, all with no luck and as quick as it came it was gone









A nice pose for the camera , pity it was so far away, but nice nevertheless








Red Breasted Merganser past the hide, the male would not come close enough








Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Mergansers, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet Geese, Greylag Geese, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent Geese, Redshank, Rock Pipit, Waxwing, Kittiwake, Tree Sparrow












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Thursday, 22 January 2009

20-1-09 St Marys/ Water Pipit

Tuesday 20th January, I went up to St Mary's to try for the Water Pipit again it was bright and sunny but it does not hit much of the North Bay, other than the tideline as the water recedes or comes in , the 2 Brent Geese more or less resident fixtures of a small area off the causeway always great to see , picked up the Water pipit on the waters edge but it flew off so I rattled a couple of shots hence the flight shot which does not offer much, picked it up further along , but too far away it came around behind me running across the sand, I just stood still and it came closer , but typical the battery runs out replaced it to find I had not charged the replacement, with the others back at the car, and what happens it sits and poses right, left, with its back to me head to the side the lot , so when it flew off again I decided to go back to the car for another, and me being a cheapskate had to walk up past the butts, so I legged it back down but the tide dropping fast and a lot of the waders had moved on , and the Pipit kept it's distance, along the prom a few hundred Golden Plovers on the corner, with a few Gulls , the wet land had a few Duck the water level high, and the Brents flew over but headed back . looks like it's another day for that pipit, good afternoon anyway


















Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Mergansers, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet Geese, Greylag Geese, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent Geese, Redshank, Rock Pipit, Waxwing, Kittiwake, Tree Sparrow







Monday, 19 January 2009

17-18th -1-09 Another Weekend


Tried to draw a Waxwing from memory,

Another Weekend that I did not get out (much ) Saturday ended up going shopping we where supposed to be going to a recording of Britain's Got Talent Show but it was cancelled at the last minute( and no I was not auditioning my days as a Chip n dale are long past), called in at Briardene for the Med Gull as we past ( well it would be rude not to ) Sunday I had a look for Waxwings ended up with 15 in the end, but no camera, and later a walk around South Harbour Blyth to check for Gulls , where it was bitter cold in the open .

Check out this site for a great article on Waxwings http://www.manchesterbirding.com/waxwingarticle.htm
link to the full site at foot of page.

I have loads of questions regards Waxwings they seem to arrive in good numbers, then split into smaller and smaller parties, but I wonder if they join up later and roost together , do they form loose family groups, or do first years just follow the main flock around. do they rejoin into larger flocks for return migration like Thrushes.


Med Gull @ Briardene Carpark, the gulls seem to prefer chips & batter, rather than my offering of bread






A few random shots from Blyth harbour






















Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Mergansers, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet Geese, Greylag Geese, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent Geese, Redshank, Rock Pipit, Waxwing, Kittiwake, Tree Sparrow








Friday, 16 January 2009

16-1-09 Castle Island/Bothal/ Linton

14 of the 24 Magpies that crossed the pond
The tinternet reveals that Magpie is derived from Magot Pie, and that pie is french for PICA latin for black & white.
Collective name is a Tiding of Magpies


Decided to go to Castle Island today but on the spine road I missed the turn off, so I went around the edge of Ashington and back round to get to the crossings along Marsh Cottages road, to find traffic light s sat there for what seemed like forever as cars came along, road is being resurfaced so avoid it for awhile, anyway got down to look over castle island to find a 2/3 Winter Iceland Gull , I thought it might be of local interest so I texted in the info but nothing came through so I tried another number still nothing I have a new phone and think I have messed up the numbers somehow, went onto RBA to find the number and could not you would think a message service that relies on info coming in, to make the sending of such info a bit easier to find, I eventually found it on BIRDFORUM, the number seems to have changed and I new nothing of it, also about 15 Teal ,& 7 Goldeneye and a ingle RBM.

Went on to Bothal to find the Bridge closed over the Wansbeck so all the way back and through Ashington so missed out Bothal and went onto Linton where I had very little to look at I did have a flock of 24 Magpies (is there a name for that), and to end the day got stuck in traffic on the way home despite leaving a little earlier, role on the lighter nights and I can just wait it out , and go home later. ................Just one of those days !!!!!!!!!

2/3 rd Winter Iceland Gull Castle Island






Digiscoped Red Breasted merganser

Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Mergansers, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet Geese, Greylag Geese, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent Geese, Redshank, Rock Pipit, Waxwing, Kittiwake







video

Thursday, 15 January 2009

14-1-09 Tick hungry Twitcher

With my New Year list up and running I thought of where I could get some ticks , so it was off for some target ticks, starting with Willow Tit and Jack Snipe, and to the car park at Whitley to check for the Med Gull which was still there, then down to St Marys island for the Brent Geese, Purple Sandpiper ( 20 ), Water Pipit, and with it a Grey Wagtail, I had not put down Rock Pipit either so the ticks where coming thick and fast, but then don't they always at the start of the year, anyway it was a pleasant day sunny for most of the day, the only shots I got of the WP ended up deleted, but there is always another day.
Blogger ''Tyne to Tweed '' also at St Mary's
Using the County checklist I am now on..................... 91































Following in the steps of a Blogger, in this case..................Tyne to Tweed

Barn Owl, Scaup, Red Breasted Mergansers, Teal ,Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet Geese, Greylag Geese, Stonechat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Mute Swan, Shellduck, Black- Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull ,Curlew, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coot, Purple Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Brent Geese, Redshank, Rock Pipit,