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Thursday, 30 April 2009

28-4-09 "New Pond @ Holywell "

A cycle ride through the tracks to Holywell, I can't belief the difference in a couple of weeks plenty of Whitethroats singing anywhere there was suitable habitat, a 2nd cal yr Iceland Iceland flew over the Avenue heading north, it's good to see one still around will have to check out the haunts in May to get some photos. Holywell Pond was lifting with Hirundines well over a hundred just ploughing back and fourth over the pond , I scanned & scanned looking for a Swift or perhaps Red Rumped, no sign of Garganey and I headed off to St Mary's, but the weather was deteriorating fast and it started to rain, Gannets passing north close inshore but with no cover seawatching was going to be a no go, only a single Curlew on the pond and a Whitethroat in the bushes , I eventually gave up soaked and headed home, luckily my skins waterproof , but my camera and other gear is not !!!
29-4-09 Cycled to Seaton Sluice late afternoon for a look at the sea, wind back SE which is hard to tell where I live as the direction is changed as it flows around the houses, lots of Gannets well out in the haze heading S, Auks heading N with 20-30 Guillemots feeding just offshore, also more than usual number of Fulmars on the sea and past the point, with Kittiwakes heading N, & 20+ Sandwich Terns also feeding just offshore. Nothing special but just a nice little scene.
Goldfinch collecting nesting material

New pond South East of Holywell as yet not much on it

This is mine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, 27 April 2009

27-4-09 Back to reality


EDIT
As AT has pointed out this pale headed bird seems to be a Blue Headed/Yellow Wagtail hybrid, apparently this is fairly common in France giving rise to the colloquial name of "Channel " Wagtail,oddly if I had opened the latest copy of "The Lek" journal of Durham Bird Club, there is an excellent article re the status of Yellow Wagtails and sub species in Durham, it covers this very point, but they should not be dismissed so readily as apparently some of these features are also shown in the subspecies of 'beema', its a little out of my depth of birding but nevertheless very interesting , and at the end of the day a very nice bird .
The Lek Spring 2009 DBC "Yellow Wagtails in Durham "- a review of subspecies recorded in the County. well worth a read !!!!!!!!! as is the whole issue.
Quoted in the references... "Birding World, Volume 20 No 3 (2007) : Yellow ,Blue Headed, 'Channel ' & extralimital Wagtails, and some others











Not sure whats happened with the photos can't seem to get them any larger ?????
Well its back to reality, just come back from two weeks in Fuerteventura, with loads of photos to sort I will put a few on a blog with link at the side when I get around to it.
Today it started off bright and sunny, and as always when coming back from abroad I was full of enthusiasm to get out and do some local birding to catch up with migrants , I was in for a shock to the system, after dodging from shade to shade as it was so hot !!!!, today it was freezing went out with a fleece then added a jacket and another jacket on that & even gloves dug out from the boot. Lynemouth Flash is drying out fast, with just a few Black Headed's , Willow Warblers singing & Blackcap, with Grasshopper reeling, 3 Yellow Wags & 5 Wheatear at cresswell.
Druridge Pools Little Egret & a few Dunlin , this also starting to dry out , from the main hide 2 young Otters playing around and also on the island till they went up on shore and disappeared, also followed later by what was thought to be a female, Goldeneye & Tufted with a few Gadwall & mallard with young,back at Cresswell on the way back pulled up behind ST he had a Blue headed and then another with now 8 Yellow Wagtails altogether what is so special about this corner of the field that always seems to pull them in, some heavy showers and a cold wind so I headed off home early.



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Two young Otters having fun on the island







I was wondering what this one was doing till I watched the video, its actually having a Peeeee ! I wonder if its a female, do the dog otters cock there legs up !!!! :)





video












Tuesday, 7 April 2009

7-4-09 Yellow Wagtail,Little Egret,Garganey, LR plover

A run up the coast first stop Lynemouth at the horse field two Redshank & Moorhens on the small pool with about 30 Meadow Pipits & a couple of Wags,but no Water Pipit, this was on the south end of the flash just over the bridge and round the corner, from here it flew over the water works and out of sight, plenty of Redshank & Black Headeds, plus Wagtails with a couple of white Wag. I did not go into the hide at Cresswell the wind was picking up so I stopped at the north end with Yellow Wagtail, plus 4-5 Wheatears further over, wind increasing so I went to the screen at Druridge, which had a Little Egret on show my first of the year , this area is looking great, must be at least an Avocet here before long, i was just saying goodbye to someone turned back to the scope and there was a pair of Garganey in view, they must have just dropped in, nice to see as we had just been talking about them.
Up the track to the main pool & one to the south nothing of note , just had my coffee,in the hope of the Otter,but called into the smaller hide and a guy said he had Little Ringed Plover, which was not there about 20mins ago, so I set the scope and got some real crap shots looking into the sun, also picked up the Garganey on the far pool, wind was becoming a real pain so I headed off to the real world as I had to do some shopping, well I've got to eat !!! life's not all birding. Water Pipit on the horse field again, turned to get the camera and it was gone , scoped the area in the hope of some digi shots but no luck, elusive little blighter.
Despite the sunny day the wind was a right pain

A pair of Garganey, take my word for it thats a female to the left

You think these are going to be a nice atmospheric shot looking into the light , with the water sparkling, but not so as everthing is in shadow, anyway LRP on the small pool.



video

Friday, 3 April 2009

1-2 April Garganey/harbour security

Not been to far this week just cycled to Holywell and then St Mary's a couple of times , missed out on Swallow & House Martin & even Sandwich Terns so my list is only increasing very slowly,
Wheatears in the ploughed field next to the track , I also called into the harbour at Blyth no sign of the Icelands,but there is a sign to say that anyone on the jetty without a pass would be liable to prosecution, all in the aid of security, one jetty has a fence up and the rest of the harbour and entire river is open , talk about wasting money, as long as it's seen to be done is the maxim, I have been going to the harbour since I was a child, but now alas do not have the right security clearance to look at the fishing boats and gulls that surround them, is that progress or what!!!!!




Three shots from the wetlands

Thursday, 2 April 2009

31-3-09 Water Pipit

Tuesday on the way to Cresswell I pulled over to one of the horse fields at Lynemouth the one with the small pool on the far side by the water works, anyway I noticed a number of Meadow Pipits around a small wet area and in with them a Water Pipit it was always the furthest away and hidden by the ruts ,not easy to get any shots of .
Lynemouth flash beside the travellers site is getting more birds on and is always worth look , Cresswell the levels are up slightly I just had my coffee here and moved to Druridge, again plenty Wigeon ,Teal & Herons , the main pool a female Goosander a couple of Goldeneye, Tufted Gadwall and Mallard, cycled on through to Hauxley, a few Chiffs along the way, the north pool about 80 Whoopers and some Pinkfeet over the far side , by the time I got to Hauxley I was just looking into the sun the small wader pool water level was high but did have a few Snipe & Redshank, Teal and Gadwall,
On the way back 4 Wheatear along the dunes not noted on the way up 3 pairs of Stonechats and lots of Skylarks , small flock of Goldfinch .






Meadow Pipit at the outfall














Plenty of Skylarks along the dunes






70+ Whoopers just off East Chevington and another 80 odd on the north pool







Wednesday, 1 April 2009

25-3-09 Holywell to St Mary's

Called in to Holywell ,just missed an Iceland Gull not as many gulls getting here as usual, no idea why , but I did finally catch up with 2 Brambling on the feeders with Gold & Greenfinch, Water Rail calling but did not show, a pair of Great Crested keeping close company, a couple of Goldeneye still around , and the GSW dropped in a few times, went home via St Mary's good number of Snipe feeding around the edges, Teal Wigeon & a few Gadwall, 40+ Redshanks and a few Turnstones, a Water Rail flitted from cover for a second.