Search This Blog

Thursday, 31 December 2009

The end of Birding for 2009

The year is coming to an end rather quietly it seems just had another run to Holywell calling in at the Sluice the wind seemed NE when I was at home put easterly at the coast just a few Gannets, Scoter and Eider,with some Wigeon on the rocks so it was a token seawatch to end the year.

Holywell Pond the hide door is jammed solid and as I said before there is no handle to pull it open,thinking I could hear someone in I banged on the door, and again, getting a bit annoyed that nobody opened the door , so I levered it from the base and it popped open , not a soul in oops !!!, just got settled and nearly the first bird I saw a male Merlin crossing the water superb it hung around the hedge on the far side then went over the top, nice start but actually very little else happened, camera out scope up a small area of open water brought in a few gulls , trying to settle on the ice but the wind too strong, a Water Rail briefly by the feeders, I tried getting some shots of the Greenfinches as they hovered trying to land on the moving feeders, so coffee gone and not much (actually nothing) happening that was my year end birding not even a photo for the blog,................. still there is a whole new year ahead !!!!!!!!!!!!

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

Brian



Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Swan eating Fish !!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats a SWAN eating a fish and not a FISH eating a swan.
just shows how slow it is for me when I have to use the tactics of the Sun to add a little interest to my post!!!!!

Just to catch up before the end of the year I paid another visit to the harbour at Blyth this Mute Swan is feeding on a very large flat fish ,the large shape just under the water ,it never ceases to amaze me what is discarded into the river for one reason or another .
The Iceland Gull still present though it spent all of the time on the jetty that now has no access, still a few gulls around as the boats clean down for the holidays but for some reason I do not have any photos of them ,must not have been doing much .
I ventured to Holywell Pond one day but alas could not get the door open as it had swollen so much and it does not have a handle to help open it ,so I just checked the small area of open water looking through the few gulls assembled.
I must admit I am totally mixed up with the days .not sure what day I went where, but a nice bright sunny day and I went as far as Cresswell Pond very slippy underfoot I pulled off the road to check some Pipits but could not even get out the car it was so icy .The pool at QE11 park had some free water and a channel through to the other end holding numerous duck including a few Goldeneye plenty of Common & Black headed, Cresswell seemed to have a lot of Song Thrush around in the cattle fields was the first thing I noticed, feeding on snails I found an anvil with a pile of broken shells scattered around, a huge flock of geese though well in the distance, and near the farm Golden Plover feeding in the field next to the track, a walk to the beach but even this was not easy , still feel the effects of my fall last winter and was not wanting more of the same , only a few Sanderling along the shore ,back at Cresswell I just hung around the car park in the hope of the Barn Owl but it was not to be ,only a single Kestrel on the wires and as the pond was frozen I did not even check it out ,but was told the Bittern had been flushed from in front of the hide early am.
Stopped at several locations on the way back looking along the dunes for Snow Buntings ,the flash at Lynemouth is looking well filled again although frozen , it would be worth a look at .
What a very quiet time with the New Year looming I am not making any plans to go out on the 1st, I think my race to improve my list for 2010 will be of the tortoise variety ,slow and steady
Thats a large fish by any standard, no idea why they have to be thrown away
QE11 lake frozen at the car park end , I walked part way around but the path was just thick ice.
Always plenty of Common Gulls here


Tufted Duck in with the Coots coming right to the edge ,smart looking ducks when the light gets on them !!


The waters edge was very picturesque with the glistening water but I could not capture it
Golden Plovers well scattered in the field by the car park and track

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Iceland Gull...........but little else for me anyway.

I have not been far these past few days a run to Holywell Pond produced nothing out of the ordinary, and a few visits to the harbour looking for Snow Buntings ,but none so far, I did pick up the Iceland Gull yesterday, I picked it out to late as it dropped of the jetty and settled on the sea. it's the one with the droopy wing I have seen several times along the estuary and at Holywell Pond ,looking at one of the photos it looks like a break of some kind on the right wing , obviously not stopping it flying but must have some serious effect to maneuvering especially if it gets in with mob of gulls feeding from cast offs from the boats.
Today I walked along to the estuary ,again in the hope of Snow Buntings, the rough area beside the old pit yard is now fenced off as development starts, only a few Linnets around and a Great Spotted Woodpecker down the track, the filter pools had a Mute Swan with a Canada for company, and several Teal Lifted, plenty of Snipe around , the usual waders down beside the boat yard and plenty of birds up the burn but you need a scope as the area is so large. The cold persists but it does not seem to have brought anything with it ,not for me anyway the camera not even out of the bag today.
I always put food and as important water out for the birds, I only get the common stuff in the garden but it was interesting to watch the resident Blackbird trying to protect the food and water from the other 6 or so blackbirds around , while he chased one ,another would nip in from behind, expending far more energy than he was consuming, the sparrows just kept feeding and some went straight for a bathe in the water.......and it's not a heated pool !!!!!
Serious damage of some sort on the right wing


The Iceland Gull sat on the water preening ,I was hoping it would come nearer as they were throwing lots of dead fish etc in, but it left without my noticing.











The younger birds are as aggressive if not more so than the adults , but its the bird that can swallow the fastest that gets the rewards.












I Don't Believe It !!!!!!!!!

Scientists have been striving for many decades trying to provide men with the smoothest perfect shave ,razors having up to four blades to capture each and every hair on your chin !!!! and now the latest offering a razor that you can adjust not for the closet shave you have ever had ,but for the length of stubble you would like to leave , "designer stubble" looks like it's here to stay , all that research down the pan.................. or is that the sink.

Friday, 11 December 2009

December

Got out this week for a couple of days , went to Holywell pond the roadworks still there after 3 weeks nobody working when I past 2weeks ago and nobody working when I past this week , the pond was very quiet, they came to fix the door , but when they left I had a job getting out as the lock was jamming ,had visions of phoning for help.
Later in the week a walk along the links at Whitley, the adult Med on the sea and not in the carpark, Grey Wagtail brightening up the beach and a brief view of the Water Pipit , more duck getting on the wetland , about 1500+ Golden Plover on the rocks, still a pleasant walk in the sun .






Sunday, 6 December 2009

Warm Winter Sun...................for a few days anyway !!!!

Just been away to the Algarve for a few days winter sun ,with most days warm for my first visit to Portugal, Black Winged Kites, Azure Winged Magpies, Penduline Tits, Purple Heron, Booted Eagle, etc:,etc:, & hundreds n hundreds of Chiffchaffs ,with birds at every location we visited, also a few Butterflies still around with a first for me with what I thought would be something easy to ID from the books but as yet no, it was one of the largest Butterflies I have so far seen , orange ground with black veins on the upper and orange/red with a large black mark towards the apex, what a stunning find on the last day, will put a few more photos when I sort them.

I have set up a blog for the photos here.........http://northumbrianbirderinthealgarve.blogspot.com/

http://northumbrianbirderinthealgarve.blogspot.com/





Booted Eagle with what I think is a Moorhen !!!
video