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Friday, 31 December 2010

Waxing ...............2010

Finally caught up with a few Waxwings which I found for myself , and a couple of hours along the estuary ,a lot of the snow has gone but so has the nice sunny days and it was rather dull and overcast over  the last couple of days of 2010 , about a dozen Waxwings feeding on a few berries of White Hornbeam, a flock of about 80+ Fieldfare  feeding on those orange berries of Pyracantha  also present a flock of 120 Linnets with about 12 or so Twite in amongst them, they are all very flighty though this area is popular with dog walkers  .The field opposite was awash with waders obviously feeding on what ever has come to the surface after the thaw

 Waxwings dropping in to feed on White Hornbeam, they like to perch on a higher tree nearby and then drop in to feed
 They seemed to drop a few and I should have checked them to see if they where being selective or just clumsy
 Fieldfare a winter speciality had some over the house the other day but not in the garden
Two of the Twite in with the Linnets ,the flock very mobile when not sat atop the tallest trees

Fieldfare will probably end this year and start 2011

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Woodcock,Waxwing, Snow, Sky & Laps...............

This tree still has numerous Apples on enabling the birds to feed on the tree , I wonder if this is a special trait of  this particular tree or class of Apple  ???.My apples the few there where this year all fell of long ago

Blyth Piers

The run up to Christmas saw me at Cresswell ,Blyth Estuary ,Blyth Harbour and a few hours sitting in the car at St Mary's Island trying to get the  Snow Buntings , Lapland Buntings etc : coming to seed . Two new birds for the garden list in the form of Brambling and Woodcock, just getting home from St Mary's session , a neighbour (same one that had Water Rail early part of this year ) said they had a large bird feeding on the lawn only got a couple of snaps through the window , but next day I flushed a Woodcock from my garden .
A walk to the harbour only produced a single Waxwing feeding on Apples on the way back when the light was going  gull numbers increasing , but the harbour is not the same with the restricted access so I will only put in limited effort to find a white winger  in the next couple of months , I think they will be hard to find .

Rock Pipits but just a couple coming in

Numerous Skylarks
Snow Bunting , I had not  noticed the long claw before 
Lapland Bunting  (2)
Reed Buntings  as to be expected there where several birds

Seven Snow Buntings present  and Turnstones(background) also coming to feed

 Lapland Bunting (2)

Some of these photos taken during a heavy snow shower hence the difference in colour tones

Double Glazing does nothing for photographs, Woodcock trying to feed on neighbours lawn

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Cresswell Bittern


Last Saturday spent the day at Cresswell  the Bittern put in a brief appearance enough to make me stay another couple of hours hoping it would come back and sure enough it began to walk in front of the hide then paused ,sky pointing to render it invisible also crouching prone ,till it eventually flew past and into the west end , it gave great views just reward for waiting so long , what a cracking bird   !!!! 

Having problems with processing photos they look much better on my computer, excuses,excuses !!

Friday, 10 December 2010

St Mary's Island 8-12-10

Now that's cold !!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday was such a bright sunny day , I headed to St Mary's Island , some grey Partridge in the stubble field, a Woodcock flew over and dropped near them trying to feed ,2 Snipe lifted from the stream  and dropped straight back in, another  Woodcock  as I went up the track   a total of four over by the time I got to the top , another two when I went down the dead end, I realised they seemed rather lost as where to go , so I kept away from the stream not wanting to flush them for the sake of it , standing in the open they just seemed to be all over with birds dropping in then just lifting again. Standing on the cliff edge birds dropped into the open grass area, I counted a total of 28. Skylarks about 60 coming to seed near the carpark with a  Snow Bunting , Reed & Lapland Bunting and the ever resourceful Turnstone present also, some open water on the wetland attracted Mallard ,Teal and a Water Rail seen through one of the wooden screens  the Grey Partridge even nearer the road but flushed as I walked past.
Woodcock by the cemetery as I got the car and again about 12 Grey partridge in a school field along Blyth links and about 100 Pinkfeet  just over the wall from the road they must be really desperate  to get that close to the road , one field seems to be attracting  a lot of waders and gulls .

 Woodcock just seemed to pop up and dash overhead
 Caught one or two but they where just too fast.
 A Bird drops in along the cliffs in front of me

 Plenty of Skylarks on the seed
 Lapland Bunting
Water Rail through one of the lower openings in the screen 

Greys fly further into the field

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Blyth Estuary 6-12-10

Monday the 6th  I was heading for the estuary anyway , but checked out the reported Waxwings seen at the weekend,  but no sign for me , still a few berries on the trees on the edge of the cemetery so they may be back. Took the scope with me and just scanned the area for awhile  ,40+ Teal,15 Wigeon,2 Shellduck, 3Gadwall ,5 Goldeneye and 9 Mergansers, I did not count every wader but did note 10 Grey plover, 15 Bar tailed Godwit, 85 Curlew. A Sparrowhawk crossed over the river and as I watched it a Woodcock dropped in near some sheep trying to feed where the sheep had moved the snow then it dropped along the river edge just up from the shore spent some time probing before being chased by a Crow , it dropped again further along still trying to find food. I also noticed in amongst the sheep a single Red-legged Partridge it ended up on the shore, funny to see Dunlin ,Meadow Pipit, Lapwing and Red Legged  all in one view. Walked along to the pools 2 Water Rails , numerous Snipe a flock of c30 linnets , 3 Fieldfare & 3  singles of Redwing over 17 Mute Swans flew up river, a few Mallard on the open pool and numerous loafing gulls today mainly Common Gulls..
Not a day for photos ,only one shot of some of the Red Breasted Mergansers, actively feeding on the rising tide.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Holywell Pond 4-12-10

Saturday the 4th took myself and the flask to Holywell Pond alas it was totally frozen could not see any free water at all ,usually the Swans ,Duck and Gulls coming from the tip  for a bathe keep at least some water open , some of the Gulls looking rather shabby from feeding on god knows what . Brambling very briefly at the feeders and GSW dropped in Water Rail dashed from cover to cover, a few Canada and 2 Greylag dropped in , 30 mallard and a few Teal on the ice.
Heading back home via the coast 200 Pinkfeet in a roadside field ,hundreds of Gulls scattered around the fields Redshanks , Dunlin  and a few Golden Plover also.There is a lot of rough edge to these fields which must attract Larks & Buntings  but viewing is very difficult . 

Monday, 6 December 2010

Blyth Harbour - Meggies Burn Area 3-12-10

Friday I just headed back down to the harbour passing the apple tree with the camera at the ready not a thing on it today. The call of the odd Skylark over  increased as I got on the coast with a large number passing over South in the time I was there, 5 Snow Buntings still around at one point with 4 Reed Buntings, also 3 Linnets and a Pied wag ,1 Kittiwake but very few Gulls . I headed off for the   fields before it got too late , a couple of Skylarks dropped down by the road briefly,  a field held three groups of Grey Partridge total of 29, very few small birds in the trees only Great ,Blue Tit a few Chaffinch ,9 Greylag over a Woodcock lifted long before I got anywhere near. It Was not till I got into South Beach estate that birds where in any number  2 Snipe and a nice bright Grey Wagtail along the stream as where plenty of Blackbirds, greenfinch etc: a few Fieldfare over , very few berries around the Hawthorns having only a few on the lower branches.

 This bird left the others to feed on the dune grasses as where the Reed Buntings
Tracks of a Snow Bunting the Snow !!

A Couple of Skylarks drop in along the roadside briefly

 One of three groups totalling 29 birds

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Blyth Harbour 2-12-10

                 Just  a walk along to the harbour today with the small lens encountered the Snow Buntings along the road , a nice bright sunny day  fairly heavy sea, a single Common Scoter on the river as where some Eider  also a Golden Plover on the beach 3 Purple Sandpipers flew over and seemed to go under the fish quay  15 or so Redshank again very few Gulls can't see the numbers increasing till the boats get back out , on the way down I passed an apple tree  still laden with fruit with Starlings, Blackbirds and Bluetits   feeding it looked ideal for a few Waxwings should have checked it before they all moved on .
 It looks deceptive but there is a large swell out there
 Snow |Buntings along the rail they just dropped in
 Not a gull to be seen
View along the pier still some hardy fisherman out even though there is a very strong Easterly wind.

I said it was a very strong wind this guy just took off, should'nt have worn a Poncho !!!