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Thursday, 30 June 2011

More Bee Orchids

Another visit to some of the local ponds while down south  they are getting vagrant Moths and Dragonflies ,here for me I still can't find anything other than damselflies.

This was just on a post I have turned it around 

More Bee Orchids perhaps it is a good year for them

 This one showing the pollen that is supposed to detach and adhere to the bee which carries it too another flower ,the stalk then droops and pollinates the flower
 Not sure what this one is
 Common Blues out in good numbers

 5 Spot Burnet Moth on Melilot

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Broad Bodied Chaser......Not

Went over to Stargate a few days ago to look for the reported Broad Bodied Chasers a Dragonfly I have not seen yet ,they don't seem to get over to Northumberland , at least Iv'e not heard of any, well I looked all over the weather was warm enough I even quizzed the fisherman if they had seen any Dragonflies But not a thing barely any Damsels even . Its a nice area though seems popular with the fisherman a few small jetties to view from , walked over the area the hill had many Common Spotted Orchids coming through its a fairly recent reclaimed site. Nearby was a huge Sand Martin colony its good to see nature so near towns

Edit :- If you see Broad Bodied Chaser please let me know   !!!

 White Melilot
 Common Centaury

 St John's Wort
 Common Spotted Orchid
 Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Ringlet , Small Heath

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Swifts 26-6-11 15:05

Spent all last night out looking for Bats & Moths so absolutely wrecked today ,sitting in the garden half asleep a Butterfly caught my eye dashed over to have a look , Speckled Wood on the garden list not the first but I did not see the first to busy getting the camera when I was told there was sitting on the ground ,so that one does not count.
Swifts the quality of the CCTV is looking poor not sure if there is a build up of dust on the lens ,anyway today I noticed an egg pushed to one side and could just see the movement of a chick it has to be a few days old given its size compared to the egg but not strong enough to keep its head up for long, it must be very hot up there today I thought the female was going to leave but she turned around and returned.. I saw her return to the nest one day which is just outside and above a window ,very distinctive pale under-tail, I will set the camera up when they are both actively feeding the young although when I say actively they do seem to disappear for some time Picked up a Swifts egg case from the drive last week it had been chipped out so it looks like the second pair have at least one chick ,although I have yet to see any adult enter or leave.
Edit :- not sure now if it's one or two chicks as it looks too big for one , they can lay 2-3 eggs so I will wait and see .
Edit 2 :tried using Picassa to capture thesecond video even more grainy but you can indeed see two chicks  !!!!!!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Back around the ponds 17-6-11

Another afternoon in search of dragonflies I did expect this year that they would appear perhaps just a little early given the dates of first sightings of some Butterflies, it's just down to the weather I suppose with some sunny spells but overall low temperatures, I did  find more Bee Orchids, reading about them it stated  that they can be found in large numbers but then not seen again at the same site which seemed odd as I always thought they spread through the ground as well as seed, Common Spotted  coming through and a few Northern marsh Orchids but many dying back . Butterflies in low numbers but given the weather not surprised, did have my first Ringlet of the year this one with a kink in the wing ( actually saw the very same one today the 24th just missed getting a photo)

 Woundwort bruise the leaves they smell foul  !!!!! I did read somewhere that the term wort in plant use denotes its use at some time in medicinal remedies, in this case open wounds.

 Large Red Damselflies I like these sometimes you can't get within a few feet and other times.....
 The hardest part of taking these is trying to stop yourself from falling over as you lean in
I am told this Red Bartsia

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Big Waters 16-6-11

 Called in at Big waters last week got my first dragonfly of the year for Northumberland in the form of Four Spot Chaser only the one and it kept its distance having the whole area to itself , another changeable day weather wise  not many Butterflies around and the reserve quiet , a Magpie dropped into the feeding station it lay on the ground and spread out a wing in the sun I thought it was doing a form of anting, till it started to feed from bits of seed that had fell to the ground it looked like an injured leg was the problem, instead of getting some shots of bird behaviour it looked rather pitiful trying to get around but it eventually perched on a stump briefly before flying off .

 Blue Flag Iris in one of the small pools
 Stock Dove at the feeding station very wary birds

Foxgloves always an impressive flower........and the inner workings !!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Kibblesworth 14-6-11

A visit to Kibblesworth Old Brickworks pools , day was changeable with some nice sunny spells  I counted about 20 Four Spot Chasers,  these constantly clashing so they only settled for sometimes a short spell and given the location of the vegatation meant at the time you where looking into the light  a female  came so close as it was Ovipositing it brushed past me , A single Emperor put in a brief appearance but did not settle , Common Blue, Meadow Brown, and Small Heath on the wing , not as many Damsels as would have thought and the Teneral ones in the grass  I just could not get anywhere near. Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and a Curlew that had been on the far side flew over into the fields and called for most of the time I was there, the main pool seems to suffer from disturbance like dog owners throwing items all over for there dog to retrieve and deep ruts from 4X4 's  of the other two pools  from my last visit one was completely dry and another mostly overgrown 

Friday, 17 June 2011

Avocets 12-6-11

Called at Cresswell last weekend surprised to find a pair of Avocets with a large chick thought to be from the original pair that had three young and last seen going away from the pond , it looked OK just fending for itself with the Adults in nearby attendance . ( unfortunately it has not been seen since lets hope they have again moved it away from the pond) . Carried on to Amble a quick look around the harbour area more at the market than anything else then headed  along the river Coquet past Warkworth looking for Damselflies in the form of Banded Demoiselle  ,not a single one seen conditions not ideal I suppose and the river seems to have changed in it's flow , some very large salmon leaping now and again, and a Sandwich Tern fishing never seen one well up river before  but I don't see why not, called at Cresswell again on the way back but nothing to add.

This chick had put on some considerable growth since last seen lets hope it's still around somewhere
 These huge swarms of Tadpoles in the many thousands just lying near the edge the bank very steep so I only got a couple of shots from the top, no sign of legs on any of them that I could see !!!!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Dragonflies 10-6-11

!0-6-11 I went off looking for Dragonflies around some of the local ponds they seem common just south over the water but I have yet to see any in Northumberland ,damselflies are out  but as yet none of the larger Dragonlies ,plenty of Butterflies today the Common Blue out in good numbers, also  day flying moths including the emergence of thousands of Five Spot Burnet's a very attractive Moth but as they are so common they hardly get a glance, came across some Bee Orchids a group of about 20 these are fantastic flowers , designed to attract a certain species of Bee ,if memory serves me right  does exist in Britain , so the pollen carriers just wither and the plant ends up fertilizing itself . Also lots of the commoner Orchids around , with some Betony just coming into Flower and one or two plants unknown to me ,but the problem is I forget the names of as many as I learn the names of  and constantly say to myself what's that  !!!
Anyway the day got colder and colder and I still have not seen a Dragonfly , so I headed off for Fish Quay to have a look for the Iceland Gull reported as having been there for a few days , listed as a third Summer it sounded interesting , arrived at the Quay and found the bird immediately but sitting up on the shed roof  , so I hung around and eventually it flew past several times  overhead at the time I thought  it looked OK for Iceland , it had darker outer Primary edges which would dispel Iceland but  I thought perhaps "Kumliens " , again I got it on the roof just above me took some head shots , looking at them it was more Herring Gull  but so what to me it was still interesting eventually just before I was going to leave it was down on the ground in the sheds ,sorted Leucistic Herring Gull , interesting bird to end the day, sometimes they are just not what you want them to be.

 These would be great to get some close up macro shots of but they are very hard to get near

 Common Blue damselfy

 Five Spot Burnet the top one is just emerging , I kept going back to get another shot but in the end I think it's dead
 A very Attractive Moth and very common ,I presume the colouration warns they are not edible , I have never seen a bird take them ?
 Bee Orchids are fantastic these probably introduced in with Wildflower seed mix although they are always in a loose group so perhaps not , could be the conditions are just right .

Leucistic Herring Gull North Shields Fish Quay 

Colour Ringed Spoonbill

I have received information re Colour Ringed Spoonbill Druridge Pools 2-6-2011 I had recorded the rings wrongly the combination is Left  :- RED over/LIME GREEN over/ YELLOW , Right  : - LIME GREEN (flagged)over /RED over / Metal   ( I had recorded yellow)  The first thing I looked for as these birds dropped in was any rings ,none could be seen they must have been hidden by feathering, I failed to get the combination on photographs  which I like to check as mistakes are easily recorded.
Working group Spoonbills International
species :Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia leucorodia) ref: 6158/121850
colourrings :RLY/LfRa ringing place:D Schleswig-Holstein, Oland 5441N-0843E
metalringnr :DEW 252919 ringing age :nestling
ringing date:30-05-08 sexe :unknown ringer:Klaus Gunther

The rest of the information apparently I need permission to publish

Saturday, 11 June 2011

White Throated Robin 8-5-11

White Throated Robin ----------- Hartlepool 
Unable to get straight away on the Monday of first sighting and not wanting to be part of a scrum for ladder space (will 21st century birding require a carbon fibre portable ladder system , cammo pattern of course) but on the Wednesday the bird still reported early morn so I headed of for the headland , many years since I've been there, as I rolled up a guy approached me the bird was showing from his window would I like to join others for £3 quid, I'll see what the score is first , turns out the bird was actually  on the edge of the Bowling green and within 2 minutes had my first pics . It went on to show really well for the rest of the afternoon you could see it running along behind the fence when it would pop out between the rails and as there was only about 1/2 dozen of us which went down to 2 as the rain came it worked out really well , later more and more people started to turn up so I thought time to leave if I haven't got any shots by now I never would.
Hats off to the bemused locals who where very friendly a credit to the area.
This bird was now on my bus list with total cost of  the Twitch    "£0" wouldn't want to do it too often but I would do it again , I wonder how many turned up today(Saturday) given the bird was reported last night.

Within two minutes I had seen and got a couple of quick shots of the bird, this one from the west corner of the fenced area.

 Now it's along the street feeding on the path & road not sure what its picking up but the rain seemed to help perhaps it was washing insects from the trees above , one shot I got looks like it's picking up a small green insect, but the shot is blurred. (seems to have a speck of white on the tail tip ?)

 Pausing on the road
 This one it even hops up the step of one of the houses facing the green
 Foraging along the path
 Shiny Bling on show   !!!!
Although the bird was showing really well the light was very poor during and after the rain, still I'm pleased with what I got overall