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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Shibdon , Red Kites

Another visit over the water to first Shibdon , plenty of Teal around and Snipe along the reed edge, I watched a pair of  Teal as they picked some what looked like Moss and dipped it in water I thought they where wetting it to eat but it seemed they where sifting it using the water as it was all visible through the scope ,quite comical to see them back and forth with small pieces of vegetation . No sign of  the Ruff that have been hanging around Shibdons like anywhere else the birds come and go as now they have been reported just in front of the hide,  Lesser Black Backed dropped in looking smart.
On the way to Thornley I looked at the river from the old stone bridge two Dippers feeding in the fast water, Thornley feeding station is a shadow of what it used to be the finance cuts have reduced feeding to only two days per week and I think these are voluntary contributions , Yellowhammers, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, a Marsh/Willow Tit dropped in very briefly, a Heron in the small pool hunting frogs.
I next headed to Far Pastures to have a look for the Firecrest, 3-4 Bullfinch, long Tailed Tits, Cole Tits etc: but no sign of Firecrest , apparently it was to be seen further along the path but as it was marked no entry I did not venture further. Red Kites started to form overhead and I headed towards the arches some Northumberland birders already there and we observed some 19-20 birds in the air when they all left for the pub  I saw that one had landed on a pylon I ended up opposite it but by now it's very gloomy it just sat there calling a couple of times it was so  gloomy I never saw the large stick not sure if the bird had landed with it but can't see how else it got there it eventually flew off  soon lost in the dark another good visit. 
 Lesser Black-backed with a Black-headed Gull behind
 Teal with what looks like Moss which they seemed to filter out for whatever they could find.
 Seems a good year for Yellowhammers
 Heron is rewarded with it's patience with a Frog !!
 Kites start to gather over Far Pastures
 A Red Kite lands on this Pylon not sure if it had the stick or it was already there.
 In this shot the bird does have what looks like a hold of the stick  actually a small branch with part hanging over the right , and its tag clearly seen.


Johnnykinson said...

Wing tag 43 Swift, the female i had in the trees on Valentines Day with her partner. If you do go back Brian you can get some nice/ different views from above. If you follow the yellow signposts and reach the scultures, when you reach the Red Kite carving drift off the main path left on a worn small trach which takes you beside the pylon. Nice views down on the Nine Arches and the chance to get an in flight shot FROM ABOVE of a Kite.
The Firecrest has been showing on the other side of the gate for the last 3 weeks or so.
Cracking Yellowhammer.

Northumbrian Birding said...

Cheers John it's a great area to explore with a maze of paths,pity about the feeding station it was a great place to get good views of Jay and Red Squirrels in the past .