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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Black Darter

Black Darter as the name implies are  black in  mature males , females can resemble the other darters but they do have a black triangle on the Thorax, this small pond at Cramlington had a few males but no females when I was there typical darters dashing off after another male or small prey but often returning to the same perch , which these did but they where not allowing any close ups and once you spook them it takes awhile for them to relax again best to walk off and  come back for another look.
 Black Darter male the body shape is like the Ruddy Darter

 Common Darter
 Marsh Woundwort ? the only plant right in thick Gorse, Woundwort leaves have a very strong small when rubbed ,which is foul  !
Plenty of Common Darters sitting out on the Gorse the males where all landing in the grass.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Swallow Pond

A visit to Swallow Pond my first this year , found it absolutely heaving with people they even had an overflow carpark which was nearly full. A walk down to the dipping pond soon produced a female Southern hawker ovipositing  on various types of material they do this by pushing the eggs into a suitable soft material, it even landed on the boardwalk several times probing for a suitable site. Some Common Figwort also growing here , a walk to the other ponds only produced an Emerald damselfly which I have seen very few of this year 

Southern Hawker Female showing some wing damage as they fly amongst the vegetation to lay their eggs

Mating Hoverflies
Single Emerald , must confess the pond that this was located at does suffer from disturbance from dogs jumping in for sticks  and numerous cans and bottles.
 Common Figwort ( from my archives) too dark for photographs at the location
 They have pitcher like flowers  and those are sticky droplets

Friday, 24 August 2012

Black Headed Gull T73

Just got ringing details back re T73 which was in the area of St Mary's Island etc: and you may have seen it , this has provided 11 sightings showing how useful colour ringing is ,so keep an eye out for any colour ringed birds , St Mary's proving a good location for such birds
Hood 7 is new to me , female due to head size I presume although I think there is not much in it !

BHG T 73 Original post

Metal ring: Copenhagen 6H....7423 Colour ring: White T73
Ringing data
Species: Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) Hood: 7
Age: 3y+ Head: 80,0
Sex: Female Wing: 295
Date: 19-03-2011
Locality: Svanemøllebugten, København, DK06 55.43N-012.35E
Ringer: Kjeld Tommy Pedersen, Jesper Brinkmann Nielsen
Recovery data
10-04-2011 White T73 UTTERSLEV MOSE II KØBENHAVN DK06 55.43N-012.30E
Alive Colour ring read Kjeld Tommy Pedersen 8 81
15-04-2011 White T73 UTTERSLEV MOSE I KØBENHAVN DK06 55.43N-012.29E
Alive Colour ring read Kjeld Tommy Pedersen 8 81
09-08-2011 White T73 ST. MARYS ISLAND WHITLEY BAY GBTY 55.04N-001.27W
Alive Colour ring read Brian Bullough 7 81
12-08-2011 White T73 ST. MARYS ISLAND WHITLEY BAY GBTY 55.04N-001.27W
Alive Colour ring read Brian Bullough 7 81
19-08-2011 White T73 ST. MARYS ISLAND WHITLEY BAY GBTY 55.04N-001.27W
Alive Colour ring read Brian Bullough 7 81
31-08-2011 White T73 HOLYWELL POND SEATON GBNL 55.04N-001.30W
Alive Colour ring read Brian Bullough 7 81
19-09-2011 White T73 HOLYWELL POND SEATON GBNL 55.04N-001.30W
Alive Colour ring read Brian Bullough 7 81
21-03-2012 White T73 UTTERSLEV MOSE III KØBENHAVN DK06 55.43N-012.31E
Alive Colour ring read Benny Middendorp 8 81
23-03-2012 White T73 UTTERSLEV MOSE II KØBENHAVN DK06 55.43N-012.30E
Alive Colour ring read Benny Middendorp 8 81
23-03-2012 White T73 UTTERSLEV MOSE II KØBENHAVN DK06 55.43N-012.30E
Alive Colour ring read Kjeld Tommy Pedersen 8 81
29-03-2012 White T73 UTTERSLEV MOSE III KØBENHAVN DK06 55.43N-012.31E
Alive Colour ring read Kjeld Tommy Pedersen 8 81
Number of recoveries: 11
Printed: 24-08-2012 Page 1 of 1

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Big Waters

A recent trip ending at Big Waters looking for dragonflies I only had a brief glimpse of two large hawkers despite the day being sunny spells it just was not  warm enough to encourage them out even checking sites I have seen them before turned up nothing . Big Waters from the top hide I saw a Banded  Demoiselle male flitting across the water by the scrape , a Willow Tit came into the feeders but only on two occasions , a Kingfisher observed on the far side of the pond , I had disturbed a Kingfisher from in front of the hide  when opening the shutters not the easiest things to open quietly  a check at the small pond nearby and also the dipping pond then the pond on the outfall , finally along the return path  which has had many Dragonflies resting in the sun but alas not today . 

Reed warbler sporting bling it seemed to be feeding young nearby

 Meadow Brown on Knapweed

Common Darters linked in mating this female looks rather blue on the underside ?
Just trying to get closer I thought the pattern looked good with them linked and on some nice stone 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Roseate Tern Day

Caught up with a couple of Roseate Terns in with Common Terns  plenty of Juvenile Common but  no juvenile Roseate with these adults  also feeding around the area Sandwich Terns but again at the time no juveniles . A Guillemot with young on the river I believe it's the male that rears them when they leave the nest site 
 Adult Roseate Tern
 Juvenile Common Tern
 Adult Roseate I took advantage as it was now on it's own but they flew just after ,into the light unfortunately  so still no flight shots
The jostle for position

 Adult Common Tern it brought in a sand eel  which it held for sometime before swallowing it
 The Adult Common Tern which brought in a Sand Eel but with no takers it ate it itself !
 Calling in the hope of a feed   !!!!!

There seems plenty of time to just loaf around
Wing stretch but for my purposes on the wrong side
Adult Male Guillemot brings it's Juvenile into the river to feed .

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ashington Community Woodland

Earlier in the Month I paid a visit to Ashington Community Woodland  I been before a couple of years ago looking for dragonflies  so I thought it time for another visit , access can be had either from the Lynemouth road or as I did from near Ashington  parking just down from Asda at Morrisons the glazer and walking along the track of which there are numerous , eventually coming to the large pond a gut I was talking said they had cleared out all the channels  causing the pond to drain  but it was now sorted ,but the channels are bare and stark only a couple of  Moorhen  and coots on the pond plenty of Damselflies about also a few  Common Darter . A Southern Hawker patrolled the path eventually landing you have to fix  your gaze on them as you follow them to the perch  it's easy to lose them and you can flush them before they are located  to photograph.  There was an abundant show of Common Centaury  which I forgot to photograph it seems to like the harsh soil here not sure of the makeup  but it's typical of old mine workings , the mostly pine woodland was rather dense perhaps they will thin it out at some stage allowing the deciduous trees to flourish , it's well worth a look  , there is also a boardwalked dipping pond and numerous tracks to follow , it must attract Crossbills in the Winter surely. There is a railway line along side most of the track  holding pins have been stolen and at a point nearer the road even some lengths of track  have gone ,must have been some effort  to cart them off in a little Corsa, you would have to stick it through and out the window  again , everybody lean over to the other side please  !!!! Wait how stupid of me they where probably on bikes !!
 Southern Hawker
Southern hawker not sure of the function of the hair , the wings have a fantastic structure

 Southern Hawker with the Desperate Dan expression

 I have seen this Funghi  before in a similar place it seems to spread out widely

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


I forgot to upload this video etc: of the Avocets at Cresswell  just as the young where hatching  it was  a bit windy even in the hide I tried some stills  but the video is better to show the action and reaction of the birds as the chicks appear, it's great to see these fantastic birds breeding in the County but alas it seems the novelty has already worn off with complaints of the adults not allowing any other wader to land anywhere near there offspring , the fault lies not in good parenting but the lack of good habitat put some effort in providing this for all either breeding birds or passage waders. One birder said he was tempted to nip over with an air rifle at his local patch to rid it of Avocets , why do we always think stupid before thinking smart !!!!
 It took awhile before this chick showed ,amazing how they soon become stronger on their feet

While one parent broods the other chicks or egg, the other seems to crouch down to provide shelter for the chick that is wandering around
The bird gets up to reveal another chick has hatched and picks up the now empty shell ,although it seems to settle back down on it

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Last of the Swifts

The last of the Swifts have gone from their nest sites , a Juvenile or possibly two flew from the second nest site located on the side of my house , a tricky exit as they can only leave at an angle so its not just a case of launching into the air . The two adults of the first night spent about 5 days roosting in the nest site , with much mutual preening I suppose it's the only way they get too know each other  and even then its pitch dark in the site. Still swifts around with a few over the house and some over Cresswell the other day ,but it won't be long till they are all gone for another year.

Last of the Juveniles(possibly two from here)just before it left the site, it's a tight fit, the adults on returning every year have to make many attempts before landing just right ,as the season progresses they hit the entrance spot on .

This video is just as it was recorded ,it's the two adults having returned to the nest site to roost , pair bonding with much mutual preening and calling .

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Coquet Island

Coquet Island ,the sky was not that blue but the sea was that grey, and it was rather cool. from my phone.
Edit : Word is that 71 pairs of Roseate Terns  reared 75 chicks a good year .

A bit behind with some of my posts and its a couple of weeks since I went over to Coquet Island with the Natural History Society , also along was Killy Birder but he is more efficient than I and has posted to his Blog . A couple of Arctic Skuas on the way over, you forget just how low down you are when on a boat , plenty of Puffins on the sea all lifted as we circled the Island a single Common Scoter on the east side ,then we rounded onto the west , Terns everywhere a few Roseates sitting on the quay and some on the rocks , with birds in flight but the light was poor and no good for flight shots , a single Common Sandpiper lifted and flew in company with a Puffin till they went out of sight , this to me was the highlight of the trip seeing Puffin and Common Sand flying together or I should say side by side. The small Rib came alongside the quay and the wardens came down to meet it looking like a right bunch of HOODIES , essential supplies it seems in the form of fish and chips which they sat down and ate right there and then    !!!! cracking night was had by all ... 
 Two Arctic Skuas
 numerous flocks of Puffins
 The nearest bird of the night , and one of the few nearly in focus , its not easy from a boat.
 The Lighthouse
 Small sandy beach
 The quay and an advert for their Facebook page

Two Juvenile Roseate Terns right and left with an adult centre and a Juv Common Tern in the foreground.

 You can just make out two terns up on the weather vane
The wardens come down to the quay wheelbarrows covered  as well as their heads , its fish and chip time !!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Blackbird recovery

Finally got the details back of a Blackbird corpse I found when out on the bike ,the remains shown I had nothing to put it in so it went into the bottle carrier till I got home so I could recover the ring , presume it was trapped on Autumn migration in it's 1st year  and returned North over the years, head missing and well picked over presume Sparrowhawk kill . It was lying in the gutter but he ring caught my eye still get a thrill from finding a ringed bird !!!

Thank you for taking the time to report to us details of a bird ring you found. Information about this bird and its movements is given below. If you notice any errors in the information, please return it (or a copy) with your corrections, so we can update our records.

Ringing Scheme:London        Ring Number:LA74005        Species of bird:Blackbird 
This bird was ringed by Sandwich Bay BO as age 1st year , sex male on 22-Oct-2008 at Sandwich Bay Estate, Kent
OS Map reference TR3657, co-ordinates 51deg 16min N 1deg 23min E.
It was found on 12-Jun-2012 at Blyth, Northumberland
OS Map reference NZ3184, co-ordinates 0deg 0min 1deg 30min W.
The bird was Dead    Bird Found
Remarks Remains only
It was found 1329 days after it was ringed, 473 km from the ringing site, direction NNW.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Stilt Sandpiper

The message came through on Sunday just to late for me to get up to Newton for the Stilt Sandpiper a County first ,so i headed off at 4:30 am this morning just incase it decided to leave at dawn .I t showed well from arriving already a few birders there ,but at a distance , having looked at images on the net the night before I was amazed just how small it was expecting something taller and rakish looking, photography was impossible and so was digiscoping so all I could do was get some (very dodgy) video as I maintain something is better than nothing, well it fed and fed , preened , tucked in briefly but mostly fed . A very nice bird as new waders always are

Gary the finder of this great bird gives details here beadnell-birding.blogspot
JM got some very decent shots given the distance Stilt Sandpiper

Thursday, 2 August 2012

First of the Swifts Gone

1-8-2012 I put the CCTV on in the swifts nest to find two birds near the entrance observed and recorded  a short video , I stopped recording and as it is processed  the picture is lost for a second or two, when it came back on they both had gone , absolutely gutted to have missed the departure by so short a time, Rushing outside to find about 15 Swifts above the garden  wheeling around they are such natural flyers no way could you pick out any juveniles from these they spent the next half hour screaming around and coming between the houses you can just hear the juvenile from the second nest in the attached recording, this nest will be much harder to leave as it will have to leave at an angle , I'm sure the screaming party is trying to encourage the juvenile to come out , this site is not accessible  so lets hope all goes well !!!! 

30-7-2012 the young Swift looks out I thought it wouldn't be long before it left.Such a small bill really just for grooming , but what a gape they have , Basking Shark of the sky !