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Monday, 31 December 2012

North Shields Fish Quay

Went to the Fish Quay in the hope of the Glaucous or Iceland Gull or anything for that matter ,not a bad day bright at times but with a strong westerly which breezed down the river into the normally sheltered quay , no sign of either Glaucous or Iceland  and not many gulls at all non on the shed roofs as the wind was probably too strong so i gave it a couple of hours going from the shore to quay , plenty of gulls on the Middens but I did not go that far hoping the tide would push them off and along the quay.
Eventually moved on to the boating lake good numbers of gull here bathing in the fresh water (Barnacle still here  a good one for tomorrow ) mostly Black -headed and Herring  ,many of the BH  showing the start of a hood , I wonder if it is the older birds that get the chocolate hood fist, this is a good place for winter gulls or can be ,especially when it is partly frozen with the birds giving good views when on the ice making colour rings easier to see.
Called in at Blyth South Harbour  picked up a tide table for only 80p available from the security hut, the highlight here a RB Merganser , before the setting sun anded the day.
looking forward to getting out in the New Year hopefully it's going to be a good one or even a normal one will do !!!!!
"All the best for the New Year !  "   ............Brian







Sunday, 30 December 2012

Northumblandia !!!!

At least it was not raining today so we had a run up to Northumblandia first  visit it was closed due to the paths having  frozen solid , that wind was bitter cold though when you got up up onto the top but what fantastic views you get right across to the sea , I wonder if it will be any good for vis migration or at least a raptor watch the only way to find out is spend some time up there in the right conditions , a couple of ponds have been created  not sure if they are just going to be as they are ornamental or allowed to go wild which could be good for Dragonflies . Plenty of people out today a few dogs running free despite the "dogs on leads " notice and it can only be a matter of time before either motorbikes or mountain bikes are plying the winding paths , but it is worth a visit probably on your way somewhere or coming back from same. There is a similar Country park at Wheatslade with a large hill and spiral paths to the top giving good views , and I had many Fieldfare , Redwings feeding on the Southern slopes last year and a Green Woopecker.

Gate in from the East


View over the opencast sight , there can't be much of this land that has not been mined at some time either open cast or via a shaft

Opencast again those yellow objects are huge trucks with the back tipped up

looking over to the right hand
Edge of the opencast Prestwick Carr is over in the distance
Looking over to the North

Image from the internet of  the sculpture from the air 

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

That's Christmas over


Well that's Christmas over for another year now is the time to get out and try that new pair of bins ,scope  or camera lens that Santa sent you via your credit cardcompany, unless your getting dragged to a furniture store wearing your "Christmas Jumper " for the now traditional Boxing Day (for years I thought Boxing Day was when they put a lot of sport on the telly?)sofa sale ,with a year before you start to pay and 4 years interest free credit the thing will be well knackered long before it's paid for . With only a few days to go before the end of another year I have no hope in catching up with the local parish bird count but at least I will come second which is not too bad !. I am as yet making no plans for 2013 as it seems weather or some other factor gets in the way with this being the wettest year in my lifetime , not been very active in the run up to Christmas and when I did get out not much to show in the way of photos so to look on the bright side 2013 can't be any worse ....................or can it !
Good Birding for 2013 

A few snaps from the past week or so!!!









Monday, 10 December 2012

Black Redstart St Mary's

Heading to St Mary's Island just to have a look for any colour ringed waders Morgan informed me of a Black Redstart  feeding just at the start of the prom it was occasionally fly catching , this is a good find for anyone but Morgan  informed me he has not been birding very long (he did get the POTW on Birdguides  this year for an unusual shot of a Puffin) so its a very good find, the bird flitted around mostly in the shadows till it flew off north along the beach , so I headed down to the Sanderling for any colour ringed birds  plenty of them feeding along the shore and amongst the rocks just the one ringed bird . Black Redstart returned but it was the same, flitted up on the side of the prom now and then and onto the beach at one stage but mostly up in the now greater shadow of the cliff face now joined by a colourful Grey Wagtail , I did not get back along for it so these will have to do but young Jack Bucknall  did get an especially good shot of it just as it was taking off check his blog out it's a cracking shot !
 Black Redstart

 Sanderling along the South Shore ,only the one colour ringed bird

Black Redstart  momentarily hanging on the prom wall
 And here you could think it was bemused by it's shadow
Grey Wagtail adding a bit of colour to the shadows   !!!!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Cresswell Pond Jack Snipe

Another visit to Cresswell Pond nature reserve Jack Snipe still on show although at first very hard to see with it's head tucked in but eventually it started to feed and again show us it bobbing action very curious and presumably energy cost expelled must be high but out weighed by the benefits ?

Long Tailed Duck also still present spending 95% of the time diving I got a couple of digishots  just for the sake of it plenty of Wigeon and Teal still around but no Geese in the nearby fields they seem to have abandoned the area for now .
video

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Gosforth Park NHSN Reserve

A recent visit to Gosforth Park reserve of  The Natural History Society of Northumbria you have to be a member of the Society to gain access to the reserve, as I have said before membership is well worth the expense with meetings/lectures at The Hancock Museum on various Natural History subjects also an excellent Library  to view, and access to the Reserve with a key entry feeding station and 2 key entry hides . Check out the website membership could be a very good Christmas present for someone !!!!!!!!!!
We started off at the feeding station  with the usual Blue Tits etc as you would expect good sightings of GSW and regular visits of Nuthatch and Treecreeper , it was decided to walk around the reserve as the rain was keeping off  so we set off  on a circular walk but calling into one of the hides that looks onto the lake oddly no wildfowl at all , and save for 2 Mute and a few Moorhen and Coot , that was it , sightings of Bittern are seemingly regular but you need something to look at in the meantime .
Walking further around a Jay overhead , and 2 Roe deer skipped off with another 2 further around till wee came upon one that we saw it before it saw us and I managed a couple of shots before it was off into the thick cover , very few birds on the walk most seem to hang around the feeders as there was plenty still there when we called in again but the light had gone and despite the birds dropping in fairly close photography was no good 
 Nuthatch frequent if brief visitor to the feeding station
 Roe Deer till it either got wind of or heard us

 Treecreeper another regular visitor to the feeding station
 GSW like to feed on the fat balls that are pushed into the holes as the one above
 The ever present Rats inevitable with all the falling seed etc:
Treecreeper again seem to like this Oak, brilliant little birds I have had them very close but never it seems when I have a camera ?