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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Blyth and beyond

Just a catch up with some photos of last week had the bike out a few times , along the estuary ,Seaton Sluice, St Mary's etc: also a couple of visits to Holywell  Pond one afternoon 16:25 I thought I 'm off at half past but with  the sight of a Marsh Harrier in the west gap  that put paid to that idea . Initially I thought female but no creamy shoulder patches , and the head looked more like a male but it was overall brown well it quartered back and forth along the pond edge on the north side dropping down and presumably settling out of sight it was thought it perhaps had made a kill but no as it lifted again it started hunting again there some very light patches of grey  on the underwing but they did not stand out , the most prominent feature other than the head was the tail which had a pale grey centre section which stood out and through the scope the grey seemed to also be very, very light spreading on either side terminating with a brown triangle on each outer  tip. Well myself and another birder watched this bird for an hour and I soon realised how little I knew about Marsh Harriers and damn it as I had headed out to seawatch which was aborted I had no camera . The Bird at one stage dropped in the reeds and you could see it just on the edge looking down at something and with the flurry and splashing of water a bird must have been seriously panicking , up it lifts again going around the far half of the pond dropping out of sight again this time for ten minutes or so till it again lifted and returned to drop in and harass the bird from earlier, but oddly it made no real attempt to grab anything it just sat and looked down . When I got home later looking for info on ageing Marsh Harriers I was not much further forward save for finding out that some young males can appear like females to avoid confrontation with territory males , my feeling was that this was a male 1st summer bird but whatever it was great to see . While along the estuary a count of 82 Black Tailed Godwits was noted and on another day they where located well up river feeding on the far side .
 There seems to have been large numbers of Black Tailed Godwits through the County this flock of 82 on the Blyth Estuary
One or two coming into Summer Plumage I thought there would have been more !!!
 Young Blackbird had me puzzled at first  as it was singing from deep in cover a harsh loud sub song !
 Sedge Everywhere now this one popped up at Cresswell carpark north end there always seems to be one holding territory there
 Little Owl looking at me with rather distain took a quick shot or two and quickly moved on
 Nice carpet of Bluebells at Widdrington
 Herring Gull collecting nesting material for use on the nearby factory roofs not something I have witnessed before
 It seems to be only selective roofs are suitable for nesting Herring Gulls & Lesser Blackbacks  Industrial estate Blyth
 These where all washed out last year with the torrential rain , nothing could have withstood the downpours !!
 This was a strange sight I came across along the River Blyth, this is the rail bridge, a SUB SEA contractor was on site with digger , dumper truck and a team in the water complete with survival dry suits.  they where loading these stones into the dumper via the digger then tipping them on a large raft , where the men/divers would float it into place and then they placed them around the base pillars . I ask you is that not an embarrassing bit of engineering , I did not photograph the guys to save there blushes , it will be interesting to see how many weeks/days they will last.
 Blackcap there was more interestingly a Garden Warbler nearby  but only the glimpse of that as it relocated along the back of the hedge
A Couple of Barnacle Geese drop into Holywell  with some Canadas

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