Friday, 27 February 2015
Late afternoon and I headed to Prestwick Carr in the hope of Owls I did not go too early just enough time to have some daylight for a walk around down to the sentry post and back again to the platform just as well despite the sunshine it was freezing, Bullfinch ,Chaffinch, and lots of Goldfinch along the track hedge of the bumpy road , Willow Tit tantalised me with good views which I tried to capture but they move around so fast all I photographed where twigs . I stopped now again to scan with the scope hoping for a roosting LEO hidden deep in the bushes but no luck . Three Kestrels and two Buzzards encountered , heading back to the platform in the now fading light a Tawny called from the plantation I got set up on the platform and just scanned and scanned the fading light gradually reducing how far I could see six Roe Deer hopped over a fence one by one and disappeared into the long grass . I tried the scope it seemed to gather more light but obviously a much narrower field of view , then suddenly a Short Eared Owl popped into view as it hunted in the distance, at one point it hovered in the air for what seemed like a few minutes but was probably only 10 or so seconds I eventually lost it so looked through the bins but could not see very far at all , Surprised just how much more light the scope pulled in would not have seen the bird without it , Picked it up again with the scope and followed its progress till it was lost behind a hedge . I now turned my attention to the Moon and accompanying planets which where showing well but I dont have the gear to get any good shots , but in the setting of the Carr they did look impressive .
Willow Tit it took many shots to get anything decent , these birds move so fast
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
A walk from Morpeth to Mitford and back again , it was rather a cool day only the fact I was walking kept me warm sadly not much bird life encountered, the site of the Abbey ruin is now closed to no access at all now sad as it was always worth a visit, the usual hedge nearby along where the Hornbeams are held several Bullfinch that always alighted on the other side given close but restricted views , a flock of Goldfinch with a few Greenfinch, Chaffinch's and a small group of tits but no Marsh Tit, a raucous Jay flew across ahead of me and landed in the Hornbeams , I saw nothing on the river where it was visible , on the ground large patches of Snowdrops added some colour to the drab scene and thousands of shoots of Ransom starting to come through .
Mitford castle was to be as far as I went stopped here for my coffee, there are always birds passing through the hawthorns , nearby the drumming of a GSW , and 2 Buzzard circled calling, years ago I had called here at dusk with the kids to observe the Bats coming out it's a fantastic setting, I headed back via the road which gives several views of the streams and river no Dippers ,just several mallard and 2 Little Grebes , cut back into Morpeth and over the stepping stones to check out Appleby's Bookshop having a 50% off sale due to closing down not a sole in save the one shop assistant , I checked the Natural History section and found nothing I needed but overall there are plenty of books going very cheap !!!!
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 12:14
Thursday, 19 February 2015
One late afternoon walking along the River Blyth I could see some ripples along the river edge probably a couple of Mallard I thought but no the head of an Otter popped up briefly catching me by surprise, whipped the camera but the light fading fast I should have practised with the settings for just such a case , I rattled a few shots off but the poor light made it hard to focus ,so I just watched it as it searched along the bank coming within a few feet at one point but I could only see it 's back , it made my day the first time Iv'e seen one in a river setting apart from the glimpse of one in the harbour while kayaking.
Someone has placed this barrel presumably for Barn Owls it was well off in the distance so unable to get any nearer
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 11:17
Monday, 16 February 2015
Just an assortment of shots from the past few weeks been neglecting the blog of late partly due to the fact I have not had a decent run of pictures to include. January I concentrated on the Blyth Valley patch challenge to see how many birds could be seen in the are of Blyth Valley which roughly is from Blyth River to Holywell Dene to toughly just short of the A1 and as far out to sea as is visible but only for the month of January, I must say in the end I rather enjoyed it going to areas not usually visited in the quest for the more elusive Marsh(no) & Willow Tit(yes) but rather than just trail around aimlessly I also surveyed sights that could be good for Dragonflies in the coming months of Summer and areas that perhaps had potential for any Spring wader passage , I ended up with 117species in the end which obviously being on the coast was supplemented with Seawatch sightings, total in reality could have been much greater given the fact I did not see CANADA goose which you would have thought of as a given, I even went to anywhere I thought I would see them, and would have twitched one if I could ,how sad is that !!! ,
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 13:18