Sunday, 20 May 2018

Rose-coloured Starling

I had to post a couple of images of the Rosy from Ashington yesterday. Captured in a back garden having walked along an alleyway between the houses. Luckily i'm 6 foot 4 inches as the 6 foot fence caused viewing problems for many. I had to balance on tiptoe to get my shots !!! A beautifully marked adult, i'm sure you'll agree.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

For the record

First returning AVOCET of the year at Cresswell Pond, Druridge, Northumberland. Thursday 08/03/2018. An awful heavily cropped capture of the bird.

N.B. i'm posting this at 04.55 on Saturday morning before i go back to bed having got up to head up to Dru for a mornings birding BUT without checking the weather forecast last night !!!!! SCOOLBOY ERROR. It is tipping it down and will do most of the day so i'm going back to bed hoping the car is available tomorrow instead. In my defence the fore cast for today wasn't at all bad in forecasts a couple of days back...that's why i didn't bother looking. Anyway, NIGHT NIGHT.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

100,000 up !!!

This post will bring up 100,000 views of my blog. If I had continued blogging in the last couple of years as much as I did previously that 100,000 would have come up a lot sooner. Twitter is to blame for that. To commemorate I thought I would post a couple of images of my first ever views of Dolphins. They were White-beaked Dolphins which I saw from Tynemouth north pier a couple of weeks back. Quite distant but nevertheless a fabulous experience.

I'll chuck in an image of a Kittiwake, a juvenile, which were the real stars on arrival & departure at the pier. Their evocative calls.......sublime. They've gone now, sadly.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Budge beauty

We all know that early morning and evening light is the best for photography and this was certainly the case on Sunday morning as I managed to capture some nice images of a Barn Owl on a post close by the Budge Screen at Druridge. Here are a couple.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Garden Visitor

Sadly we ended up with one less House Sparrow last week as Margaret spotted this Sparrowhawk plucking its victim on the ground behind the picnic table. The House Sparrow has suffered major declines, along with many other species, lately and combined with our neighbour Liz we have tried to make our gardens as "spuggy friendly" as possible. The best advice I can give is to let those trees and hedges get a little unkempt and put some food and water out and they will do well. Ours have. Being next to a major dual carriageway heading into Newcastle we don't get a huge variety of species so a visit from a Sparrowhawk is welcome, even at the expense of one of our cherished residents. They have done reasonably well again this year and this is nature in action after all.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

This one's for you Dave from Widdrington.

Knowing that a certain gentleman was giving social media a break I thought I would post these couple of pics as he is partly responsible and might not see them otherwise.
I followed his tip on a promising new pool he had discovered out on the old Stobswood opencast site. Arriving at 05.50 having spent a quiet 30 minutes around Dru previously on the walk in from the main road I heard my first ever Quail !!! Even better a couple of minutes later a second bird joined in. I gave it 20 minutes hoping one might reveal itself (knowing neither would) before heading off in search of the pool. I could hear one of the birds calling almost constantly for quite some time and even had a comment on a birding photo site on Facebook from someone who read that I had been there this morning asking if I had heard the Quail !!!
I could see the water in a depression in a field but having a had lots of birds on view, all common species, I decided I would carry on and explore further. I eventually ended up at a wooded area in the north west area and was immediately greeted by a mewing Buzzard. The bird approached & passed overhead, at a decent height, on a number of occasions. I spend around 3 hours in the vicinity, walking a bit further on, exploring the perimeter of the wood and a body of water some 40 metres long in front of the copse. Initially I found only Blue-tailed Damselflies but later a few teneral Common Darters lifted as I examined the surrounding fauna whilst checking out the Butterflies. Hundreds of Small Skipper were noted along with many Meadow Brown.
Still the Buzzards continued to be vocal. Not just at me, I may add. Just very vocal. I had seen quite a few birds also, again all common but as I was leaving this last Buzzard dropped down towards me & kept me me my closest encounter ever with one in flight allowing me to capture a couple of nice images.

As the temperatures rose I was knackered by this time and as I passed Daves pool I decided that I would return later & explore it. I saw 2 people on horses in the first few hours while out there and 6 in the last 10 minutes as I returned back to the car. An added bonus in my book.