Saturday, 13 July 2019

DUCK !!!

…. actually it was a Spoonbill but I thought I might have to duck at one stage.

Monday, 24 June 2019

A1068 Barnie

The A1068 being the busy road between Widdrington Village and Amble. It was just before 5 a.m. on Sunday morning so the road was quiet. I was heading north along the road wanting to turn off for the side road that would take me down to Hadson Carrs then back towards East Chevington. The Barn Owl caught my eye just before the junction so I had to turn back and park on the grass verge, something I wouldn't consider later in the day or during the week. Lovely sitting watching it as it surveyed the wide grass verge but a gut in a van pulled alongside and asked if everything was alright, probably thinking I might have broken down. "I'm fine thanks" I replied as I pretended to be on my phone. Unfortunately as the van pulled away it spooked the owl which disappeared off down the road. I was going to have to go back the way I had come and turn to get back on track. I drove about 100 metres then spotted at gateway on my right and decided to turn there. As I was about to pull out something caught my eye on the other side of the road.
First image was taken with my 35mm lens. The other three with the 300 mm and are cropped. Bird sat for 15 minutes quite happily flying off twice but returning. Cars make wonderful hides !

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Three seconds

Three seconds was just about the length of time that I saw the Red-spotted Bluethroat at Newbiggin on Sunday. I had arrived at 05.15 in heavy mist so was hopeful the Bluethroat seen by many the previous day might have hung around. Sadly the mist burnt off quickly and it was fast becoming a beautiful morning without a breath of wind. Not expecting to see the bird now I still had an enjoyable wander with many common birds in full song inc. a Lesser Whitethroat. Last port of call was the blast beach & rock armour at the rear of the power station & with nothing of note out there I decided to return to the car & head along to Cresswell Pond. As I approached the gap in the fence taking me back to the car park a bird landed on one of the large concrete blocks & I though I had seen a flash of blue. Immediately lifting my bins I was looking at the Bluethroat so confirming the sighting I then grabbed my camera to record the encounter but as I lifted the camera to my face the bird disappeared over the fence of the Ash Lagoon next to the main truck entrance gates. No further sign. I hung about for another hour & was joined by other birders who had seen the post on B/guides (I had rang Gary asking him to report it) It was never seen again ……. just gutted I hadn't grabbed something by way of a pic. Any pic !!!!
Looks like at least two Avocets are nesting at Cresswell & a fine looking Greenshank kept a low profile having been hassled by the Avocets. Great views of Barn Owl hunting the dunes next to the outflow ….. it hung motionless hovering, listening before plunging down into the tall grass then returning to its nest with prey. Walking back to the car along the track some 45 minutes later I turned to find Barn Owl heading straight towards me before it gently drifted off unperturbed by my presence to continue hunting again. A quiet chuckle to myself as the assembled toggers numbering a dozen or so had drifted off by this time & a nice opportunity had been missed.


Thursday, 9 May 2019

It wasn't a plastic bag !!!

Mondays May bank holiday weather was awful. Rain and wind, the temperatures were that low I had to go and sit in the car with the heating on full blast for twenty minutes !!!
This pair of Yellow Wagtails helped warm me up further and while Dave E. and I captured images of the Wags Dave mentioned that he possibly had a Little Egret way off in the distance BUT when he put his bins then scope on it he confirmed that it was a CATTLE EGRET !!! Only the 3rd for Northumberland as I understand. Always just a little distant for a nice image it did give closer views later in the day. It wasn't reported yesterday but Dave found it again this morning (Wednesday) but it was even further away this time for us. The Yellow Wagtails on the other hand did oblige.
A nice Whinchat and Common Sandpiper were nice additions this morning aloing with the Cattle Egret.