Trip out this morning to Killingworth hoping for some nice images of amorous Great Crested Grebes. They were kind of busying themselves but very mobile ( when they were not snoozing ) so didn't manage to capture anything i was happy with. This was my second trip up there in the last few days and again noticed a pair of Oystercatchers. Last time they were in amongst the scrum of Mutes, Canadas, Mallards and Tufties that congregate at the far end waiting to be fed but today they were both happily probing the ground of the grassed area next to the smaller lake. Meanwhile the floating reedbed is a hotbed of activity as Coots, Moorhens and a pair of Mute Swans are nest building. Having spent a couple of hours being frustrated by the G C G's i was ready to leave when there was a bit of a din with the local Black Headed Thugs, sorry Gulls setting upon some birds. I then heard the calls of the Oystercatchers as they flew off over the larger lake and into the distance. It looks like its hard to be accepted by the locals in Killingworth.A shame as Brian ( Killy Birder) has only got them as a patch tick on the wing. I also spotted my first butterfly, a Peacock.
Earlier in the week i ventured out with Jeff Veevers and at Bellasis Bridge we had 3 Whooper Swans in the rain sodden field next to the River Blyth along with 6 Mutes. Unfortunately one of the Mutes kept driving the Whoopers off and up the field so no decent shots there. On the way back to the car a very fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher was had. Whoosh, thats yer lot. A few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks around but no White Wagtail one of which i had seen a couple of days earlier whilst there with Howdon Blogger.
Off up the road in pursuit of a Great White Egret and possibly a Common Crane. Druridge Pools, which had been the last sighting was our first stop and took in a bit of mud wallowing while we were there.Very quiet, and as there had not been a G W E sighting for a while and the wind was biting and there weren't many other birds, we diddled off. Up to the Eshott area not expecting too much success. We pulled over in what was the general area, a quick scan with no success but Jeff spotted a Hare in the field to our right. Lush, i thought, better than nowt, so jumped out and got some nice views briefly. As i turned to get back in the car something caught my eye in the field opposite and about 100 metres away but showing out in the open was the Common Crane. It was feeding on the ground and was elegantly wandering along the hedge row. It was in full view for the 30 mins that we observed but sadly too distant for images.
A cracking day but nothing to match the sighting i had last Friday with John while parked in a country lane and spotting a Long Tailed Tit pair nest building. In full view we sat and watched as they put the finishing touches to their humble abode. A superb construction.
Long Tailed Tit nest
Great Crested Grebes at Killingwortrh