Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Family life at Killy

Our Great Crested Grebes were showing a great deal of interest in the floating reedbed this morning
...they decide to do a bit of pole vaulting first...
...bored with this they finally start climbing aboard...
...things start getting a bit fruity...
...i get talking to a local resident who has observed the lake for a number of years. While no bird expert she gives some interesting information on observations she has made over the last couple of years. After a few minutes i turn to look at the GCG's and this is what i find...
...their first egg !!!
...the egg is inspected to see if it has a little lion on...

...meanwhile next door...
...this Coot family are progressing nicely...
...and on the water...
...the Mallard ducklings seem happy enough ( mum was in close attendance )...
...a Common Tern looks down on the happy families...
...while elsewhere...
...a Cormorant kept an eye on the Tern.

The Oystercatchers were not seen, or indeed, heard today.

An image for Lesley

Not a Great Crested Grebe in sight here......................more to follow on those.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Norfolk images

Some images captured while in Norfolk last week.

   Black- tailed Godwit
   Marsh Harrier
   Great Crested Grebe
   Egyptian Goose

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Great Crested Grebes.....head to head

Another few images of the GCG's from yesterday. All views were from over 20 metres so they have been cropped drastically. Nice to see the crests, colouration and the presentation of some lovely weeds!! although the image quality ain't the best.( nowt new there )

       ....and i know it's only a Starling ( some might say , not my thoughts) but i think they are stunners also.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Killingworth Great Crested Grebes.

Possibly my last visit to see these fabulous birds for over a week so i might not see their courtship at its stunning best. What i've seen so far hasn't been too bad mind you. Brian (Killy Birder) pointed out on his blog that the 2 GCG's on the smaller lake were already nesting. It would seem that we will have the same scenario as last year with the smaller lake having "humbugs" first. I can't wait to get back to follow both sets of birds further. Must mention that the 2 Oystercatchers are still around.

These images come from the larger lake.

...and these from the smaller (you can click on images to enlarge)

Monday, 12 April 2010

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours.

A little later on Saturday at Killingworth as i sat in front of the floating reedbeds gazing across the lake at the Great Crested Grebes all hell broke loose close by. A coot was going beserk, and this is why......

     these guys are nesting within close proximity
      the Mute thinks......i'll have a bit of that
     but the Coot is telling the Swan in no uncertain terms to back off
     the Swan carries on regardless
     enough is enough
     the cavalry arrives.....it wasn't needed to be honest
     ( not a vey good shot)   but everything is put back.


Sunday, 11 April 2010

The early bird er birder.

The forecast for Saturday was promising so i decided this was my first early morning trip of the year. This is my favourite time of the day to go birding, no people, but when it's nice the light is absolutely superb. These images from Killingworth are about the morning light.

        .........and my favourite
go on, click on it.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Killy GCG's

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

Monday, 5 April 2010

My smelling is good, it's my tyking that is clap.

How distasteful was the post by Mr. A. Titmouth.....(OOPS! sorry, was that SPELLING, TYPING or SOMETHING ELSE? ) commenting on the spelling on some birders blogs.
I would think that one or two birders from the region may be rather upset. In this day and age it seems rather inapropriate to comment on other people when you don't know there circumstances.
If he is trying to get noticed............well, i'm sure there are better ways.

Friday, 2 April 2010


I captured this image this afternoon, it was taken in the Roman Fort at Segedunum.