Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Oh, what a beautiful mornin'........................

.........oh, what a beautiful day,
i've got a wonderful feeling,
Shorties are flying my way.
Anyone who crossed their threshold this morning must have been more than happy, especially the ones with any kind of optic. It was caad mind and the grass crunched like a thirty year old felted roof underfoot as i walked around Killy's larger lake. The Goosander count was down to 7 with the Goldeneye scoring a measly 4. A hybrid goose had taken me up to the car park end but apart from that there were 7 Greylags in amongst the throngs of Canadas. Something else was in the air at Killy apart from the nip of Jack Frost. I reckon around 12 pairs of Mute Swans were getting acquainted, most of them mirroring each other with one pair copulating in the water. The Coots were also active. There was a lot of posturing and fights were breaking out spasmodically as i walked around. By now the grass was silent and my boots were now getting wet and as i approached the floating bed (i've left the reed bit out). I was pleasantly surprised to see a Grey Wagtail hopping about on it. First i can recollect here. I then spent 20 minutes getting my backside cold and wet by sitting on the wall in front of the floating bed watching a Little Grebe close by.
On to Prestwick Carr. No Great Grey Shrike and not  much else initially but it was a joy to be out and about. If i hadn't seen a bird i wouldn't have been too disappointed to be honest, it was that nice.
I walked the full length of the bumpy road and before i settled down to view the owls i had 2 Roe Deer bounding across the danger zone, their arses "showing well". Bird wise it continued to be quiet with Blackbirds and Robins taking centre stage supported by a single Dunnock which popped up from the undergrowth and the honking of some Greylags coming from i know not where, but not overhead.
A trio of Short-eared Owls hunted on both sides of the road with the highlight being when one of the owls, which was taking a break on a fence post, was dive bombed by a very vocal Kestrel who obviously had decided "this Carr ain't big enough for the both of us". It tried three times to chase off the Shortie but the owl wasn't having it and the Kestrel drifted off. All too distant for my lens but the image below i believe sums up my morning.
It was lush.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Looking good.

Some decent light had me out of the door and off up to the Rising Sun this afternoon. I entered from the west and spent the first hour or so exploring the large number of Alders on that side of the hill but none of the hoped for Redpoll. Further in 5 Blackbirds were gorging themselves on the fruit of the still laden Hawthorns at the end of the west ditch. The main waggonway was busy and after the obligatory mixed flock of Tits i picked up on a single Siskin trailing close behind. The sun was getting lower in the sky now and the light was superb. Hoping to come across something a little special i was in luck and a pair of Coal Tits appeared and concentrated their attentions on a Beech close to the plantation. I had the birds in view for about 10 minutes, moving along the tree line before i spotted another 5 Siskins high in some more Alders.
Coal Tit

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Saturday p.m. West Hartford.

I spent 90 minutes with 4 Short-eared Owls at West Hartford and when the light had gone i spent 45 minutes with 11 Magpies on the wireless and both were most enjoyable.
Within a short time of arriving at the site i had 2 owls hunting in the field in front of the farm. Another bird appeared over by the brick outhouse shortly after and within minutes they had dispersed. At varying times i had owls over the field in front of the Fire Station, by the sub station and perched on the railings of the compound. With them being scattered everywhere it was getting difficult to keep a track of them and i thought that i has seen 4 but couldn't be sure but eventually all the birds ended up in the field in front of the farm again and i definitely had 4.
Other birds seen while there included 57 Teal, a single Wren and numbers of Lapwing and Gulls which lifted when i arrived but was unable to I.D. or count before they flew off.

Not much to report............. i don't know why i'm bothering !!
Prestwick Carr Friday lunchtime for a couple of hours brought.....err....hang on.......i'm thinking......oh yes, a Kestrel and some Blue and Great Tits.  No Great Grey Shrike and no Short-eared Owls.
Thursday p.m. again for a couple of hours. One spent on the west side of the Rising Sun brought 3 Goldfinch, that's it. The other hour spent at Killy Lakes. Loads of birds with the excitement being generated by 17 Goosanders and 10 Goldeneye.
There y go.
Telt yu.
Goldfinch on Alders at the Rising Sun.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Help save Gatesheads Countryside Management Team !

I bumped into Harold Dobson at Prestwick Carr just before Christmas and mentioned that i had read that there were cut backs in the offing which had been highlighted on Gateshead Birders website. The cut backs include the possible axing of the Countryside Management Team. Harold had advised me that he had set up an e petition to try to help save the team. We can help wildlife in lots of ways and by signing this petition we all can help some of the wildlife in the Gateshead area. Whether it be Dippers on the Derwent, Kingfishers at Clara Vale, Dragonflies at Kibblesworth or Grey Squirrels at Thornley (not sure about that last one) click on THIS LINK and show your support by adding your name.
By way of thanks here is an image of a Sanderling taken in the North Bay at St. Marys yesterday where, due to the wild conditions, i had only the Sanderlings and Turnstones to share with. Not a dog walker in sight......bliss.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year Resolution.

Just a thought...........
the way things are now does your resolution have to be in 3D or will just plain HD be o.k.??

The lastest post.

Sitting here with my glass of orange Fanta and slice of Warburtons Winter Fruit Loaf, life in the fast lane is a distant memory.
A shout out to John, HOWDON BLOGGER, Brian, NORTHUMBRIAN BIRDING and Brian, KILLY BIRDER for some great days out this year. Thanks also to Peter, PC WANDERINGS for all the info. at Prestwick and all the other birders i've met while out and about. Thanks to Jeff, MR. CHEVIOT and Lewis, BLYTH BIGFOOT my walking companions.
Best moments. White-faced Darters in Cumbria and the hairs standing up on my neck while seeing Pallid Harrier for all of 20 seconds at Saltholme. White-front Geese at Rising Sun so close a real treat along with RED the Red Deer Stag.
BIG BEN chiming so i'm off..............