Saturday, 22 September 2012

A few more images from Wednesday.

Red-throated Diver

Juvenile Guillemot
Sandwich Tern 
.........and a few more Gannet images
The Red-throated Diver was seen as i returned to the car having walked 16.7 km from Druridge Pools to Low Hauxley and back with a small detour out to Chibburn Ponds with sightings of numerous Common Darters and a single male Southern Hawker. Quite a few juvenile Guillemots were seen on the North Sea and a smattering of Sandwich Terns, all very vocal, at a few points along the way. A Wheatear and 2 Rock Pipits seen together on seaweed on the beach with 2 male Long-tailed Ducks a little distantly out to sea nice diversions but the juvenile Gannets attending what looked like a diving class just off the beach stole the show.
Found large numbers of Common Darters as expected at my usual stopping off point at the educational dipping pond at East Chevington, many of which were enjoying the reflective heat of the timber posts and rails heading towards Druridge Country Park

Thursday, 20 September 2012


With Mr. Cheviot lost in France, well on holiday there i went out for a walk on my own. The plan was to park up at Druridge and head up to Hauxley. Before that i called in at Cresswell for 25 minutes to see what was about. Three smart Yellow Wagtails in the field playing footsie with a couple of sheep seemed to be a good omen but although there were plenty birds about a few Black-tailed Godwits were the highlight. The birds lifted on numerous occasions but it was never apparent why.
I haven't looked through all of the images i captured but in between Druridge Country Park and the car park at Hadston Carrs i had over fifty juvenile Gannets plunge diving very close to the beach. As you can imagine i was sidetracked for some time............
Nice little sequence by this pair.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

I know what this is........BUT DO YOU ???

A couple of heavily cropped images of a common bug you can see any day you venture close to water. They were taken at Big Waters yesterday while the Grim Reapers set about the task of  producing more mud for the mass influx of waders to be viewed from the hide in the coming weeks. The Blogger from Howdon helped out by pushing some grass about with a rake while the stars of the show did some hard graft. I was in the hide initially but felt soooooo guilty that i had to leave as i couldn't watch further.
Anyway...........what is it ?
More common than you think. Approx. 2cm long.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Kent Odonata

I visited Kent last week and spent the majority of the time with my grandchildren but i was allowed out for one foray. Stodmarsh was the choice and here are three images i captured.

 The weather was beautiful all week and dragonflies were on the wing everywhere we went. On my day at Stodmarsh i didn't see any damselflies at all and the only day i did was when we had a trip to Bedgebury Forest which is almost on the border with Sussex. It is run by the Forestry Commission and one of the main reasons we all went was so my son could take his bike on the very challenging mountain bike trail. While he did this i sloped off for a couple of hours to explore the Pinetum and the ponds. I did see a damselfly this day and what a corker it was...........the image i captured WASN'T however. My longer lens seemed to struggle and i only had my 50mm lens and not my 100mm macro in addition and the subject would not let me get close. So my only encounter thus far with this species ended up with a shocking photograph.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Incoming !!

While capturing images of this Green-veined White (Pieris Napi ssp. Thomsoni), which may be from a third brood hence the dark hue, this bee came in to land.
Obviously the butterfly told the bee to BUZZ OFF.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Prestwick Southern Hawker

I had to go up to Ponteland this morning to the cattery and called past Prestwick Carr for the first time in quite a while. Although it was dry and bright there was a definite chill in the wind. A day for birds only, i thought to myself but within a short time i wished i had my macro lens. On arrival i had a Chiffchaff immediately, the only one as it happens. As i walked the track up to the sentry box above me on both sides were dozens of Swallows feeding relatively high. In the hedgerow to my right two young Goldfinches fluttered their wings at their parent making plenty of noise as they did so. In the horses field to my left on the only piece of sodden ground seven Pied Wagtails made their prescence known along with two juvenile Meadow Pipits. Three Buzzards, as expected, mewed and circled over the woods and a few Corvids next to horses were the last of the birds for a while.
Having passed the sentry box and gone through the gate my attention was now taken by insects. It was getting blustery now but the heat was very much noticeable in the sun and where the track was sheltered in any way groups of insects were feeding. In the section between the two sentry boxes i had 3 Red Admiral and 2 Wall Brown Butterflies. Common Darters started to appear, rising, almost from under my feet as i passed the ruined building and on. Large numbers of Hoverflies and Bees were to be found on almost every head of Knapweed i passed. DRAT, no macro. I didn't quite reach the second sentry box before i decided to head back for a bit of bait and no sooner had i done so that i had a stunning male Southern Hawker coming towards me. I stopped in my tracks only for it to veer off and out of view. It reappered trying to find somewhere to land to take in the suns rays but the conditions caused it to lift almost as soon as it landed due to the vigorous movement of the vegetation. I still wasn't sure of the Hawker species i had at this stage and was relieved when it finally found a resting place.
Finally, a male Southern Hawker could be identified.
The return journey was much more quiet with a lifting Marsh Harrier being an obvious highlight. The Swallows were still feeding frantically overhead and a stunning Peacock butterfly looked glorious opposite Mayfair Cottage.

Saturday, 8 September 2012