Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A bit fishy.

THE Howdon Blogger and I were  out on Saturday. It was as grey as a grey thing on a grey background with a hint of grey. The camera never left the bag.
An excited Big Waters crew had the sighting of a Bittern. I didn't as it was hidden by brickwork in the hide but views of Scaup and Otters made up for it. Surprisingly, Bitterns haven't been seen too often over the years at Big Waters and when we swopped hides a rather miffed A.J.J. wasn't overawed by the happy smiling mugs as he hadn't seen it. Ironically he had left minutes earlier as it was getting crowded. Unbelievably over the years had has had very few sightings on his patch.
 The fields at Prestwick Carr held very little as did the hedgerows. My first ever visit to the viewing platform brought me a couple of Willow Tits, not much else.
The post heading ???
That refers to the fishcakes in Hazelrigg. According to the Howdon Guzzler " The Fish Quay fish cakes are more fishy than the Hazelrigg ones" 
Tuesday had me visiting Gosforth Park and again it was quiet. I did have a brief glimpse of a Bittern there, from the Pierce hide, and one of the regulars reckons he has seen three. He mentioned others reckon there might be four on the reserve. A large flock of Canada Geese (@120) fed in the fields between the two hides just outside the reserve and a Buzzard circled for a minute or two also. Conditions underfoot aren't good and the path between the hides is treacherous. Wear wellies if you are planning to visit and expect to spend some time cleaning them when you get home.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Two birds with long slender curved bills x2

First venture out since before xmas on Saturday in the company of THE Howdon Blogger. As he posted we headed over to Durham and stumbled upon the 2 Glossy Ibis in a field opposite Sunderland Greyhound Stadium. The light was fine but the birds stayed in the long shadows while we were there. Confiding birds allowing views from no more than 12 metres at one stage.
long curved bills x 1
long curved bills x 2
The second pair of birds captured were at the end of our day down at St. Marys Island, this time in full sun, looking resplendent.
In between we had a brief glimpse of the Lesser Whitethroat in Tynemouth but having to constantly check for the prowling traffic wardens we cut short our stay.

Jarrow, mid morning, had us viewing over 30 Waxwings on a slightly ropey housing estate. They did come in to feed close by on Rowan Berries but  sadly, again, they were in shade while doing so. They weren't the only birds feasting on the berries as numbers of Thrushes in the shape of Blackbirds, Redwings and Mistle Thrush were all represented. We were well entertained by the antics of these birds as they all took turns in trying to stake their claim to the booty.

"those berries down there are mine"
"not if I can help it"
North Shields Fish Quay held nothing exciting as we passed through at lunchtime.

No light so I settled for this image.