Saturday, 31 January 2009

Big Waters

It must have been about mid October last year when we were last at Big Waters, so Saturday's morning sunshine gave us the incentive for a visit. There were a couple of pairs of Bullfinches in the hawthorns next to the boardwalk on the way to the far hide. Having 'just missed the Kingfisher', the feeder station area was busy, with Siskin, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Robin, Moorhen, Magpie, Blackbird and Pheasant.

Waterside were Snipe, Teal, Mallard, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Lapwing,Cormorant.

Master of disguise

Click on above and check there are just seven snipe

Friday, 30 January 2009

Loads of colour

Went to visit family today via Clara Vale LNR and despite it being cold, dull, and drizzle there was loads of colour on the site. Probably not an impressive collection by name but certainly so by their colours, a few of which are illustrated below

Monday, 26 January 2009

Redwing v. Mistle Thrush

I had thought that a recent first visit by a pair of Mistle Thrushes wouldn't last, but they have taken possession of the feeder table and defend it with much determination.

It must have been their calls that brought about another garden first, of a Redwing, but this lasted only for seconds before moving on.

Friday, 23 January 2009

What you lookin at?

Met this guy at Clara Vale earlier today

Gave him a wide berth and went on to see a lot of his mates, Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskin, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Pheasant

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Special Visitor

About six or seven weeks ago I had noticed a pair of Mistle Thrushes had taken ownership of an area around a rowan tree. Then recently the flock of waxwings came in and that was the end of the rowan feast, so I expected the Thrushes to depart. However they have stayed around the Salters Road area and I had seen them edging closer to our chimney pots.

So I was over the moon to see them, this morning, visiting the garden feeder.
Have to confess I was on the way out, so the pic was taken through the square window, and it was raining, but I cannot wait to use it. What a cracking bird!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Identification help please!

Ok, I feel a bit of a prat so I'll get the excuses out of the way first, --- I did say I was new to this.
But I just need to be sure I've got the ident of these super little birds at St Mary's Island correct.
Sanderling? -please confirm or otherwise.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Up the Coast

Yesterdays request to do some inland sites was followed by 'a trip up the coast' this morning. So straight to Hauxley, which was bright but very breezy, and geese Greylag,Canada coming in and flying out all the time.


Curlew, Goldeneye, Goosander, Tufted Duck also present with Chaffinch, Siskin, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Pheasant at the feeder area.
Eider present in Amble Harbour together with many hundreds of mixed birds opposite the Marina which were very impressive when they were in flight.


After an excellent lunch at a small cafe serving top notch pastas we drove down the coast when we spotted the Whooper Swans near Widdrington. I guess about 45 present in the field.


Planned to try a Creswell ice cream but stopped at the pond parking area just as the Barn Owl showed for well over 30 minutes. What a great sight in the low sunlight. Ice Cream shop shut but it didn't matter. Another great day.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Old Haunts

With my Daughter coming to visit and a request to cover some of the area around our old stamping ground of Rowlands Gill we set off yesterday with a couple of hours of daylight left, to Thornley. There were still good numbers of Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Brambling, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Grey Heron, Pheasant, Robin, Blackbird and the usual fly through Sparrowawk.
A quick sprint along the Derwent Walk, from the Golden Lion to Clockburn Pond where there was Goosander, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot a single Grey Wagtail, and it was dark.
Today it was Sled Lane pond first stop, With Goosander, Wigeon,Canada Goose,Coal Tit, Great Tit, Coot, Moorhen, and Mute Swan.

Clara Vale
Next stop Clara Vale, where there were Redpoll, Siskin, Marsh Tit, Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Wren, Blackbird, Moorhen,Magpie, Red Kite, Greenfinch, Robin, and Nuthatch.
There was a little sun whilst here so the colours of the birds were great.

Lintzford for lunch and just in time to get the scope on a Red Kite perched on top of a tree. The another 3 soaring overhead.
Shibdon Pond last stop. Goldeneye, Lapwing, Canada Geese, Shelduck, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Long Tail Tit, Black Headed Gull.
Great Day!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Waxwings in Gosforth

On the way to get the bus this morning , just turned the corner, onto Salters Road beside the old Sanderson Hospital when I heard something 'a bit different' in the tall trees beside the bus stop. Looking right to the top I could see a bird with that head tuft. I almost shouted out loud 'its a waxwing'. Having got into the habit of carrying a small pair of bins with me I was able to confirm my first thought. Then taking a wider look into the tops of the tree it was covered with the little blighters. They took flight and circled around to re alight twice . Certainly at least 40- 50 of them. Perched on the top they caught the early morning sun and were a brilliant sight. Still feel very fortunate to have seen them.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Sunshine at last!

At last sunshine and we can get out there.
Drove to Sled Lane pond which was about 25% frozen but still good numbers of Wigeon, Goldeneye,Little Grebe, Canada Goose,Coot, Moorhen,Mallard, Mute Swan,Black-headed gull,with Wren and Robin in the perimeter bushes.

Sled Lane Pond

Then around to Clara Vale, where a ringing team were working. Watched with great interest handling Great Spotted Woodpecker, Bluetit, Robin, Chaffinch and Dunnock. Apparently they do this spot on the first Saturday of the month -daybreak till 1pm. Walked to the hide overlooking the ponds where there was another GS Woodpecker netted, with Siskins, Blue tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Goldfinch at the feeders.
Bracket Fungi - Thornley

With the cold setting in, over to the garden centre - Lintzford, for calorie intake and there was mixed group of Redwing and Mistle Thrush in a nearby field.
Could'nt drive past Thornley where there was a huge number of birds in front of the hide including, Brambling,Bullfinch, GS Woodpecker, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Wood Pigeon.

Then home in time to tune into The Mags FA Cup exploits.