Saturday, 28 February 2009

One of those days

After lunch today the weather brightened so I decided to see what could be found on the Town Moor. It is never an encouraging start with only a few white specks for gulls here and there. However as usual once you start to look there is something to be seen although I don't always know what it is.

Came across a group of approx 50 Golden Plover? - could do with some help here. I plumped for this ident on the basis of the worst photo I got

Then was pleased to hear a couple of Skylark.

Won't be long before there are loads of them on the Moor
Then up to the small pond where the frogs have been busy-

A wren flitted about the waterside rushes.
In the clump of trees adjacent, were Fieldfare and Redwing.
Got home to be told I should have been there!!!!
The Sparrowhawk had come visiting, - successfully. It looks like one of the Thrushes has taken the hit. Will have a look for feathers tomorrow. My wife had spotted it as it started to strip the feathers perched on the fence, and for at least a further fifteen minutes 'till it devoured its kill.
This is where my doubts about garden feeders resurface. Am I simply providing a concentrated hunting spot for Hawks?
The other feeder station we have in the front garden is closely shrouded by shrubs and I feel I should stick to this one

Friday, 27 February 2009

Thought that I may as well sift through the remainder of yesterday's trip to St. Mary's Island and post these:

Thursday, 26 February 2009

They brighten the day

Just can't seem to align some available time with some rays of sunshine.
However we drove to St Mary's Island and Blyth Harbour this afternoon and even though it was a grey day, these critters certainly brightened up my spirits.

Friday, 20 February 2009

River Tyne

30 minutes at Newcastle Business Park saw 3 pair of Shelduck, Teal, Curlew, Blackheaded Gull, Cormorant, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Redshank. A group of Long Tail Tits were skipping through the riverside bushes.
Although a very common bird, I am always impressed by the Teal colours and markings.

The Black-headed Gulls are almost exactly that.

and the Carrion Crows working through the bladderwrack were looking in good condition

So Far So Good

Well with the feeder table relocated, the regulars soon re-appeared this morning and after a few seconds of 'whats going on here?' carried on as normal.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Welcome Visitor ??

At about 4.30pm this afternoon we had just completed our meal and I was scouring the back of The Chronicle for some good news, when I looked up to see a Sparrowhawk perched on the back of one of our garden chairs, no more than 15 feet away and facing the window.
Our back garden is at the end of a run of about 25 gardens and we have previously seen a Sparrowhawk come to rest on the fence after an unsuccessful run, but this was the first time we have seen one as close.
Can't help feeling that the Mistle Thrushes who are still around are going to take a hit, since they dwell at the table for quite long spells. Might try to relocate the table in the morning
The dive for the camera ended with that well worn phrase of advice - 'You should keep it handy' -- as it took flight.
Next time!
Update - just been out and moved the table - Thanks to new SEC lighting garden work can be now carried out 24hrs per day.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Lazy Wander

Having just completed the front room decorating, thought we would have a not to energetic couple of hours out. So after circuiting Bolam and spotting the female Smew we drove up to Kirkharle, great grub there by the way. A fine Treecreeper showed itself a few yards away but no time for a pic.

A couple of Buzzards were scanning the fields and a Sparrowhawk went before us whilst playing chicken with an oncoming car, before taking the correct decision.

Sightings a little later included Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin

Saturday, 7 February 2009

River Tyne area

Had a wander around the area of Newburn Business Park and the River Tyne. Just managed to catch the aftermath of the fox failed attempt to bag a heron (top left).
Had just spent time watching the Grey Wagtail when the fox caught my attention.In the same area were Redwing, Fieldfare, Curlew, Redshank, Grey Heron, Blackbird

Alongside Newcastle Business Park were Curlew, Shelduck, Teal, Cormorant, Mallard, Cormorant, Black Headed Gull

I'm guessing that the second from the left on the tree trunk below is the product of a Mallard and something else. Any comment?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Around Town

On the days when I am doing my bit at The Back Page in Newcastle, I just have time on my way there, to get into Leazes Park and go once around the pond, which on Tuesday, apart from the residents held a group of nine Goosanders, 5 female.
At the west side of the park they seem to be encouraging a wild area where it is naturally scrubby and has a couple of pond/wet areas. This morning there were Long Tail Tits, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Wren,loads of paired off Blackbirds and a flock of Siskin? as I walked past.
Yesterday had a walk along Newcastle Business Park waterfront where there were Shelduck, Goosander male, Curlew, Redshank, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Teal, Redshank, Black Headed Gull.

In the back garden the Long Tail Tits appear to be preparing to build