Sunday, 29 March 2009

New Diner

Following the events of the last posting, the feeder table in the back garden is no more.
Decided to retain the one in the front since it is surrounded by dense twiggy bushes with just sufficient room for me to load.
The Blackbirds were waiting for the back garden feed, but when I showed the feed in my hand, the female followed me to the front and started to use it. The Blue Tits and Coal Tits followed.
No sign of the Mistlethrush.
So to mark the event I thought a couple of portraits might be appropriate

Thursday, 26 March 2009

I Know I Shouldn't Have....

I know its against the rules to interfere but a nanosecond after this was taken...

....the Sparrowhawk flew in from the right and latched onto the thrush.
Should I, Shouldn't I ...lasted for another nanosecond and I was out into the back garden and not until I was about three feet away did the hawk release and take flight.
But as soon as the thrush got airborne, the hawk , swooped down again and once more had the thrush pinned on the ground. Again I got to within a few feet before it released for a second time and as I watched it rise, it took up the chase of the other Mistle Thrush over the roof tops and away.
The first thrush went off at a rate of knots and a minute later the other flew back over the rooftops free of its hunter.
So I suppose I'll never get onto Simon King's team, could have had some gruesome pics, but I've become mates with this pair of Mistle Thrushes,.... I just wish they would go back to where they came from - now.
As stated in an earlier posting, I knew this event was more than likely to take place.
Every time I have one of these incidents with birds(feathered), it reminds me of a saga with a Razorbill, which even now I cannot believe occurred. As soon as I get some Razorbill photos to illustate, I will relate the story.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Linnet or Twite ?

Had a wander around Havannah this afternoon where the large flock of Goldfinches seems ever present. Also Greenfinch, Moorhen, Wren, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Robin, Mallard, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Woodpigeon.
Would appreciate some comment re identifying the first image. I'm thinking it is either female Linnet or Twite?

I promise there are Roe deer in pic below

Monday, 23 March 2009

Derwent Valley Red Kites

Visiting Family today, and had the camera in the boot, so whilst sitting chatting these beauties came just within shooting distance......

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Dare I claim it is a .........

Spent a few hours working in the back garden, with the camera nearby.
Noisy gulls made me look up to see them mobbing ..... a White Stork? - making its way South over Gosforth High Street, I hope I'm correct on this one, but I'm sure someone will correct me otherwise.

A little later a commotion amongst the pigeons on the roof of the Sanderson Hospital made me grab the camera and get a couple of iffy shots of the Sparrowhawk.

Thursday, 19 March 2009


Have had a couple of strolls around Havannah LNR recently.
Loads of Goldfinch moving from perch to perch. Two different calls from the reedbeds which I could not identify, and the following delights, make it an interesting site to visit.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Came across this Robin singing its heart out in a hedge in Gosforth-
couldn't resist some pics.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Plant identification

Saw these flowering near Lemington Gut -

I've got as far as thinking they are Broomrape or Orobranche.
If I'm correct they are a parasitic plant which rely on adjacent plants for nutrients and water.
Would appreciate any comments on identification.
Also managed a pic of a few of the twenty strong flock of Curlew flying over.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Winter Visitors?

This is one of the two Mistle Thrushes which arrived in December and are still around.

Any opinions on whether they are likely to stay?

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Mixed Bag

Decided to have visit to Clara Vale LNR. It was a bit cramped with three long lenses already there in the small hide, but stayed long enough to see the Siskins:

Also there were Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Robin, Blue Tit.
Around the corner to Sled Lane Pond, where the Goldeneye were displaying:

which was quickly followed by a coffee and scone at Bradley Hall Gardens.
Across the river to Whittle Dene. Lower water stretches, void of birds as did the reserve stretch appear to be at first. However when the eyes were opened there were Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Curlew, Shelduck, Tufted Duck. All at long distance from the hide
Upward and onward towards Kirkharle saw Kestrel, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard.
Late lunch at Kirkharle then home

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Jesmond Dene and Leazes Park

Yesterday had a wander through Jesmond Dene away from the strong winds.
Apart from Grey Wagtail

other sighting were limited to Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Mallard. The burn water quality is very poor to say the least and with the tree surgeons going fifty to the dozen anything worth its salt will have done a runner.
Today there was time to go into town via Leazes Park where apart from the regular waterside inhabitants there were Long Tail Tit, Chaffinch, Wren, Song Thrush, Redwing, Starling, Magpie, Blackbird, Goldfinch, and I did'nt like the way the Carrion Crow were edging toward SJP.
Dipping pond is chock full of frogspawn

Friday, 6 March 2009

Gosforth Sparrowhawk

At last managed to grab a pic of the Sparrowhawk which raids the back gardens.
Best I could get through the kitchen window at 5pm this afternoon.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Havannah Buntings and Finches

Bright sunny morning, so a tramp around Havannah was in order with
loads of Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Sparrowhawk, Robin, Blackbird, Wren, Mallard, Magpie,

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Burdon Moor

Was in the area of the heathland re creation project named Burdon Moor today, so thought we would give it a visit. Basically its about 300yards East of the car park for Tanfield Railway. My interest in this area is because I spent the first ten years of my life living at Andrews Houses, which was 2 rows of houses, located on what is now the Tanfield Railway car park. Whilst living here, and going to Causey School, (total pupils in school - 30 max.) under education of Headmaster, Mr Atkinson, it was he who initiated my interest in all things natural, but more of that at a later date.
There are about a half dozen small ponds in the area and at one of them this group of Greylags proved an interesting find.....

There were also Mallard, Coot, Wren, Dunnock, Curlew in the area.
Its got me thinking about revisiting all of the old haunts in that area.