Friday, 26 June 2009

Offline - for a while

We are off to Berwick for a few days, so hoping to get plenty of watching in.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Its Batty

At about 10pm last night was looking skyward watching bats flitting overhead when I realised that something had flown past at head height just behind me. Turned to see a Barn Owl flying directly away. Watched it cross the next field and over the hedge. So into the car and parked up alongside where I thought it may be but no sign. However whilst watching I spotted another owl hunting low over the reeds and coming toward me, but it then veered off and out of sight. I was not able to identify but felt it may have been Tawny Owl.
Then, in the distance the unmistakable sight of a Barn Owl flying back and forth for about four minutes until it also flew out of sight.
Went home high...again.

Monday, 22 June 2009

It does not get better than this........

Briefly - Saturday - Far Pasture- long sighting of Kingfisher followed by a flypast of two together. Saturday evening- Prestwick Carr, Tawny Owl, and then to top it off at Druridge on Sunday morning these 3 corkers for about 45 minutes.

....and there was loads of other sightings of bird, butterfly,damselfly,dragonfly,bat,- which I'll try to get to.
What a weekend!!! Phew.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Lapwing disguise

I used to wonder why the distinctly coloured Lapwing used bare fields to nest, and rear young, until I caught sight of two chicks.
Their back colouring is almost identical to the earth in this field, although they look easier to spot side on.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Kittiwake Quayside

First stop Tyne Bridge, where the Kittiwake population seem to have occupied all of the available ledges. The young seem in constant danger from falling over the edge as they shuffle around the nest.

All attempts to dissuade the birds from using The Baltic ledges seem to have failed

and the Kittiwake Tower is quite well occupied

Monday, 15 June 2009

Through the windscreen

Spent the morning in Hexham in bright sunshine then decided after lunch to drive across moors to Allenheads and Blanchland. As soon as we left Hexham it started to chuck it down complete with hailstones. Its the middle of June for goodness sake!
So any attempts at birdwatching were made from the car without apology.
However apart from Curlew, Oystercatcher, Wheatear, Red Grouse, Meadow Pipit, we were very lucky twice, when stopped with the window down, to at first hear and then see, pairs of Cuckoo flying over. The second time near Blanchland one of them was being mugged by a little brown job so we wondered had the Cuckoo just left its egg in the nest.
Was hoping somebody might confirm that the pic below which I got through the windscreen is of a Woodcock rather than a Snipe.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

In Flight

Was unable to resist trying to get a few pics of these gulls doing what they do best

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Far Pasture

Arrived at Far Pasture just as the rain stopped earlier this evening.
Apart from Moorhen, Coot, Reed Bunting, Red Kite, Heron, Mute Swan there did not seem to be much doing.
However I got lucky when some fellow birders decided to go with the immortal words - 'I bet something turns up when we leave'
Sure thing, a minute later this little fella appeared-

Although I could not catch it in sunshine the colours were great to see anyway and it showed another three or four times

This Little Grebe was busy hunting at the same time

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Fox v. Lapwing & the winner is.......

Was walking through fields near Big Waters when I spotted this fox quartering the ground.

It was back and forth nose to the ground when I spotted a lapwing flying low above.
Thought it must be getting near to a nest or young when a Lapwing started to swoop down at the fox, which made it stop - but then continue on its hunt.

All of a sudden there were at least three Lapwing, all 'hounding' the fox.
Although I was some distance away I could not see that the fox had any success on this hunt

then it gave up, and slunk away back into the the Lapwing did a victory roll