Thursday, 30 July 2009

Tyne waders

Another trip down to the Tyne tonight, beside Newcastle Business Park and the opposite bank at Dunston. Wader numbers are gradually increasing with Redshank, Curlew, Lapwing, Ringed Plover,and a single Dunlin all present. A single Shelduck on the Dunston bank. Currently the South bank of the river seems to hold the greatest numbers.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Havannah NR

Thought I would spend some trying to develop the art of Fungi identification.
What a nightmare. The more I read about these living organisms the more I despair at ever being able to identify them. However the hunt for species in the wooded area of Havannah proved very interesting and despite being unable to name all, I've had a go at some, and I'm posting the pics anyway. Any advice would be welcome.
I think these are a Common Puffball,which at this stage were about 1.5cm diameter.

Orange Birch Bolete

Glistening Inkcap

Birch Bolete

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Tyneside's oldest birder?

My Mother has a small secluded garden in Sunniside where she gets a fair few visitors to the peanut feeder. Her best tick recently is a Great Spotted Woodpecker,-

and her record keeping puts mine to shame-

particularly when she passed her 100th birthday in the spring of this year-

Just as well she started late otherwise she may have needed a roll of wallpaper for the life list.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Town Moor

Had a wander onto the Town Moor last night and walked up onto the hill in the North West corner. Birdwise it was quiet with only Skylark, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Starling to be seen. There were many Meadow Brown butterfly on the side of the hill facing the setting sun.

tried the next one with flash and although I took half a dozen pics it appeared to have no effect on the butterfly

Also a Six Spot Burnet

and I was surprised at the number of bees apparently taking refuge under the grass flower heads

There were a number of Noon-fly on the fence railings

Friday, 10 July 2009

Fantastic Fungi

Had a wander through St Nicholas Hospital grounds and came across an interesting range of Fungi. The problem is identifying them.
The largest single fungi in this group is about 20cm diameter

I'll try to capture this one as it opens to identify. There are three or four of these together.

I think this one below is Dryad's Saddle which is approximately 25cm across

The following are all Bracket fungi.
Perhaps a Willow Bracket?

and a Smokey Bracket

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Fawdon puzzle

At noon today, driving through Fawdon, we spotted what I, at first glance, called a Buzzard. Stopped the car and got out to see there were two, but- as they soared in circles there was no fan tail shape, so not confident with the ident.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Toon Tyne two

Had another trip to Newcastle Business Park and the opposite bank tonight. Timing was a bit off as there was no mud visible when I arrived so there were only 3 or 4 Common Tern hunting.
In response to PCF comment on previous post The only Shelduck brood was as per pic below - with only one young. These were in the area where Teams joins Tyne. They were the only two adults seen on the two visits.

On the south side between the Timber Beach and Costco were at least 35 Curlew with good numbers of Lapwing and Redshank. In the area behind Dunston Staithes were 10 Grey Heron waiting for the water level to drop.
Common Tern -

Timber Beach -

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Toon Tyne

Decided to have a late look down to the river Tyne beside the Business Park to see if the waders are starting to return. There were small groups of Redshank all the way along the waters edge, together with Curlew, Lapwing, Black Headed Gull, and a surprising number of Grey Heron. No Teal seen.
The sound of a woodpecker hammering away across the river on Dunston Staithes captured the imagination, as did a large Salmon which leaped clear of the water in front of the staithes.
Drove around to the opposite bank at Timber Beach and Costco where there was about a dozen Curlew with Redshank, Lapwing and Ringed Plover.There were 4 Tern screeching overhead but by then it was too dark to get a useful pick
Generally the wader numbers are increasing.
Whilst on this side of the river I noticed some fungi under the north side of some trees and although it was near to dark thought I'd try flash

Th Fungi ident book seems to have gone walkabout so if anyone can assist it would be appreciated

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Berwick Trip

We have just returned from a few days in Berwick upon Tweed, thanks to our friend Maggie who offered us use of her house. Her garden looks over the mouth of the river, from where we watched Sandwich Tern, Curlew, Goosander, Black Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Oystercatcher, Teal, Redshank, Grey Heron,Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Song Thrush, Linnet, Painted Lady, Grey Seal and 3 masted sailing ship.

Had wanted to try and get some in flight pics of Gannets, so a trip to Dunbar, with Bass Rock in sight and which is home for a lot of them, provided an opportunity. Its surprising how they never fly close inshore, until you are sitting in the car having a cuppa, and as soon as you get out onto the rock ends again they are back out to sea. However at least you can tell what they are -

A few hours at St Abbs provided the opportunity to grab some Guillimot and Razorbill pics. It appeared that most of the young had left the nest sites and was amazing to see how the birds cling to near vertical resting places -

Berwick pier provided the opportunity to watch Sandwich Terns fishing in the mouth of the river -

Thanks Maggie.