Saturday, 31 July 2010

Little Egret

Following the recent reports of the Little Egrets on the Tyne and then more recently at Shibdon Pond, I thought I'd have a look.
On arrival,there were three straight in front of the hide long enough to get a few pics.

Within five or six minutes they were off onto the island.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Not as expected

A couple of evenings ago with the sun shining I visited Woolsington ponds. I wanted to see if there may be any dragonfly about, and even though time was getting on, it was still quite warm.It was however quite breezy. There were none over the water, or its margins at any of the three ponds.
However I was surprised to see them appearing amongst the vegetation a few yards away from the water. There were five or six female Common darter but no sign of any male - which I found most strange but no doubt there was reason for that.

There was also half a dozen Comma butterfly amongst the bramble and lower leaves of surrounding trees. This one had settled on a small sunlit patch surrounded by shade.
It stood out like a beacon.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Nice to see

During our visit to Big Waters yesterday there were approx. 30 Greylag on the water.
Maybe its autumn already.

On a similar tack, a brief stop at St. Mary's yesterday saw half a dozen summer plumage Dunlin in the north bay together with a few Ringed Plover.....and who didn't have the camera?- Some people never learn.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Big Waters - Big Dragons

Continued on the Dragon hunt with a wander around the east end of Big Waters including its outlet stream, which looks spot on for Dragonfly.
Only when we were at the east end of the lake did we see Common Hawker, Common Darter and possibly an Emperor. The outlet stream showed Damselfly and only a single Common Darter.
However, this stunner, a female Southern hawker ( I had earlier wrongly identified as a Common hawker), flew around our heads for ten minutes returning time and again to alight on the same Hawthorn bush. Just magic.

These are sections of the Big Waters outlet stream.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Tyne Riverside Park - The Reeth pond

For a while now I have been aware of a pond in the Tyne Riverside Park near Throckley without actually seeing it. The pond is called The Reeth. Earlier today we decided to wander over there and see if there was any Dragonfly activity.
This is the east end of the pond.

and this is the other end about 300 yards to the west.

I did see a Four-spotted chaser, Common Hawker, one large unidentified dragon and plenty of Damselfly but that was it. The pond looks right for dragonfly so I'll try another visit soon.
We did catch a couple of glimpses of a Kingfisher as it flew along the pond and back again. Also one dive to capture a fish. There are also some large fish in there although I was unable to identify them. Apparently there is a fishing club use the pond

There were plenty of both Moorhen and Mallard with young broods

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Kibblesworth Dragons

I'm still on the dragon hunt and this afternoon as the sun started to kick in I paid my first visit to Kibblesworth Brick Ponds and was not disappointed.
This Emperor frequently perched in the same area between forays over the pond.

Emerald damselfly - male. Ive just learnt that the wings at 45 degrees is the key to confirming ident for this one.

Common darter - female

Common darter - male

There was a large Dragon hunting along a high line of trees but I was unable to make an ident. Four-spotted chasers and Black-tailed skimmers were also present. I visited only a couple of the ponds and enjoyed an hour and a half without anyone else present but gave up when a couple of dog walkers turned up and encouraged their pets into the pond. The Little Grebe in the middle wasn't to impressed.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I started off this spring determined to get at least a bit of a handle on Warbler identification.
Success has been limited to say the least. I can identify a few by their call but when it comes to visual, the Chiffchaff and Willow have won 10-0..... at half time.
Even when I get a photo like this one I'm still struggling.

So put me out of my misery and let me know what it is.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Weetslade Dragons

A recent wander around Weetslade brought these Dragonfly into view

Common Darter, male

Common Darter, female

Four-spotted chaser

Black-tailed skimmer, male

Ever mobile Emperors refused to present a photo opportunity
and lots of


Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Loads of them

Had a wander down to the pond accessed from the Gosforth Park garden and aquatic centre car park. Was hoping to see some dragons but there were only a few Damselfly about. However the thistles in the adjacent field were alive with Butterfly, Moths and other insects.

Five-spot Burnet and Skipper

The plan works

I have been cramming plants into the garden, which may support bees and butterflies so was pleased to see this pristine Small Tortoiseshell pay a visit this morning

Saturday, 10 July 2010

A little disturbance

On a recent visit to Gosforth Park NR, I had just reached the entrance alongside the visitors hut, when a pair of Wren started to create one almighty racket.
A Blackbird joined the din.

I thought I'd just stand and try to see what was the cause of all this fuss.
Sure enough a young fox came trotting through, right under the Wren, had a sniff around then calmly trotted off again

Calm returned

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Quiet but busy

Things were very quite as I strolled up the bridleway last evening at Prestwick Carr.
Bird calls were almost totally absent presumably because no longer are territories to be marked out, or the need to attract mates. Just the occasional warning call as I wandered past. Although I don't know what its called there seems to be other very quiet single note calls which birds make as though simply to let its mate know 'I'm just here', but no doubt I've got that wrong.
However there was still plenty of activity on the carrying out of family responsibilities. Almost every bird I managed to photograph was carrying insects and grub.
I was surprised to locate three different Sedge Warblers along the path.

Curlew were calling from the fields to the west and a Sparrowhawk was patrolling the field to the east.
Meadow Pipits and Whitethroat also were still rearing young.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Deadly Damsels

With their colourful appearance and those big eyes it is easy to think of Damselfly as a cute little insect.

and maybe they are but this one below took up this threatening stance when another approached too close to its liking

and this one makes short work of its recently caught meal

I have been surprised this year at the number of Damselfly about. Every body of water I have visited has supported them in good numbers.