Thursday, 30 September 2010

St. Mary's Brent

A visit to St. Mary's this afternoon was quite productive.
In the North Bay a single Brent Goose fed on the green seaweed

A couple of Bar-Tailed Godwit moved uneasily from patch to patch

While the Dunlin were heads down getting stuck-in while they could

Small numbers of Sanderling mixed with the Turnstone, Redshank and Ringed Plover

and Curlew
Large numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover gathered in the South Bay rock ends as the tide came in.

Rock Pipits and Wheatear were also present

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Fen Bog

On the A169 Whitby to Pickering road,  there is a reserve called Fen Bog. I have only ever visited during the month of September but feel that I must try to visit mid summer when the dragonfly season should be at its peak.
Parking is at the entrance
 Fen Bog

This Adder was quite unconcerned at me being there.

There were good numbers of Black darters but no other dragons. 
Black darter, male
 Black darter, female

There is always plenty of steam loco action alongside the reserve

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Still plenty of Dragons

I was wondering how the Dragonfly would react to the recent cooler nights so we had a walk around Big Waters outlet stream around mid-day. The raised boardwalk was alive with Common Darters. There must have been 25 - 30 on the timberwalkway alone . Even more along the path on the North side of the stream as well as 2-3 Migrant Hawker male. At least thats what I believe it to be. Corrections will be gratefully received.

Migrant Hawker? - this one has lost part of its rear right wing

So its now off to Whitby for a week.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

St Mary's Island

We found time to go to St Mary's Island after lunch today. As we approached there was a large flock of Golden Plover above and it was not long before they settled on the rocks in front of the promenade. Amongst them were a few Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew - and loads of Starling

A small number of Sanderling lingered on the outskirts of the group

and a few Dunlin and Turnstone  fed  as the Golden Plover watched

Once the causeway was flooded a reasonable number of Sanderling gathered on the island rocks

I'm pleased to see these birds returning

Monday, 6 September 2010

Shibdon monday evening

With the wind from the south east, Shibdon seemed a decent bet since the area at the hide end of the pond would be sheltered. There were about a dozen Snipe feeding with this one posing. Those markings are spectacular.

This group were just to the right of the hide

A Water Rail wandered past, for a few yards then took flight for the reeds

Grey Heron sheltered at the foot of the reed belt

Greenshank, Little Egret, Green Sandpiper, Shoveler, Redshank were also present.
Although I was quite certain that I had seen the Spotted Crake on earlier visits I finally convinced myself on the sighting tonight. The clincher was seeing the relative bill sizes of the Spotted Crake  and Water Rail  together in the scope.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Cragside nuthatch

On our recent visit to Cragside we paid a visit to the formal garden and noticed that a brand new birdwatching hide had been erected adjacent to the entrance for the formal gardens, so we had five minutes inside. Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Coal Tit, and Blue were in abundance.

and in the garden summer house the young Swallow were taking every morsel the parents could provide. Won't be long before they are off

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Cragside dragons

I'm trying to pack some dragon time in before its too late for this year and thought there may be something different at the Cragside lakes, to those I have been seeing recently at other lower elevation locations.
Sure enough a first time sighting of a Black darter.

A walk around Nelly's Moss North brought half a dozen into view. They don't seem to have much time for Common darters as they chased them whenever their paths crossed. We watched two of them having a go at a Common and you could hear their wings clattering together during the conflict

The only other species were Common darter, but there were loads of them. They were lifting off the sunlit path every couple of yards as we walked.
The rock outcrops were also hosting the darters as they gathered warmth and energy. 

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Along the Wall

We ended up along Hadrians Wall this morning and decided to visit Housesteads since the last time was about 40 years ago. All very interesting stuff but so was a little pile of feathers on a grassy mound, one of which is shown below.

My guess is a Grey Wagtail, or maybe Goldfinch,  but would appreciate any other views.
Onward to Vindolanda, which was last visited, by us, about as long ago as Housesteads where we spotted this Common Hawker in the garden area outside the coffee shop

This was a Dragonfly tick for me.

Also saw this Southern Hawker perched alongside the only piece of litter we saw all day

........and the Roman remains were good to see also.......

Finished off at Grindon Lough where I was surprised that there were no waders present. Plenty of Pied Wagtail, Teal, Lapwing, Canada and Greylag geese.