Monday, 25 July 2011

Its Question Time

Having a pint in the County the other night when one of the lads asks
"Why is it that Killy lake can be stuffed with swans and Big Waters rarely has more than one pair? "
I was unable to satisfy his curiosity.
I need a sound answer to this one, before I meet up with him again at the beginning of next week , 'cos my mate is not one to be fobbed off with any old rubbish.
Thanks in advance.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Newcastle Great Park

After three or four hours plumbing work earlier today I just had enough time left to wander around the pond whilst there was still heat in the sun
However the only dragonfly on show were Emperors

This female was wing beating so hard it created ripples radiating outward

After watching one male hawking up and down the edge of the reeds for about fifteen minutes it suddenly dived through a gap in the reeds and I guessed settled somewhere in that area. So I did my Ray Mears bit and circled around it so that I was between the sun and the presumed basking dragonfly. I edged forward to where I guessed it would be perched, scanning every possible spot. After ten minutes of inching forward I thought, enough, I'm off for tea. Took one step forward only to have both male and female rise a yard in front of me and hover a foot in front of my nose before heading off over the pond.
Still there's always next time.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Is summer finished?

Earlier today, St. Mary's Island, wind from the North, Sanderling, Knot, Turnstone, Golden Plover and Dunlin all present - it must be autumn. But no, they are all in their summer kit.
What a spectacle!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Shibdon Pond

A late evening visit to Shibdon was rescued by a single Green Sandpiper

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Big Waters Dragons

A pre lunchtime visit to Big Waters outlet stream gave us sightings of

Common Darter

and what I believe to be an immature male Southern Hawker

and of course loads of Damselfly

Friday, 15 July 2011

Newcastle Great Park

A walk around the main pond at the south end of Newcastle Great Park produced five male and two female Emperor Dragonfly.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Hartley cliff tops

We left Seaton Sluice to wander along the cliff top path at Old Hartley. The number of butterfly about was quite remarkable. These included-
Common Blue male
Common Blue female

Meadow Brown male

Meadow Brown female

Six-spot Burnet. Don't think I have seen so many on the wing

There were dozens of Small and Large Skipper, and of course the Hartley Alpaca herd

and it was a pleasant surprise to bump into Howden Blogger - John and his better half.
I've left the bird sightings for him to report, apart from this shot

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Big Waters

An early evening wander around Big Waters produced a sighting of a single Banded Damoiselle at the east end of the water.

At the hide it was a surprise to see three Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the feeder area all at the same time

Monday, 4 July 2011

Big Waters

During a brief walk around the east end of Big Waters this morning we watched an Emperor Dragonfly, Four spotted Chaser and a female Common Darter which is a first for me this summer.
The place was alive with Damselfly.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

This afternoon in a Sunniside garden we watched a Hummingbird Hawkmoth working its way around the garden flowers probing for nectar.
Its only the second I have ever seen. This first being in an Algerian garden, thirty-five years ago.
I understand that while some are resident near the south coast, most make their way here from the continent.