|Posted on 18 November, 2017 at 3:30||comments (112)|
I can't believe it is 4 months since I posted on this Blog! No wonder no-one follows it... Excuse? I've been posting pictures to my Facebook page (and had forgotten about this page if I'm honest). But for all 'non-Facebookers' here are some November pictures.
A Grey Phalarope stayed next to South Shields pier for quite a while; Snow Buntings were also there (which was handy); I had good views of a group of 5 Snipe at Shibdon Pond; a male Sparrowhawk (unsuccessfully) dropped into the feeding station at Big Waters: and the Willow Tit the Sparrowhawk was trying to catch!
|Posted on 25 April, 2017 at 10:50||comments (272)|
First day of the bird watching class's summer course today. Summer? There was a whistling North wind that made 'long johns' the order of the day. However we were rewared for our persistence. Lots of Avocets on Cresswell Pond with a really bright Yellowhammer on the boardwalk as we approached the hide.
Near the causeway were the first Wheatears of the season and from the hide at Druridge Pools we saw a vagrant Green-winged Teal. All the usual suspects were there too - including: Shoveler, Red-breasted Merganser, Snipe, Pintail, Gadwall and 5 Little Egrets.
The real bonus was a very good view of a Yellow Wagtail.
Julia and I lingered a bit after the class dismissed and saw Sand Martins and a Common Swift. A pair of Reed Buntings also posed for the camera.
|Posted on 13 April, 2017 at 11:40||comments (198)|
I took a trip to Rainton Meadows in Durham today - haven't been there for ages. Totally dead - apart from Mallard, Mute Swan, Coot etc. I came back via Washington WWT which was a bit of a mistake because a LEGO event meant that it was overrun by CHILDREN!!
However the Avocets are a delight. There was also a good group of Godwits - which I am struggling to identify. After much perusal I've gone for Black-tailed (until someone tells me I'm wrong).
I also heard a strong song which I thought I recognised - Blackcap I thought... And blow me down, I was right!
|Posted on 11 April, 2017 at 6:25||comments (0)|
As mentioned in the previous posting I had wonderful views of the Barn Owl at Cresswell. Here is just one picture - to encourage you to look at the gallery elsewhere on this site..
|Posted on 11 April, 2017 at 6:15||comments (101)|
I've been to East Chevington/Druridge Pools/Cresswell a few times recently and have been able to add to my year list with some unexpected birds - particularly Water Pipit and Spoonbill. I have also had good views of the breeding Marsh Harriers and a spectacular sighting of the Cresswell farm Barn Owl (he gets a whole page to himself elsewhere on the site).
These pics are definitely 'record shots' - they do what it says on the tin - record that I DID see the bird... (146 this year now)
|Posted on 6 April, 2017 at 0:10||comments (459)|
John James, the owner of Riverside Falconry at Newburn, kindly offered a day's photography with his birds of prey via his Facebook page. All you had to do was nominate someone who you thought would enjoy this experience and he would pick the winner at random. My friend Chris Bland nominated me - and I won!
So, on Monday 3rd April, I went down to see him and his beautiful birds.
Here is a shot of each of the birds we used:
Brown Wood Owl
Bengal Eagle Owl
|Posted on 17 March, 2017 at 5:30||comments (95)|
Until my friend Chris Newman told me about Bramblings he had seen at Wallington National Trust, I didn't even realise that there was an excellent wildlife watching hide there. I've been to Wallington many times - but have always been to the east end of the site where the walled gardens are. When I visted yesterday I went west - discovering the ponds and woodland walks - and the hide.
I found the Bramblings easily - and a lot more besides as you can see...
|Posted on 3 March, 2017 at 5:35||comments (111)|
|Posted on 21 February, 2017 at 18:10||comments (99)|
Altough the Firecrests were the highlight for me, we did see some other good birds on Madeira: the endemic (sub-species) Chaffinch; Bertholet's Pipit (which we have seen before on Fuerteventura); Atlantic Canary (a serin species); and a vagrant American Wigeon.
|Posted on 18 February, 2017 at 9:50||comments (1)|
I haven't posted for a while because we have been away in Madeira - supposedly for a few days of sun. The weather was rather fickle and we got wet when we went up into the hills. Fortunately we had also arranged a day of guided bird-watching. My target was the Madeira Firecrest - now widely accepted as a separate species from the European Firecrest. I have never had good views of a Firecrest - and certainly have not photographed one. Our guides found them quite easily at Santo da Serra. They were pretty mobile so I am quite pleased with some in focus shots of heads and eyes amongst the foliage.