Monday, 17 October 2016

Big Waters 16 October 2016 - Lots of Deer

Arrived at Big Waters a bit late and Alan J and Ian D had already departed so I headed round to Brighton (Brunswick) Beach to wait for them where there were lots of birds just chilling in the Autumn Sunshine.  Alan and Ian arrived and the first counting started and the most surprising fact for me was that there were 25 Adult Swans and 12 youngsters.  After all the counts finished 3 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Little Grebes, 3 Shoveller, 2 Pintail, 10 Cormorant, 94 Coot, lots of Wigeon, 11 Tufted, Bucketfulls (the non-technical term) of Gulls, ? Teal (forgot the total), a handful of Gadwall and the lonely Grey Heron.  Probably missed out a few but didn't go the main hide as it was hissing down and I didn't have a waterproof so skedaddled to the Car Park.  On  the walk round we saw Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Treecreeper, Grey Wagtails, Redwing, Siskin and Chiffchaff and after I left 24 Snipe put in an appearance,  Many other regulars were also seen.  We did the Short Walk which was lucky as we just got back to the first hide before it started raining.  There were 8 Deer in one of fields also.  A really good walk with some great views of wildlife although on the downside there were a lot of bikes without bells (was nearly taken out twice) and lots of dogs not on leashes which adopted aggressive stances when you were in confined spaces, with the owner, in some cases shouting, but the dogs were completely ignoring them and having been the victim of 2 Dog Attacks, one of them quite serious, I feel that something must be done.  Anyway here are a few pictures of the wander round and the inevitable video.

Great view from the Public End
 Tremendous Autumn Colours

Plenty of cows keeping the grass short and creating some lovely mud patches
 Lots of Deer

 "Look a Jay", points camera at where Alan is looking and press the button twice
This photography lark is easy 
The Chilling Beach
 Haven't seen one on the tree for a while
Too full of fish to hunt anymore

Inevitably the Video


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Big Waters and Howdon Wetlands October 2016

Naughty me, haven't done a blog for nearly a month (hooray, I hear you all shout) but have again been extremely busy.  Just did 3 trips to Big Waters for normal Sunday Wander and at least 5 trips to Howdon whilst Colin B was away.  Nothing extraordinary to report but really enjoyed the wanders around Big Waters with the guys and the complete opposite at Howdon Wetlands of peace and quiet with not another human seen or voice heard.  Just sitting there watching up to 20+ Herons taking in the rays, 50+ Curlews wandering around, the ever increasing Teal numbers, occasional braces of Snipe whizzing around and much more.  At Big Waters you go on a bad day and see some great stuff and on a day when you should see things there is nothing there but there is always the company and inevitably you eventually see something.  Last Sunday was such a day, very quiet then when we got to the hide there were 3 Great Crested Grebe, Shoveller and plenty of other wildfowl with loads of Gulls then (of course) Alan J picked up a Med Gull in the middle of many gulls just bobbing around.  Anyway here are a few pictures and a short video of the last few trips out

Big Waters Main Hide on a glorious day
 Grey Heron patiently waiting for his opportunity
Love it when the Canadas arrive, lots of vocalizing
 The gorgeous Mallards
Bike Riders with no bells and Dog Owners with no Leads
Both are equally as dangerous
Then the Big Boys arrived
 Lots of Swan on Swan action
 Med Gull departing from Big Waters
 "Thats Right, there IS a bloody Sparrowhawk behind us"
 Migrant Hawker (I Believe)
Just some of the Curlews at Howdon Wetlands
 ...but there is always a Billy No Mates
Look closely at the White Blobs which are Grey Herons
...and even more on the island
 Elevenses yum yum
Finally a short video showing Med Gull at Big Waters, Teal at Howdon Wetlands
and a lot of Gulls trying to feed on a flock of small fish which a few Cormorants
are snacking on


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Big Waters 11 September 2016

A gorgeous day for a walk so all 5 of us were there, Graeme, Alan, Ian, Keith and myself set of on the long walk although after a few hundred metres and the weather really heated up showing that we had all overdressed as coats were off and garments unbuttoned.  Quite a good time was had as reasons of absence over the past few weeks were proffered and Alan offered up the tale of his teeth again for those that had not heard it and I talked about my away trip down South and West.  Keith talked about wind changes and planes he had seen and Ian just was as convivial as always.  When we reached the hide tales were again recanted as Mick was there.  I didn't take many pictures again although I do have enough to show a few things we observed on the way round.

Looks like the Dipping Pond hasn't been dipped for a while
 Small flock of Lapwings playing Follow the Leader
 Several years ago there was none of these yet on Sunday I think we saw more
of these than any other Butterfly
Never get sick of taking pictures of Mallards dropping in
 1 of the pair of Great Crested Grebes still on the pond feeding quite merrily
 Grey Heron waiting in hiding
 Only 3 Cormorants today
 3 of the 6 Pintail that dropped onto the pond about 10:15
Some more Pintail

Odd looking Mallard Hybrid
 Red Arrows must be on Austerity measures
"No pretty coloured Smoke"
A new member of the Team! 
 Looks like an excerpt from Top Gun (NOT)
 One of the many Meadow Pipits we saw that day
 The Emirates arriving a few minutes early

Finally a short video from the day


Monday, 5 September 2016

Big Waters 4 September 2016

At last a Sunday walk around Big Waters after being absent for a few weeks due to bad weather, illness, a holiday and a wedding.  Arrived there at 9am but stayed in the car as it was raining and by the time Alan and Ian arrived it was still coming down although only sporadically.  We did the long walk and it proved to be very productive with Jay, Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, a flock into double figures of Long-tailed Tits, several Tree Creeper sightings, lots of Swallows but only 1 House Martin,  Several sightings of Bullfinches, Meadow Pipits, Redstart (Male), Spotted Flycatcher.  On the pond there were also quite a few notables including a Green Sandpiper (on North Scrape), overflying Curlew, 3 Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, c10 Little Grebe, couple of Lesser BBGs, Greylag, along with the usual Tufties, Gadwalls and Mallards although we never saw any Teal.  There was also a family of 3 Roe Deer seen in a couple of places.  The Feeding Station was lifting with birds including Chiff Chaffs, Tree Creepers and all the normal other species including GSWoodpecker.  No doubt there are others I have missed out so I must remember to take a picture of Alans little Black Book so I don't miss things or even add stuff in that we didn't see.

A great catch up of all the latest gossip and pictures of where I had been were passed around and when we got to the hide more photos were seen as Mick M had been away also so ever more crack was had.  I didn't get to take many pictures as we were too busy gassing and looking at birds.  Here are a couple of ones I took though (sorry about that).

Couldn't resist this as the first shot of the day

Alan told me to take some different pictures that I normally do then pointed out this
very rare Long-necked Wood Pigeon

A Third of a Woody Woodpecker

 My normal shot but taken from the other direction

The Crow was doing all the shouting but the Kestrel 
always seemed to be in control of  the situation

There were quite a lot on the fence until we got a bit too close

Memories of walking round the Derwent area as they were on every other post there

Roe Deer on the North Scrape

Bloody Canadas upsetting the Tranquility as usual

2 Pictures of this delightful bird as compensation for missing a shot of the male Redstart

Taken at 300x zoom from the 1st hide to the North Scrape then severely cropped
(But you can still tell what it is as the bobbing gives it away but I forgot to take the
2nd shot when it was bobbing down )

Woody on his normal jumping off point before hitting the Peanuts

...and finally a couple of little cuties 

Finally an extremely short video of just a couple of things at Big Waters on Sunday and a one of the peace and tranquility at Howdon Wetlands taken in the middle of August.

Just another short video of some peace and tranquility with no background chatter which can
be had at Howdon Wetlands