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


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Red Squirrel at Big Waters

On my last visit to Big Waters on 31 July and after a quiet walk round with Ian, Alan, SedgyWarbler and Keith we all had the first ever Red Squirrel we have seen at Big Waters.  Big thanks to Keith for spotting it.  It was quite confiding and just watched us in the woods for about 20 minutes then headed away.  We then went back to the hide and unbelievably it was feeding quite happily on Black Sunflower Seeds in one of the "Squirrel Proof" cages although suspect they were designed for Greys.  Anyway here are a few pictures and a video with some of the other things we saw including Fledged Common Tern, young Black Headed Gulls, young Great Crested Grebes and several other things.

Note the Willow Tit watching the Red Squirrel

and now the Video

Young Great Crested Grebe
  Young Shelduck
 Young Black Headed Gull

A couple of more pictures of the Grey Wagtails from 2+ weeks ago


Saturday, 16 July 2016

Big Waters Update

Have been a bit tardy recently in doing lots of things as jobs seem to pile up and haven't exactly been at the top of my game due to being off colour a bit so here are a few photos from the past couple of weeks.

Swallows feeding young just outside the Feeding Station 

 Young Moorhen running across the Scrape
 Young Swallow waiting to be fed
 One of 3 Oystercatchers that are commuting back and forth to the island
 There were at least 7 Common Tern young on the island and
5 Black headed Gulls setting up nests
 ....and a one thats been mucked around with
Young Sparrow being fed by parent
Canada Goose family
 Young Great Crested Grebe plus there is a second one much younger on 
one of the parents back been seen for the last few days
3 Grey Wagtails were giving out alarm calls around a largish patch
of our walk and seemed to be following us around.  We only saw 1 young
for definite although they were moving around so frequently a proper 
count could not be established

Possibly a young Warbler waiting for food also

Finally a video of clips of the Swallows being fed on a windy day