Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Big Waters - 5 March 2017

Good trip to Big Waters on Sunday for the long walk round with Alan J, Ian D, Graeme B and Keith B.  Plenty seen including Little Egret, 7 Buzzards (all at the same time), pair of Great Crested Grebe, several Skylarks, 4 Oystercatchers and plenty more.  Also encountered our first Bee of the year, a Buff-tailed Bumble Bee and the first moth of the year, for Big Waters, in the hide, was a Agonopterix heracliana

The following pictures are from the walk:

One of the many Buzzards seen 

A lot of water in the pond

All that space and the two of them want the same spot

Some of the birds in the Feeding Station
(missed the GSW, Siskin, Willow Tit and Long tailed Tit

These two prats and their dog walked across the fields and behind the North Scrape.  They would have had to climb over 3 Gates/hedges to get where they were and would have to go over another 2 to get out onto the track up by Masons Farm.  Even when they were out of sight you knew where they were as the birds, geese and sheep scattered in front of them.  Good job Farmer Nick hadn't left the cows in the fields.


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Howdon Wetlands

Last week one of the most peaceful nature habitats, Howdon Wetlands, was once again desecrated by mindless morons intent on just destroying things for the cheap thrill it gives them.  Northumbria Water, at no small expense, had looked after this idyllic small area of beauty surrounded by houses, industrial estates, shopping precinct and a very busy car port with lots of river traffic and had allowed members of the NTBC to visit.  Despite the big fences, the several gates to get through the mindless morons at the 4th attempt (that I know of) eventually entered it again and burnt down the the 2 storey hide that had been built.  I doubt that these Tossers will ever be caught but would like to think retribution will be brought on them in one form or another as this deed and others that they no doubt commit will be brought to book.  It is difficult to believe that the effort they took to effect entry into the reserve could not be used in pursuit of enhancing their own life.

A few pictures showing before  and after



They even set fire to the small one man hide at the feeding station


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Big Waters 19 February 2017

Some pics from Sunday's visits to Big Waters.

First Pintail of the year on Big Waters

The Scrape starting to show as the water drops but with the news that
Storm Doris will be arriving tonight probably means the levels will 
be rising again
 A dullish looking Bullfinch
 Make sure you wear your Wellies 
 Lots of small pockets of BHGs around
 Four of the Six Curlew on the fields although we did see a flock of 15 fly over
 The scrape emptying as Farmer Nick drove his Quad around
 The ringed Grey Wagtail in its usual spot but still unable to get the number
 Sleepy Time
 A couple more shots of the Pintail Pair


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Big Waters 5 Feb 17

Out for a wander on Sunday with Ian D around Big Waters, we were joined later on  by Keith B and Graeme B and we did the Big Walk.  It started off quite cold but became a little warmer and brighter later on.

A couple of early morning scenic shots

 I heard a Crossbill and was trying to find it in the Conifers when an Oystercatcher dropped in.
Also seen around the Public end were a Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tits and a couple of Goldcrests
 The duck on the pond were notable by their absence although there were still a few around.  Widgeon moving around, a few Tufted, some Mallard, a couple of Gadwall, not many Teal, plenty of Swans (still beating each other up), lots of Gulls and a Shoveller although no Goldeneye were seen
 A Heron in its usual early morning haunt until the dog walkers move it off
 Jackday looking for scraps
 A Robin on one of its usual perches
 Nice clouds over the South West field
 The island a bit bare of birds and vegetation
 One of 3 Yellowhammers that were in the Feeding Station
 A couple of pictures of one of the 3 ringed Willow Tits, this one with White Tail

 A pair of Bullfinches flying around the Feeding Station which was quite full of
foraging birds


Monday, 30 January 2017

Big Waters - The Last 2 Sundays

A few pictures from the last 2 Sunday Walks around Big Waters.  On 22 Jan it was very overcast and freezing so didn't take my gloves off much hence not many photographs.

The second earliest ever Oystercatcher seen at Big Waters 

A Jack Snipe flying low and quite a distance away
  A nearly dry Cormorant
 A bit of early hanky panky could lead to breeding ??
 Although looking very sedate the Swan Battles have become quite
violent and lots of  what looks like "attempted drownings" are seen
after violent struggles

Last Sunday was very different, it started off cold but got quite warm (but not in the hides) 
with some amazing Sunshine but it was getting a bit duller by the time we left.
I mainly took Landscape shots as the Lake was completely frozen over but was
showing patches of water by the time I left at 13.30.

 A Grey Wagtail near the Farm Track
 One of my favourite views
 Robin in a different position than normal
(Little Bugger wouldn't turn around)
 A Juvenile having a rest from battling through the ice

 Another favourite view
Plenty of Lapwing, Redwing, Golden Plover, Starlings and the odd few Fieldfare around
 A Pile of Old Shite 
 A Reed Bunting (for some reason it reminds me of Hulk Hogan!!)

Well thats it for this week although next week we should see plenty of birds as Alan J is away doing other things so that means Ian, Keith and I will be able to concentrate on Birding instead of listening to Alan (wink, wink)

ps. I believe this is the best January for quite a while (if not ever) with 86 Species for the month and that is with only 1 sighting of a Pheasant !!