Sunday, 18 October 2009

Lots of Swans

Got out a couple of times during last week and did a trip round the various Gateshead hides although nothing really seen especially at Low Pastures where the words severe cutting back take a new meaning, all the nice bushes where the warblers, bunting, wrens etc used to fly in and out of have vanished and several stumps with signs of being burnt off are showing. Spoke to a couple of locals who said that absolutely nothing has been there since.

At Big Waters, noteworthy birds were a couple of GoldenEye and a Scaup with a couple of flying visits by a Sparrowhawk but the shot of the visit for me was one of the resident swans just watching after it had sent the 7 Sygnets off on a 20 mins Training Flight, it seemed to show a not bothered attitude but kept stopping and looking skywards although when they did return they both turned their backs on them whilst they glided in.

Back home to pick up the beloved who is now a bit better and wanted a bit of fresh air so off to St Marys. A couple of shots, the first from the Cemetery of a absolutely beautiful Sparrow , dont know how I did it but the background seems to make the shot.

Next down to North Bay where the Godwit showed nicely on the shore (although the photo below was taken on Friday Evening). I did see the Lesser Whitethroat but like most of the others (apart from those dedicated pic guys like John and that Nigel from Wideopen who I know did get pics) failed to get a shot. As we were leaving my beloved said whats all the fuss about its just another nice bird to look at although those pretty nice reddish ones on top of the trees (Stonechats) were much better to look at (I suppose its a bit like men and curtains, whilst they are functional item I dont get any enjoyment going round shops to find that subtle shade to match the rest of the room).

Next morning after a heated discussion with Royal Mail Sorting Office on where my recorded letter was (still havent received it yet after 3 visits to the office which is less than a mile from my house) I went down to St Marys via Cullercoats and sat on the top overlooking the bay and having a cuppa to calm myself down. Nice place to sit and watch the world go by though.

Off to St Marys where I watched a superb aerial display for about 10mins by a Crow and a Short Eared Owl in which the Crow came off better, both were last seen heading North East into the wild blue yonder.

Back up to Big W again just in time to get a shot of all the Sygnets in formation flying away for about 25mins this time (anyone know how long these test flights last before they leave completely ?)

Also on the way out saw some great Robins (you can never have enough pics of Robins)

Shot off with the Mrs to Holywell looking for the Pec but unfortunately we were too late along with about a dozen others who turned up but we sat and watched for 45mins the many species that came and went. Pic below is for Alan who complained about shots of just 1 bird and said wouldnt it be nice to see some shots with lots of different birds.

On the way home stopped at the Beehive Flash to see if the Pec had dropped off for a bite but there was only Swans who were in quite a bad mood as a couple of other swans kept trying to encroach on their territory.

Finally a msg to the 2 not so nice birders who were a bit rude on the approach road to St Marys, where they were blocking the road with their car, one of them even using the car as cover to look at the Golden Plover thereby other road users being unable to pass, I heard at least 3 horns and 2 people shouting. When I walked over to them the flock went up, I said sorry if it was me (although with the car movement and horns I suspected it was not as I walk up and down that margin most days and never put anything up) to which the reply was "No your not" with quite a severe inflection in the voice. He then left with his mate in the car making gestures. The message is chill out not everyone is experienced as "possibly" you are and stop being so inconsiderate towards other users of the road thereby giving birders a bad name.

Apart from the Royal Mail and the above I had a very good weekend. Now only if I can tune myself into my mate Johns sense of humour which sometimes he has to explain to me. LMAO silently
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