Monday, 11 January 2010

A Good Wander Around

Saturday I spent most of the time at Big Waters increasing my portfolio of Robin, Yellowhammer, Siskin and Reed Bunting shots against the snow. Great day with great company.

Sunday out early to St Marys promising to get some bread and milk for the beloved and plonked my backside on a rock in the North Bay in a bloody awful wind and didnt move for just over an hour as the incoming tide pushed the birds towards me. If it hadnt been for the 3 pairs of socks, insulated trousers and 5 layers of clothing I might have been cold. After 10mins all the birds just ignored me and carried on flitting around and feeding sometimes within 2-3ft of me. Got some great shots but after a while just laid the camera down and watched them. Unusually there was not a lot of Gulls around although they were probably gorging on the 6 Tesco Mince Pies which I couldnt manage to get down and had thrown on the grass next to the Car Park. There was quite a few Golden Plover, loads of Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, couple of Mute Swans on the South side of the Beach and Lapwing and Oystercatchers flying back and forward.

Right next to where I was sitting several Rock Pippits were in and out of the pile of debris that had deposited itself during the previous high tide.

Went along to the Park at Tynemouth to see if the Barnacle was still there but it was absolutely chocker full of Gulls, Mallards and a couple of Teal.

Up to the point overlooking the Haven to sit in awe watching the sea which still had nearly 2hrs to high tide pounding the two piers.

Shot off home to replenish my flask (having forgot to get the bread and milk, but had picked up that literary masterpiece, the News of the World for the wife). Then shot up to Big Waters and had a quick walk around the public end seeing a couple of Blue Tits, a couple of Field Fare but nothing else at all, not even another human, looking through the bins even the Hide windows were all shut so I decided a quick half hour at Prestwick Carrs was next on the list. When I arrived I realised there was nowhere really to park so just pulled over to the side and watched a Kestrel flutter around but it eventually moved off and so did I to Gosforth Park.
It was like a picture postcard when I arrived, bumped into a couple of lady walker who settled down in the hut to have their dinner. Off I went and within 5 minutes I startled 6 Roe Deer, which unlike every other blogger in Northumberland within the last few days I failed to get a photo of. Went to the Pyle Hide but the lake was still completely frozen. Did a quick U turn and headed to the Feeding Station and it seemed like it was like Piccadilly Circus compared its normal quiet self. 3 Hooper Swans flew overhead honking away. I spotted movement in a hollow stump so stood and watched and eventually a wren popped its head out. It moved up and down the stump appearing in 4 different places. I did a City Birder (acted like a tree) and eventually got my camera into position whilst it retreated back into the stump. I was less than 5ft away and it just stared at me and I didnt dare start buggering around with settings on the camera so just switched it to automatic and started clicking. It kept moving from hole to hole giving me time to get further back so I could watch it much better. It was bloody fantastic.

Eventually it just stayed inside the stump so off I went and bumped into a nice chap who turned out to be CityBirding and spent a pleasant hour in his company. Whilst we were wandering through the reserve the amount of track visible was phenomenal some of which I didnt have a clue what they were. Alan, Marian if you are reading this I remember you saying you had a track book. These tracks were in a single straight line !!!!

Stayed in the Feeding Station Hide for half an hour and saw my first Nuthatch of the year. Then had to go unfortunately as I still had to get the bread and milk whereas if I had carried on wandering round with Dick I would have seen closeup the deer he did. Alas all I had was a glimpse of a fox.

Monday morning off to work and refilled the feeders and put down a Fat Slab which my wife had made and scattered some feed around where the snow had thawed although unusually there was no sign of life. Popped back at Lunchtime and there were 3 MistleThrush, 4 or 5 Blackbirds, 3 Dunnocks and a couple of Robins all on the pavement or the margins of it feeding away, but strangely still nothing in the bushes or trees.

Well hopefully I will be able to get out on Wednesday after a visit to the hospital and a bollicking of the Doctor for putting on weight over the christmas (who didnt).
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