Shibdon, Saturday morning and lots of young uns around, all it needed was Carole to stand there and wave her bag of goodies in the air and the place went from everything asleep to her surrounded within 2mins.
A walk round the pond was rather tuneful with plenty of Whitethroats warbling merrily
and the squeaking of lots of young Long Tailed Tits.
This little chap kept hopping about the boardwalk but as usual I was unable to figure out what it was so any help would be appreciated
We then moved onto Prestwick Carrs where we got some great views of a Skylark which kept to the same flying pattern and returning to the the top of the "Shit Pile" then flying off to the same spot in a nearby field but entertaining us first with a lot of singing and parachuting.
We then watched a Kestrel on a dive then it appeared a few seconds later with some sort of mouse/vole in its claws and away it went over onto the top of one of the fence posts and stood there tearing its kill to pieces. We bumped into Peter (PCWanderings) and had a chat for 10mins before shooting off to Big Waters. At Big Waters Alan and John were ringing and whilst we were there they ringed their first Willow Tit for a couple of years. On the lake there were 4 Little Grebes, Common Terns, Cormorants, Common Sandpiper and a Reed Warbler which blurted its (not too melodic) song out for nearly 2hrs only a couple of metres from the hide and I had given up all hope of seeing it when it decided to make a brief appearance. Just ouside the front of the hide there was a lot of insect activity with this 4 Spot Chaser being close enough for a terrible pic.
Another youngster knocking around was this delightful thing which Carole identified quickly as a Juvenile Robin (but with a bit of help)
Several Tree Sparrows kept flying out onto the reeds then returning to the Feeding Station.
We then decided (she did) that food was needed so off we went to The Plough at Killingworth to refill up on some red meat. After stuffing ourselves we decided to finish the day off with our first visit to Banks Pond and we were pleasantly suprised to find Little Grebes plus young uns. We also saw many damsel and dragon flies, several butterflies, heard a grasshopper warbler and watched some rather largish hover flies flitting around.
We did see 6 different species of butterfly which I recognised (WOW) but unfortunately this one didnt ring a bell until glancing through Tims blog and I now suspect it is a Large Skipper.
Well that was it for the day, retired to the Garden, sat in the lounger and watched the birds.