Well a new record for the year, I actually got home from work about 15mins before it became dark and this week the day will be extended by just over 23mins so I will be able to have a wander round before work and possibly after in a couple of weeks time. Off to Big Waters Saturday and the pond was 90% frozen again with everything gathered in the centre. Heard the distinctive trilling of Waxwings when I arrived but didnt see them but within 5mins Keith C arrived and asked whether we had seen the 15 Waxwings flying down the side of the path into Big Waters. The Feeding Station was quite full but this didnt last for long as Mr Sparrowhawk came in and plumped himself down on a stump up the other end.
It left after a few minutes, but took the rest of them a little while to come back and when they did we spotted a stranger through the trees although obscured by the branches but eventually a pair of them made their way out but stuck to the other side (the one where the Sparrowhawk hadn't been). I hadnt seen a Brambling since New Years Day so hopefully this pair might stay a while as I spotted them later on away from the Feeding Station and in the same tree on Sunday.
Approx 40 Greylags and 4 Pinkfeet were on the pond (ice) fast asleep but it wasnt too long before they were off to the North Field for a bit of Breakfast (no pinkies in this pic)
Had to leave early to catch Laverock Farm to replenish my supplies for the garden so took the opportunity to pop into Blyth Harbour for another look at the Red Necked Grebe. Its was in the River Estuary right against the North Pier so no pics but good views. The Snow Buntings were on the Beach but only for a short while as there were a couple of dogs there also. Managed to get a couple of shots of them before the light went from getting bad to bloody awful in the mess of railings where they are camping out.
I then went home to replenish all the feeders so the beloved could do her RSPB Garden Birdwatch on Sunday Sunday morning and I was off too early as it was still very dark so decided to drop into Killingworth. It was quite full as usual with nothing unusual, had a little hunt around for the Nordic Jackdaw with no luck. Managed to get a few shots off (with the assistance of the flash) of a few Tufties, Swans, Coots and Canadas
After a delightful 45mins I headed up to Gosforth where despite the cold it was quite muddy but the water was mostly frozen. This didnt help the Mute Swans when they were trying to chase off the several that tried to land (thought they could tell the difference between water and ice) but everyone of them landed on the ice with some quite amusing results.
Also managed to see a Nuthatch, Sparrowhawk, at least 4 Grey Herons, lots of Teal, Coot and Wigeon. Popped up to Big Waters on my way back but was summonsed by the beloved to do a bit of shopping and to do the Birdwatch with her. Whilst she was sitting there watching and I was enjoying a cuppa and a bacon buttie listening to her talking to herself, "a nice couple of Blackbirds", "the Starlings are at the Grapes again" etc etc when the comment "them funny looking small Greenfinches are back again" and "John will you have a look at them please". Through the Bins I immediately saw 2 Siskins feeding on the Niger, whilst I have seen a couple of small flocks shooting over I had never seen them in the Garden. The beloved insisted they had been there a couple of weeks now and if I had looked at her camera more often I would have seen them. I insisted that if she had used Binoculars more often then she would have seen they werent Greenfinches.
When she sloped off to watch some Tits (these were ones whizzing around on ice I had a look at the pics and sure enough there were some on there dated the 23rd Jan (very blurry as she wont open the window cos its cold and has terrible eysight and just points camera in the rough direction).