Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Firing Blanks

Some hightlights from the last few days.  Friday sitting in the office and a familiar sound graced my ears.  Grabbed the camera and straight past the office flew a Chinook dropping straight towards the helipad never to be seen again that afternoon .

Saturday morning and up to Bamburgh arriving at 0610 armed to the teeth with gear I headed down to the beach and within 2mins had spotted the Black Scoter which was quite close in to the rocks.  Took aim with my weapon and not even a dull click.  Had taken all my SDHC cards out of cameras and pockets and cleared them all Friday evening but left them on my desk.   Never mind it gave me a chance to watch the Black Scoter and a couple of Velvet Scoter plus chat with the other birders.  After a couple of hours I was walking back to the car and heard shouting behind me.  Looked round and saw the biggest bird I have ever seen, White Tailed Eagle, go soaring upwards along the beach less than 25m from me.

Dropped into a couple of places on the way back including Druridge where I heard 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 1 near the entrance and 1 at the far end near the turning circle.   Also 4 Wheatears together on the fence.

Next morning up to Big Waters where I heard then saw a Grasshopper Warbler next to the feeding station and got some record shots (which I wont bore you with).  Chatted with Graeme B for 45mins then went to pick the wife up.  Graeme had mentioned he had been checking the Ouseburn out so as we were passing we dropped in for a quick circuit round.  Several Long Tail Tits were whizzing round, Greenfinches calling in the Car Park, Moorhen running up the road ! then under Byker Bridge, but the special thing which had the wife cooing was the 2 familes of Mallards with at least 12 chicks between them running around in the dirty mud.

We then headed off to Washington WWT where this delightful Wren perched on the dead branch and kept us and a few others entertained for several minutes singing its head off.

In the Wader lake were 4 Avocet, a Common Sandpiper, 15 Shelduck, several; Shoveller and 20+ Redshank plus many others.  There were also 2 Black Tailed Godwits.

In the Heronry we could see at least 30 Grey Herons and the following couple with 4 young ones.

We stopped on the way back at Lamesley and ended up there for nearly 2 hours.  Great views of this Mistle Thrush which was parading around and feeding right outside the hide window. 

Also in the distance were a couple of Little Ringed Plover, a Buzzard which made several forays very low across the water meadows moving everything around.   Several House and Sand Martins were around all the time we were there.  The Weather, the Birds and the Company made the weekend a super one
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