Monday, 23 May 2011

Saturday - Northumberland and Durham

Went for another early morning wander in the countryside with Carole and after stopping to watch a couple of pheasants in case they did their hari kari dash across the road  I spotted a Yellowhammer flying around and pointed it out to Carole who immediately retorted "Well theres one over there bobbing up and down but I dont know what it is".  My first Redstart of the year sat there and just looked around for over a minute.  Got a couple of shots by leaning across Carole and shooting through the passenger window.


After it flew off we decided to park up and go for a wander.  Immediately we heard a Cuckoo but it was quite a distance away.  We also saw possibly up to 4 Male Blackcaps zipping around a small copse although no sign of any females.  Several Whitethroats and at least 1 Lesser were spotted also during the course of the morning.  We did hear the Cuckoo again a few times but didn't have an OS map with me so didnt know where the paths were, if any, across the many fields.   Then off again in the car and out from a hedge dashed yet another lunatic Pheasant except it was a Leucistic one, the first I have ever seen.  I pulled over and watched whilst it ran up the road then turned round and ran back to the same spot where it had appeared from then vanished into the undergrowth


Then a quick drive to Rainton Meadows to see if we could see the Temminck's Stint.  We were greeted with "Its not been seen for a while so we are off now" as a couple left the hide.  Within 3mins 2 of them flew in giving us some great views and the offer from a chap in the hide called John who said "stick your camera on my lens and fill your boots if you want to" was taken up with swift speed.  I not only shot the Stints but every thing else in sight including Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover and many others but I wont bore you with the details or pics but here is a couple anyway.
Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover
Temminck's Stint
Temminck's Stint
Finally a nice Linnet and thanking John profusely we departed after 2hrs of good birdwatching and good crack and headed for a late lunch of Pizza at a Trattoria in Gateshead.
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