Monday, 25 June 2012

Weekend - Started Bad, Finished Good

Saturday started off bad, lots of rain so a trip to Laverock Hall Farm to replenish the depleting bird feed supplies along with Carole seemed a good idea and whilst doing this we heard an advert/chat with someone for a Kitewatch day over near the Derwent so what the hell of we went.  Stopping for a Full Monty at the Coffee Quarter on the Team Valley then onto Winlaton Mill Car Park where we had heard on the Radio that it would be signposted from there (No Signs).  Started walking up the Kite Trail and noticed a couple of banners saying it was on but not where.  Asked a few people including a couple of obvious birders but nobody knew anything.  Headed back to the car and thought ask at Thornley Wood.  At Thornley I asked a "Warden" who came out of the offices but to be honest he talked to me like I was a child and just said head up there then turn back on yourself, its on Kite Hill, how far I said, its on Kite Hill everyone knows that.  "I dont know Kite Hill" I said but no answer was forthcoming and he walked off shaking his head like I was some sort of pillock to prune the bushes around the centre.  Headed up to Far Pastures and down the track, asked another couple of birders who hadn't heard of the event either.  I later found out that the event was from 10-2 but when BBC Newcastle interviewed the chap at about 11 who was giving the impression that he was organising it he said he was in the house so didn't think there was any hurry.  Anyway as we came out of Far Pastures we spotted a couple of Red Kites heading up towards the Sherburn estate area so headed up there and spent an enjoyable hour watching some stunning flying displays by 4 or 5 Red Kites leaning on the bonnet of the car.

After that we went to one of my early morning spots and watched Sand Martins and their young along with Grey Wagtails and a family of Blackcaps which held our attention for another hour.  Off home we stopped for a walk on the Tyne Bridge as Carole hadn't seen the Kittiwakes yet but she was visibly upset as the first nest we saw had an adult prodding at an obviously recently deceased chick and without using Bins I could see another 2 deceased and one in an obviously distressed state all in different nests.  No pics of Kittiwakes today  but a couple of  our local landmarks.

Sunday and the rain stopped just in time for the Walk around Big Waters.  Nothing unusual cropped up on our walk round but when we got to the first hide Alan said the Common Sandpiper we saw earlier was now on the Island, I looked at instantly raised the ante to 3, then Alan came back with 4 and finally Ian top trumped us with 5.  There were also now 5 Common Tern young on the island.  The pair of Great Crested Grebes had built a platform/nest in the middle of the pond which had an egg in it (more of that in another post later)

Finally, that Warbler was at it again, bombarding our ears with a multitude of calls, some say it isn't, some say it is, heres a bad couple of pics but the only ones so far, now where did I put my 8 Track Recording Machine and can anyone out there carry it from the car to the hide for me please

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