Monday, 13 May 2013

Allen Banks and Big Waters

Saturday and off to Allen Banks with John A for a "wander round" with fellow member of the Natural History Society led by James Littlewood..  We covered 6.38km with a total ascent of 223metres (thanks John).  It had me sweating a bit as some of the ascents were quite steep for an old chap like me but it was extremely enjoyable.  We managed to see Pied Flycather, at least 4, a few Dippers, Common Sandpiper, Goosander. Red-legged and Grey Partridge and heard at least 5 Wood Warblers and seeing at least 2 of them quite well.   Unfortunately no Redstarts were heard or seen.  We also saw some Early Purple Orchid.

Just as we finished the walk the wind really picked up and the rain started so we had a quick visit to Whittle Dene then headed home.  Quite a good day only slightly spoilt by the bloody rain.

On Sunday I headed up to Big Waters and did an early short walk round before meeting up with the rest of the bunch then we did the Big Walk despite the wind and rain.  Even though the weather conditions were not great the amount of cyclists, runners and those lovely dog walkers were quite prolific, as a matter of fact the most I have seen so far this year.  We didn't see a great lot but the chatters was pretty good with AJJ keeping us entertained with his constant optimistic bubbling outlook on life.  A few Whitethroats were heard and seen, a couple of Linnet, Blackcaps and quite a few Sedge Warblers were heard but only a couple showed themselves.  A single Wheatear was still on the same field were there were quite a few last week although there were another 7 in an out of patch  area which were we are not able to count.  Several Swifts were also seen, a patch tick for the year for me.  We eventually got round to the hide just as the rain became heavier which brought the Hirundines out in force and a Common Sandpiper onto the Scrape.  The rain kept us there slightly longer than usual so when we eventually left it was home again for an early bath instead of my regular visit to Howdon Wetlands.

A Whitethroat which I took on some silly settings that I had forgot 
to change from taking picture of the cats in the house the previous night

After my first walk round I was feeling thirsty so went for a Latte.
When I returned a deer came bounding across the fields and
straight across the track on the way into Big Waters

Once again the Kingfisher Perch comes in useful
for the Hirundines.

A Gadwall having a good "howk"

We (Keith and I) Counted Them Out
We Counted Them In
I can just imagine what GB is saying "No we cant count, the Golden Oriole, Collared Flycatcher,
or the Night Heron in that field as we cant see them from the track but if someone in Cramlington gets on top of Slack Alice with one of them new scopes thats made by that firm who make pretty coloured beads for dancers dresses and saw them from there then they can count them".

Common Sandpiper

Sedge Warbler entertaining us in the Hide

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