Saturday, 18 May 2013

Big Waters and Bits From The Week

Friday night I popped up to Big Waters for a couple of hours to wind down after work, also I thought I wouldn't get a chance on Saturday with the Weather Forecast predicting that the heavens would open .  On the island were a couple of Common Terns and a Common Sandpiper. whoops I mean a Dunlin (Should have gone to Specsavers), thanks to Vipers, AJJ and Sedgedunum for pointing out my deliberate mistake in order to check out if anyone was reading my blog and if you believe that.............

As I was sitting watching them when another 2 small waders flew up the North side of the pond so off to the main hide and halfway along the scrape were  2 Common Sandpipers.

I eventually got a couple of shots of them in the same frame 

Also, if you can be bothered, a link to my YouTube account for a short video of the Sandpipers
Two Common Sandpipers at Big Waters
Just click the purple Orange link above

The wind started picking up though and just before I decided to leave the Gadwalls were forced to come a bit closer so I managed to get a few pics of the male.

So after an hour or so I headed home to warm up as the wind was now quite bad and sitting with the North facing windows open you were being blasted straight in the face.  I had intended giving birding a miss on Saturday but getting up at my normal time and sitting for a couple of hours doing some odd chores on the computer I decided to head up to Big Waters for a couple of hours again, just staying in the hides to keep out of the rain.  When I arrived at 7ish the rain was not exactly heavy and wasn't unpleasant to walk in so I thought the BBC might have got it wrong again.  How wrong was I, within 30mins it was absolutely tipping it down and once again opening the North facing windows meant you were soaked within seconds so the views out were limited.  As the saying goes "Even Ducks don't go out in this weather" but they were wrong as there was a female Mallard with the first brood on Big Waters I had seen this year.  This picture was taken at least a couple of hours later, when the rain eased, after I had first seen them as I had just been lifting the window up a couple of inches to peek out at them.

This was what the rain was like from the East facing window at the time.
Poor Little Grebe

I then headed off intending to go and get a Latte then head home but just before I reached the Car Park I bumped into Ian D then a couple of minutes later AJJ joined us so I headed back to hide with them as I didn't fancy spoiling the beloveds "Duvet Day".  By the time we reached the hide the rain had started to come down pretty heavy and when Alan opened the windows his first job was to get some rags to try and dry the water up.  We didn't really see anything new, although we managed (after several recounts) 20 Coots on the pond.  Alan spotted a couple of Terns over the lake and we all got on to them, there turned out to be 6, but Alan had one in his scope and after they eventually headed East Alan got the book out and he reckoned that the one he had been watching was a 1st year Artic Tern.  The rain got even harder but after about 90mins we decided to make a break for it and when we left it actually calmed down but parts of the path were now at least ankle deep.  On the way out I spotted a Willow Tit playing along the boardwalk and passed a Swallow which was perching on a bush where a substantial flash had formed and I could have reached out and touched it as we passed but my camera was in my bag.  I then headed off for a Latte whilst Ian and Alan went for a quick walk round the public end.  I got my Latte then headed home as all I could hear on the radio was this road, this road and that road were now impassable due to the rain.  I walked in the door and Carole stated she was not going out for a meal and wasn't going to cook as it was her day of rest so I got back in the car and headed off to get something different.  A huge Savaloy Bap with all the trimmings and a cup of homemade Broth from the local butchers later and I was content (and dry now).  Carole enjoyed hers also.

I also managed to get out during the week a couple of times so here is a couple of pics.

Early morning on the Derwent

Come on we cant sunbathe here all morning,
one of us has to feed the kids

Thank god she has gone, a few minutes peace 

Well I suppose I better show a bit of effort and take them something

I went down to the Tyne on Thursday morning and was surprised to see
quite an increase of the amount of Kittiwakes

In the Garden at home

Finally, through the office window at the College, not for much longer though as at the end of next week we move into Portokabins Modular Builds for 18 months whilst they build us a new home , purpose built Reception Centre I will be glad when we move into the new building though as it will only be 6 months to retirement.  I have been adding some finely chopped apple, sultanas, raisins and grapes and have had several visits by Thrushes, a flock of Starlings. Jackdaws, Rooks and at least 3 Robins.

Well thats it for now, time to put feet up and watch some of shows I have been recording on TIVO for the last few weeks (am now 58% full) and the smell of something cooking (I can smell chicory and garlic) wafts up the stairs.  I luv Saturday nights, especially as I dont have to worry about work or whether The Toon will hang on in there.

PS, whilst at Big Waters today this Cormorant had a lot of "White Stuff" on its beak, at first I thought it was "Fluff" but it was still there a couple of hours later despite it fishing.  Any Ideas ?

Excuse the pic it was a bit away and hissing down with rain

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