Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Big Thanks to the Northumberland Wildlife Trust Volunteers

Last Thursday volunteers from the Northumberland Wildlife Trust came to Big Waters and did a great job strimming the scrapes, paths and rides.  Big thanks to them as they give their time freely helping tidy and clean up places that they sometimes never visit.

Whilst this was going Alan J, Graeme B and myself were clearing the forest in front of the First Hide and tidying up the hide itself (I was in charge of the odd bit of painting, as they only let me use soft ended items usually).  As usual a blazing hot day had been picked so it was pretty hard work.  Alan sent me off to do some Willow extraction with a pair of croppers (ooooh, pointy things at last) which took a fair bit as i hadn't realised how tall the reeds are as in some places they were nearly twice my towering height.  When we eventually cleared the space in front of the hide Alan and Graeme went out to clear/tidy up the island.  We eventually finished about 3ish as it was just too hot to do any more and I was knackered a bit tired.

A couple of pictures from the day but not of me as I am still awaiting photos 
which the other two took.

Graeme starting to clear the Island

Alan holding up the tree in case it fell down

I found half a photo of me (it is uncropped unlike the willows I'm disposing of)

If you want to see how we got on come on down to Big Waters and have a look and if you see anything just drop a line or two in the book, even if someone has already written in it that day, and then we can keep a track of the ins and outs of some of the feathered visitors.
I came back at 19.00 to see if anything had dropped in and Alan had beaten me to it.  The first bird we saw on the newly cleared scrape was of course yet another Water Rail

Then as dusk drew in the Corvid roost was moving nervously about and eventually settled in the wood next to the Car Park

Heading back to the Car Park we saw a couple of Noctule Bats flying high over the pond then a couple of Pipistrelles also were seen.   Next morning back again and the first bird again seen was a Water Rail (its like buses with them, none seen for months then loads come along together).  Once again a couple of Reed Warblers were showing quite well.

I then popped down to Howdon Wetlands and after topping up the feeders courtesy of Colin B and filling up the Fatballs feeder I must have not kept my head down enough as the 23 Curlews which were in the wetland in front of the hide took to the air. 

There were several young Tufted around each in a separate part of the reserve practising their diving and as I was leaving the female adult took to the air by itself and flew East.

By the time I got back to the Feeding area there were several birds around including at least half a dozen Greenfinches, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbirds, a Song Thrush, the Kestrel hovering very close (hopefully it might get a couple of the rats which seem to still be around) and a couple of delightful Wrens singing away behind the trees.

Well I crammed a bit in there as when I got home I found Carole had a "slight" accident and had cut her foot and badly bruised it but being of the harder species she wouldn't go to the doctors and let "Nurse John" try to repair it!!!!  I stayed in Saturday (first time I haven't been birding on a day off for ?) then on Sunday she ordered me to go on a planned day out at Teeside with Sedgiedunemin with the Natural History Society, but I think that is enough blogging for a couple of days.  My next blog, which I will do when I have finished working, shopping, cooking, nursing, keeping my garden feeding station going (thank god she won't teach me to use the washing machine after my last disaster) and general house dirtying cleaning will be a video I took whilst on Thursday whilst clearing the front of the hide.  
"Beware Mr Johnston"
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