Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Travelling Alone

With John A not feeling too well I didn't get far this weekend, only visiting Big Waters,  Howdon Wetlands and an early morning drop in at Shibdon Pond.  At Big Waters on Saturday lots of Willow Warblers and Chiff Chaffs around with a couple of Yellowhammers keeping the photographers happy.  There was of course the Spotted Flycatcher which I previously reported also.  The odd couple of Water Rails were showing especially where the channel in front of the hide has been widened and a "dam" built to help those feathered friends walk across instead of having to expend energy by taking to the wing briefly.  Once again thanks to those who put in their valuable spare time to volunteer to do these jobs, you know who you are and so does everybody else, so give them a pat on the back when you see them.  In the Odonata stakes Migrant Hawker, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Southern Hawker and Emeralds are still knocking around with the Migrant showing well in the new channel.

I have been neglecting Howdon of late and haven't been for a couple of weeks.  There are plenty of Speckled Wood around with Common Darters showing aplenty as well.  Don't get a chance to look for the birds in the Feeding Station as by the time I have put some Fat Balls out and filled the feeders with Colin's seed they have all scarpered.  From the hide you always manage to get a view of the Kestrel which is nearly always around.  The site is now getting a bit overgrown but you can still see plenty including Tufted, the odd Gadwall, Shelduck, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank, Moorhen, Mute Swans and a variety of Gulls and the odd few Stock Dove.  The Kittiwakes and Terns have stopped visiting now but hopefull they will return next year.  The Grey Herons are still around in quite good numbers and in one of the pictures below you can see seven of them. 

Back in the house, resting after a hard days working, the shout of Sparrowhawk comes from the Garden, so grabbing my camera and shooting through the window, it quickly took off from the top of the house opposite where it had been eyeing things up, so only a blurred pic was obtained.  An hour later a shout from downstairs alerted me to the fact that it was back and was sitting on the grass in the Back Garden with its kill.  I snapped off a couple of pictures through the window then went downstairs but as soon as I opened the back door it was offski.

Sunday morning and half an hour in Shibdon as I didn't fancy walking round Big Waters in the bloody awful wind.  A Ruff was feeding in front of the hide and a Greenshank was asleep in front of the hide for all of the time I was there apart from about 10 seconds when it did a good wing stretch then went back to sleep again.  For once I had the camera in my hand but it was a bit of a distance away from the hide

At Big Waters I met up with Alan and Ian and we decided to play safe and head for the hides as the wind was really getting strong now.   We managed to see a Pintail and there once again was a fair movement of Gulls North West which we noticed last weekend also.  Wonder if they are going around in a big circle continuously in order to fox the sad people who take notice of such movements !!  The Emirates flight came in and it came across the lake in a very different flight path than normal due to the wind.  If I had been a bit quicker I would have got it directly over the island

The island is now  practically Gulls only with the the Lesser Black Blacks joining the Black-headed and the odd Common Gull.

Otter is still showing

Well a quiet but nice weekend rounded off by an amazing Sunday Dinner cooked by my BFA then on Monday back to the thrills of Database Testing - Oh Bags of Joy,

Couldn't get to Big Waters this afternoon, Tuesday, even though Alan J was reporting a Bar Tailed Godwit on the scrape (sob, sob) and then had some stuff to do at the house, now I am sitting here quite full after dinner and  can't be bothered to head up there.  Hope some of the others got to see it.

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