Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Wryneck or Two

Straight after work yesterday I shot off to St Marys at Whitley Bay and within 30 mins I was onto the Wryneck.  Absolutely great views and it didn't seem phased at all by 6 of us who stood around quitely chatting, watching and taking pictures.  After about 25mins it flew to another spot about 20m away so the others left, Joe D, Andy S and Michael F going for a look for the Redstart.  I stayed for another 10 mins watching the Wryneck and looking for the Redstart also when Michael F came back and asked if I had the Wryneck under view since he left, which I certainly had then he told me they had another under view over the other side so off we went.  I got some longish distance views, about 100m (look at the end of the video) and then when it flew off we all went walkabout again.  I picked up on a Brambling in the tree calling and went to tell the others and they had heard it also and eventually came into view for a while then flew off.

Some great views and photos with the inevitable video thrown in.  Here are a couple of shots, still got to sort them out yet and the video

Unedited shot in which you can just make its tongue about to strike
Look at the end of the video for this sequence in which it takes
half a dozen insects

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Couple of Videos Only (so that means AJJ will not be adding to my Visitor count)

Heading up to Scotland tomorrow to see family so wont get much
of a chance to do any photography so here are a few videos
I prepared earlier from the Easter Weekend

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Few Shots From the Easter Weekend

Poor thing all on its lonesome at Big Waters

How long before the sound of flippy floppy feet can be heard?

Quite a few Linnets on the North side of the Big Walk around Big Waters

8 am and still a bit of frost on the back of the cow on Easter Sunday

First Orange Tip of the year

Gorgeous view of the first bit of boardwalk at Big Waters

20 yrs old now but Tigga's girth seems to be expanding as much as mine

Shelducks over North Tyneside

One of the 3 Common Terns that have been at Big Waters for the last few days

More distant Linnets on the fences around Big Waters

4 species of Butterfly so far this year

Had a good day out with John A on Monday and several walks around Big Waters with Alan J over the last few days which were also enjoyable, thought I might have lost the odd ounce or two but expect the calorific intake was more than normal in a vain attempt to replace the energy I expended along with the 4 Easter Eggs and 2 Chocolate Bunnies Carole bought me.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Arcot and Big Waters During The Week

Couple of days off work on Wednesday and Thursday had me wandering around on my lonesome as the Sedgie Warbler was in Wales on a break with the family so off I went and saw a few birds, took a few pictures and chatted to that well known master of the english language, Mr Liverbirder, and a new birder I met (Hi Paul) at Sunny Arcot.

Song Thrush normally heard all over but very high in the trees, today quite low but no song

This prospective Mrs Blackcap was listening to a couple of Mr Blackcaps singing

This little Gropper stayed at Home and wouldn't come out to sing

But the following 2 did, as well as a third, see video underneath

Finally, after the bad news from Big Waters at the beginning of the week we did manage a few new ticks which cheered us up, the first Common Tern of the year, extremely bad picture below

Also managed a Wheatear today, which Alan got yesterday but failed to find the Redstart he spotted also.

And for those who haven't had enough of the Chiff Chaffs melodious call here it 
is just for you with accompanying video

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Vandalism at Big Waters

On Sunday night the hides at Big Waters were vandalised. 
I wont go into great detail but basically they came on Sunday evening and on Monday Alan found that Hide 1 had been attacked with a Crowbar (1) but they had failed to get in but they eventually got in through the disabled access (2 and 3) but did not damage the inside of the hide.  They also attempted to get into the main hide via the roof but failed due to their being an internal roof (4) which Alan has already repaired (5).  They even smashed the lock on the gate which they could have easily just climbed over (6).  They also set fire to the reeds by the viewing platform (7).  They then returned for a second bout of vandalism on Tuesday evening, entering through the disabled shutter  that Alan and Dan had attempted to make secure on Monday and they used bits of reed, bits of shutter and the seats to start a fire inside Hide which caused only minimal damage (8&9).
They also made a second attempt to set fire to the reeds, see the foreground patch in front of the viewing point which had not been there the day before.

The 1st Hide has now been closed












International Space Station - Or is it ?

Posted on my Twitter Account this morning

Personally I think its someone squeezing out a tube of toothpaste with an unsteady hand then getting the hang of it

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

From Shovellers To Mars

A few shots from the weekend

You go for ages not seeing any then the top one was at Druridge and the couple flying were on the road between Cresswell and Druridge.

Despite an extensive advertising campaign for the refurbished accommodation at Big Waters
the only bookings we had for a viewing was a couple of Cormorants and a BHG and a Coot (bottom left) looking on enviously.

Plenty Goldfinch in the garden last year but haven't seen any this
year till this one landed just above the 2 Niger feeders I have out
but left after a couple of minutes

Shelduck at dawn flying over the Nissan Carport on the Tyne

Really pretty, but what on earth is it?

Red Red Robin goes Bob Bob Bobbing Along

Not a bird I get much of a chance to photograph very often
but this Stock Dove keeps going back to its nest

Could have done with a bit more sun on the Tortoiseshell

My first decentish view of a Blackcap this year

One of a couple of Roe Deers which kept us entertained for 20mins along with a fox that 
seemed to be stalking them

Finally Mars made its first appearance for a considerable time last night

Monday, 14 April 2014

Darvic Ringed Coot

Knowing that this Coot had a Darvic Ring on I watched it yesterday morning for nearly an hour before I managed to get a few shots of it as it shot across a bit of land from one bit of water to another.  
Comparison with other pictures and then forwarding it to Andy R showed that B3N was ringed at Killingworth lake 3/11/2013 as an adult. It hasn't been recorded again since it showed up at Howdon.  Its the 2nd Bird in the past week that I spotted that has been ringed by Andy R.