Saturday, 26 July 2014

Howdon Wetlands

17 Days since my last blog due to work, holidays, visiting relatives and sickness,
fortunately I have been able to play with my new toy, a Moth Trap, which has been
another steep learning curve.  I am keeping it separate from my normal rantings, ravings
and drivel I write and it can be found at and as you can
see I have selected yet another magnificent name for it after hours of deliberation.

Anyway Carole is on the mend from her "little" accident and I managed to get
out for a couple of hours this morning and headed off to Howdon Wetlands as
I hadn't been for 2 weeks.  It was very quiet but the weather was gorgeous and
it was just nice to sit and watch the odd bird appearing and the traffic up and down
the Tyne.  As we don't have a book now at the hide I was debating to bring another one
and hope we don't have any more visitations but decided not to as the one good thing
that has occurred is that the people who visit Howdon are now conversing via email.
For all those who want to know what has been seen there I photographed each page at
the end of the month since I put the book in there on 1 Mar 13 up to the end of June
So, if anyone wantsit just drop me a line and I will send them to you.

Anyway the feeders were quite full so obviously someone had been yesterday but I
put half a dozen fatballs in and within a couple of minutes there were 5 Bluetits feeding
away like they hadn't had a meal for day.  There were several Chaffinches, at least
13 Greenfinches, 2 Wrens and a Robin.  From the main hide I saw 14 Lapwings,
12 Grey Herons, 13 Moorhens and at least 3 Juveniles, 2 Coot, 2 Mallard, lots of 
Black Headed Gulls, 1 Kittiwake and a few Jackdaws sunning themselves on the
railings.  The main attraction was the Butterflies, Darters and Damselflies which
were out in abundance.  

Saw at least 6 Common Darters but only managed to get a picture
of the female, or is it a juvenile (where is Mr Warbler when you need him)

Also saw at least 3 different Damselflies including these

Lot of Butterflies including Small Skipper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell
and quite a few "Whites" but they were always at a distance.  

Quite a nice hour and a half.  Anyone got a Strimmer and licence, a short
back and sides in a couple of places might be of help.

Finally, this little fella was having a snooze on the bench by the window in the hide
Dark Arches

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

After The Creepy Crawlies........

 After an enjoyable couple of hours at Howick gazing at Moths Galore
John and I headed down the coast towards Cresswell and Druridge.  The tide 
was well in so nothing was really viewable and the sun was now glaring and
hurting the eyes a bit, unlike when we passed by the North of Amble 
earlier in the morning to an absolutely stunning view

Down at Cresswell and Druridge we spent a great couple of hours just mooching around
and seeing plenty.  Once again a few pics tell the story

"I see no ships"

The Spoonbills were a bit closer and a bit more awake (for 5mins at least)

Plenty of Stonechats around also

This Tern had a severely damaged wing by the look of it and didn't move around at all

Then from out of nowhere a Little Egret appeared

A final mention to a new garden tick.  When I was emptying the Moth Trap
an unfamiliar call from the roof drew my attention to this charming little thing
sitting on my aerial

Finally the videos of the day (thats pictures that move Alan which give an impression of motion)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Dropped into Big Waters yesterday afternoon as I was going
to miss the Sunday Walk due to attending a Mothing Day
at Howick, hosted by Stewart Sexton.  At 14.46 I receive an email
from AJJ telling me all the things I had missed cos I went mothing.
He must have shovelled down his dinner then immediately took to
the keyboard to do a bit of PeeTaking. 
I can handle it though
Anyway I did get to Big Waters yesterday and put in a shift looking
for the odd tick or so and one or two did come my way although just
being there, is in itself, an absolute treat.  Here are a couple of pictures
and a video of extracts from the afternoon

 Hang on kids, Dinner is Coming

A couple of Snipe were on the scrape although only this one was close enough for pictures

The Mallards go Mental as a Grey Heron comes looking for elevenses

The Heron eventually backs off looking dishevelled

But just when you thought it was safe 

Finally a compilation of a few things I saw during the day

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Its Feeding Time

At last I am getting round to putting up a few pictures and my video compilations from 
last week for your delight or ?.  

Where's Me Dinna ?

I'm full so I will just sit here and wait and look as elegant as ever

You two above are lucky, I'll have to get my own

My God, it feels like I have been asleep for ages, now where can I find Breakfast

No dinner yet, those 2 Lapwing frightened me a bit in that blog from this guy last
week, so it looks like I will have settle for him as he is pointing something at me
and you know how rude it is to point, grrrrrrrr

Well, here are the videos I promised, always keep the best to last

Last but definitely not the Least
the Fabulous Big Waters

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

2 Lapwing Vs Fox at Howdon Wetlands

Early morning visit to Howdon Wetlands produced a bit of drama
when a Fox tried to take a young Lapwing which was defended
magnificently by its parent.  I managed a video of the first bit
of the action but the action then moved round the back of  hide
where the Lapwings hounded it incessantly eventually chasing 
it off

I also got a few pictures when it came round the back

and away to safety..........