Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Big Waters - 17 April 2016 (From Wood Mice to Deer to Newts - and birds in between)

Great walk as usual apart from the muscle wrenching legs of Arnie and the balancing skills of Blondin were needed to plodge through the mud after the forecasted Saturday of cloudy but dry was tossed into the corner by some of the hardest/largest hailstones I have seen in a long time came teeming down in the Tyneside area.  The walk was the usual chit chat about dog walkers, cyclists, horse riders, birders and toggers we have known and a TV Club (bit like a book club but you don't have to know how to read or have gone to University) and watching for a few birds inbetween.  Ones we failed to see were Wheatears, Blackcaps (although I did see a couple briefly from the hide), Cranes (3 flew over on Saturday), Red Legged Partridge (everybody else seems to have seen it) and a couple of Black Tailed Godwits (which didn't arrive till today which only Graeme B saw).  Well thats enough of a preamble so on we go with what we saw (well I will put a few pictures and a video up as a couple of my typing fingers are a bit sore (yes, I can use all 10 at the same time without looking at the keyboard) as I hit them with a hammer a couple of times today whilst renovating my Lean To in the garden to save me the cost of a new one (£200).

So here are some pretty pictures of some of the  things we encountered that day:

One of the many Chiff Chaffs singing continously
2 of the Lesser Black Back Gulls that were about
Foliage now beginning to appear on the Archway
This and the following picture show a female Roe Deer running across an open
field to the South of the reserve following a Stag then leaping a fence.  The pair
then were spooked by the other members of the walk who were checking another
area for Wheatears
 

This picture of the Stag was taken about 35 minutes later on the North side of
the reserve which was following about 20m behind the female
2 Oystercatchers flying into the Island then the picture below shows the other
3 that were on the island coming to the scrape for a rest
 

Couple of Gadwall taking a break after a busy session feeding
Reed Bunting doing what Reed Buntings do
One of a few Willow Warblers seen that day although not as plentiful as
Chiff Chaffs
 
The following is a video of some of the above and other thing we saw today.  The last part of the video is an excerpt from a SJ4000 matchbox cam which I placed in the dipping pond about 2ft down for an hour on continuous recording.  It shows a Newt making its way across the bottom of a very muddy pool.  Will try this again later when the water is a bit clearer.



Finally a few excerpts from a multi matchbox camera (2) session in my garden shot in a couple of hours one afternoon, mainly goldfinches but includes most of the other garden birds





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