Tuesday, 23 February 2016

"Oot and Aboot" with John 22 Feb 16

Picked up Mr Sedgie at 7 and headed for an hour at Gosforth.  Very quiet and not as much mud as had been predicted but the highlight was a Song Thrush that sang continually from just outside the hide from the moment we arrived till we left.

We then headed up to Big Waters and walked around the public end up to the track to Dinnington and back around.  Then off to the Hide, bumping into Ian D and stopping for a 5min chat.  He had filled the feeders up and told us that the Little Egrets had been around yesterday but not today.  It was pretty cold and we had observed the lake from the public end so gave the first hide a miss and headed to the main hide.  We stayed for about 90mins and had a good time seeing plenty including Shoveller, Pochard, lots of Tufted, Teal, Greylag, Goldeneye and the other normal inhabitants of the pond including a flyover of 4 Snipe.  In the feeding station a Willow Tit was seen, a few Yellowhammer, a few fleeting views of Long Tailed Tits, several Bullfinches, Tree Sparrows, Reed Buntings and copious amounts of Tits.  The main enjoyment was the arrival of a Little Egret followed by its pal 15mins later.  Anyway I wont keep on burbling so here are a few photos with a couple from Gosforth also.


Finally the video of a few thing also but mainly I do it so
you can listen to the burbling of 1 quite elderly guy and 
an apprentice elderly guy as they sometimes discuss what
they are seeing or just mutter incoherently and the odd expletive
leaves their lips

Now its time to sit back and watch the X Files.  

ps.  I went to the pics today to see Revenant after a recommendation from the other John
What A Great Film

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Garden Going Strong

Here I am at home still not able to get out due to hospital appointments, visiting relatives and getting out for a couple of beers.  I was going to go to Big Waters this morning but started doing a few chores in the house and before I knew it Carole was bringing me a cup of coffee and asking why I hadn't gone out yet!!  So sat down and looked at some pictures I had taken in the garden on Friday and Saturday.  First of all a short video, purely normal garden birds but just amazing to sit and watch nature from the house

There is at least 4 Dunnocks and a couple of pairs of Blackbirds in the garden
 The Starlings are amazing feeders, they go crazy for about 30seconds then up into the tree to possibly digest their food !!  We get at least 100+ in our garden at a time (See picture below which is most but not all of the flock)

 The Pigeons wait for me to stop filling up feeders and trays before diving in
 One of about 9 Magpies that pop in regularly
  Our Solitary Wood Pigeon, doesn't move much due to constant grazing

Sunflower Hearts go down well in my Garden 
 Full House - Waiting for a new bigger feeder
 Just love Greenfinch
The flock of House Sparrows seems to have dwindled a bit and I only see a couple 
of dozen at a time now instead of the normal 50+.  Have stuck another 4 next boxes
up on the fence, not expecting much as the 3 on the house were not used last year
either but as they say you gotta be in it to win it.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Oot and Aboot - Big Waters 12 Feb 16

Needed some fresh air so gave Sedgy a ring and 15mins later we were off to Big Waters.  Passed Mr Alan J in the village and waved, bumped into Ian D on the way in as he was leaving, they both must have had premonitions that we were coming and skedaddled.  We dropped into the first hide for a looksee and there was nothing on the island, tree or the surrounding water as a fair bit of the pond was frozen.  Plenty of stuff around the edges and in the reeds, including lots of Teal, Mallard, Tufted and a few Gadwall and Pochard.  Mr Sedgy gave me a nudge and pointed North, WOW, a Little Egret flying E to W along the Reed Line and it eventually settled down to Preen and have a nod for a couple of hours.  A couple of guys then joined us, they were not skilled mechanics as they spent the first 10minutes trying to get the shutters open (thank god Alan J wasn't there).  We then headed up the main hide and the walk along the boardwalk was full of small birds enjoying the sunshine, just like us.  We spent about an hour in the main hide, being joined by the 2 guys from the 1st hide and saw plenty of the usual stuff which in itself was just great including Shoveller, Goldeneye, Pochard, Willow Tit and the very hard to see Yellowhammer were on view.  A Water Rail was heard a few times but only one brief view of it was seen.  Thats enough typing so here are a few pics from the day.

The first 3 are of the Little Egret

This was the island when we arrived surrounded by ice
 Half way through with the ice half melted although the flock of Canada Geese arriving helped break up the ice also

Finally a shot from the Boardwalk Viewpoint when we left

A couple of other birds that were around

Three Robins were seen together with a short display going on, not the normal squabbling

Finally a short video of some of my visitors to the garden who are devouring food as fast as I can put it out for them

See you all soon

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Oot and Aboot (same place, different Saturday)

Went to Shibdon Pond again last Saturday to watch the Starlings leave their roost, this time we left home a bit earlier in order to get a Maclatte and not miss them.  We got there just in time as they were already moving in and out of the reeds.  The videos are not too brilliant as, per usual, shit happens and things go wrong and you get carried away watching them and the filming becomes just a camera waving around.  If I wanted to do it properly I would have a big lad as an assistant to carry all the gear and the lights, who does as he is told and keeps me supplied with Maclattes (anybody know where I can find such a guy?).  Anyway here is the crappy video, but at least I am getting out now.  If you want to see some good videos look at a Twitter feed from 
George Simpson @Gsne14718George 
He has some great videos up there

Sedgy Warbler and I then proceeded on up the Derwent and finished up at Far Pastures for 30 mins  before heading off to do some chores for Carole and collect a laptop table for John as he has worn his old one out conversing with Turf Accountants, but as I said, Shit Happens, and things didn't quite go to plan and didn't get to IKEA till Tuesday, SD Cards decided to not work and computer started playing up so I am here on a Thursday morning at 4am drinking Tassimo's Latte with an extra expresso in(which is quite good) and eating some fantastic grapes courtesy of Hutchys in Arthurs Hill (Isn't Retirement FUN!)  So here are a few more bits from half recovered cards from the rest of the morning.

Mainly Dippers Video

Here are some of the pics I managed to salvage

Faces are kept hidden so Gok Wan cannot find out who their tailors are

There are two of these beauties at Shibdon

Stop pointing that bloody lens at me

This is where the action is (the car park)
Don't forget to bring some seed

Amazing Birds (pity the pictures aren't)