Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A lesson learnt at seahouses!

I arrived at seahouses at about 8am and headed straight for the beach that lies within the harbour. The tide was very nearly at its lowest and waders soon caught my eye, Turnstone, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher some of the first i saw. I kept looking with rocks getting slippier and slippier and came across a single Heron, Curlew, Cormorant and more Oystercatcher, sitting in the harbor as usual were the Eiders, and Redshank were also present,  I stood and looked out towards the Farnes and next to rocks i spotted what i thought was a scooter, but i am still unsure so any help would be great. Anyway i thought i would have another look around the beach and i arrived and the Turnstones were the only bird about, so as i walked along the firm sand it all looked the same until i stood into an area which my foot got very stuck in, as i tried to pull my leg out I accidently put my other foot in! Causing me to then lose balance and fall over and i basically got very very muddy, I'm just glad no one seen me do this! I walked again back to the car park and stood waiting for my lift  I took my coat off and laid it above my camera on the harbour defenses, a sudden gust of wind took my coat over and onto the rocks below and i could not reach it, to cut a long story short i managed to get my coat after falling over about 5 times and getting even more muddy!
Over birds: Thrush, House sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Barnacle Geese, and a very large flock of birds flying inland



Barnacle geese

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover

House Sparrow

Any help ? I was thinking Sandpipers but don't think they are

House Sparrow

Scooter of some description or a Dark Eider? 

Song Thrush

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Killingworth swans

Anybody visiting Killingworth lake will quite quickly see the large presence of Mute swans, I have always found them a great way to practice flying shots of birds since well there rather large, near by and generally make great subjects. On Tuesday before going to the meeting about Killingworth lake (http://www.killingworthlake.co.uk/) I had a look and found the usual, plus quite a few Gooseander and Commorant. Sadly I did not see the goldeneye. So I decided to focus on the swans. Hope you enjoy having a look.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Chaffinchs and highland cattle

I set my scope up on the top of the bracken covered hill and began to look for at least something in the sky or in the trees. nothing. After a little while and turned the scope downwards into the trees at the bottom of the hill, again nothing, apart from a crow flying past a tree in the distance. I could hear lots but could see very little. A few hours later I headed down the road to see if there was anything there and again little apart from lots of chaffinch and a flock of starlings maybe about 30 strong, I thought since there was little wildlife about to get a few shots of the highland cattle. As I was going along the road to leave I caught sight of a kestrel on the top of the hill and before I had time to get my camera it was down and out of sight. Suppose theres always next time!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Waders and S.E.Os

The day started with a great talk about waders from Brian.  It was very interesting and learned quite a few new facts too, after the talk we then walked from the Lighthouse along the causeway and to the turn in the road, stopping along the way. Sightings included Curlew, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, Redshank, Lapwing, Golden plover, Oystercatcher and more. If i've missed anything please correct me! I managed to get some pictures of Curlew, Oystercatcher, Lapwing and others but as i have quite a few pictures i will only be putting the first three on as they are some of the better ones i took. Just as we were all about to go separate ways after the walk ended somebody said there was a Sparrowhawk, so looking up it was above but to high to get a good photo. After a little while at home we headed out to try and get the Short-eared owls. As we walked down the track i meet up with Brian again who said there he had just seen one in a field next to the track, as we were stood talking something caught my eye and it was an S.E.O, we moved down and got a good but far view of them, While there a got a few of a Robin to. I was happy to see my first S.E.O even happier to get some distant photos of them aswell.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Owl spotting 2

I had planned yesterday to try and get some better pictures of common Buzzards, but with the light being low and very bright, where i had planned to set up, i would have had the sun in my face and i wouldnt have been able to get a detailed picture of the Buzzards.
So instead i headed for the barn in which i knew there  was an Owl, even up until then i was unsure what type it was and  although i  think its a Tawny from what i have seen, but  i dont know if it is big enough. Anyway i went away and as i went up past some trees in one of the fields (where i have seen Little Owls before) all i could see at first were a few Jackdaws and Crows and the odd Pigeon, a little way past the first tree i stopped and as i turned my head to the left i quickly caught sight of a Little Owl flying off and into a tree a little way up the hill, since i had not seen exactly where it had went i thought it best not to try and find it only to disturb it more. Anyway here  are a few landscapes and one or two birds aswell. oh and the video was taken by an Eynimal pet camera which i received from the PDSA  for winning their  Pet Photographer of the year 2011,  so this was more of a test than anything plus the quality is much better,  when seen from the original file and not on the internet.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Killingworth lake: 05/11/11 Sparrowhawk

I decided to stay local today and go to Killingworth lake. On arrival there seemed very little of note, the normal Mallards,Swans, Geese (Greylag & Canada), Tufted ducks, Coots and a few Moorhens.
 The only things that were of note were 2 little Grebes and 4 Goosander (1 male, 3 female) . The autumn colours looked great at the top end of the lake, i struggled to do them justice. As i was just about to put my camera away i took one last look around before putting it away, when i looked upwards i found a Sparrowhawk above me so i tried to grab a shot when i could...
Little grebe (Dabchick)

These two really weren't happy!

...Either were these!

Female goosander

Swans "forming up"

Drake mallard

Mute swan in flight