Friday, 27 April 2012

A "Retern" visit to Tynemouth Pier

On Tuesday Brian and myself decided to make a return trip to Tynemouth Pier, On arrival the first thing to greet us was a Kestrel at top of a tree next to the Priory, moving around we found large numbers of Fulmar and Kittiewake and 3 Purple sandpipers, after a bit of careful walking around we managed to get close to the Purple sandpipers defiantly the closest I've ever been to nearly any wader. I didn't manage to find the Rock pipit I was after but theres always a next time! Moving around again I began to do some Sound recording and were greeted by a few Sandwich terns and they began to fish very close to us, as we stood watching the gulls from above a rat sped out in front of us and past the Feral pigeons into its hole. We then walked to Northumberland park and saw a Great spotted woodpecker feeding on the ground, a few Hybrid mallards were on the pond, I then looked up to see a Goldcrest breifly in the tree above before flying over us, no Nuthatch to be seen and no grey squirrels but a chiffchaff was above us in a tree. I've also produced a Video with the sounds of the sea to show the variety of the Birds of coastline near the Pier.

Sorry for the bad quality of the video, I will work
on correcting it, this is due to the quality the 
internet will play it at (No excuses there!)

Kestrel
Falco tinnunculus or kestrel

Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpipers

Fulmar

"The Flight of the Fulmar"

Fulmar

Tynemouth Pier

Kittiewake

Fulmar

Kittiewake

Fulmar

Sandwich tern

Herring Gull

Sandwich tern

Juvenile Gull (Herring I think)

Lord Collingwood

Chiffchaff

A lonely flower

Bluebells 

Monday, 23 April 2012

RSPB Walk: Fulmar, Kittiewake and Robin

Before you read this I hope you like Fulmar and Kittiewake as there is going to be a few pictures of them here!
Anyway, the day started with me laying seed out in various points within Northumberland park, with large amounts of  Blackbird flying around and singing, Chaffinch above and a Song thrush singing in the background. Before we had even set off I heard a Woodpecker "Kik-kik" and I looked above to find it the male flying above us and over the road.
 Moving on Grey squirrel  were spotted and the Blackbirds continued to fly around us, before long we were shown a Nuthatch nest, Treecreeper Nest and Great spotted woodpecker nest with all three being spotted within 10 minutes of standing there, the Nuthatch poked his head out of the nest frequently to check what was going on. A pair of Robins sang and a Stock dove pearched next to the nuthatch nest, travelling down Tenners bank I again heard a "Kik-kik" sort of noise and looked up and found another Great spotted woodpecker. On the walk along to Tynemouth pier, Sandwich tern and Common tern were spotted along with the normal batch of waders and Gulls aswell as a few Eiders. I had said before the walk to Brian that if we went to the pier we would DEFIANTLY see Rock pipit and after about 10 minutes waiting 1 appeared, although the star for me was the Fulmars probably my favourite "Seabird" even beating Razorbill, Puffin and Tern.
Kittiewakes were in abundance and the odd Swallow flew over too, a pair of Purple Sandpiper also stood next to the pier. A good walk that proved to show many different types of bird ranging from Woodpecker to Fulmar and everything inbetween.
I've been down to Killingworth lake nearly every day or evening recently, checking tonight I found that the grebes are doing well, A pair of coots have 5 chicks that have only hatched very recently, A few swallows flew around with only 1 Sand martin present, the Whooper swan that has been there for nearly 2 weeks or more is still present but for how much longer it remains to be seen.
I thought I'd also say that Brians RSPB walks are always well led and well worth going on no matter what your "Skill" Level and that if you wish to look at his write up click HERE
Grey Squirrel 

Robin

Curious Robin


Nuthatch "Whats all this shouting about?"

Stock Dove

Stock Dove

Female sparrowhawk 

Fulmar

Close-up Fulmar "Tubenose"

Fulmar

Kittiewake

Kittiewake

Kittiewake

Fulmar

Kittiewake

Fulmar - Probably my favorite of the day


Tynemouth Priory

Collingwood monument 

Hybrid Duck

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan - "What do you want?"

I believe Juvenile Lesser black back, but not sure?

Greylag Goose

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Dipping, fighting and wagging

Setting off from the car park in quite dull weather yesterday, Myself, Brian and my Dad headed for the river straight away and on the way finding a Siskin feeding on the feeders near by on reaching the river after a short walk, we stood looking out to see if we could see anything, I noticed a ball of mud under the bridge, I had the suspicion that it would a Dippers nest because of the shape and size and on asking Brian he confirmed this, I was rather pleased!
 With no sign of any dippers we moved on and as we started the walk up to the moors with the rest of the RSPB group, we were told that we missed a kingfisher flying upstream. 
Willow warbler and Chiffchaff were singing and Curlew could be heard in the distance, Lapwing displayed in the fields and Red grouse could be seen very far off sitting on the stone walls. As we neared the moor I spotted a Meadow pipit sitting in a field after taking a few pictures, we moved on to the moor on which Red grouse were there in abundance, the hail belted down as I was trying to sneak closer and closer along the floor towards a Male grouse, It didn't move and even with the bad light and hail I managed a few pictures.
After this we walked back to the river and found a single Dipper flying up stream, a little further down the Derwent we found a pair of Grey wagtails and a large amount of  Pied wagtails  but no more Dipper until reaching the bridge we had set off from  Two dipper stood next to the bridge and the female cautiously went into the nest and the male went into the nest with food not long after  he then left and headed up stream. Before leaving we were treated to some unusual Dipper behaviour. 
The male flew down stream and over a little wall away from the water and rushing around the wall found him attacking a car's window and mirror before flying back over the wall and into the nest, if anyone can explain this it would help! my theory was it knew the mirror was there and thought it was an opposing male so attacked it to try and deter it from "his" Territory.
A quick stop at the Derwent hide didn't bring very much apart from Lapwing, far off  Linnet, distant Buzzard, Blue tit and Chaffinch and a friendly "Black" Pheasant called Ian, who while I put some feed in the feeders came very close to me and even at one point attempted to feed from my hand.
Meadow Pipit

Red Grouse (Male)

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

Grey Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Dipper

Dipper


Dipper

Dipper Nest (Male going in)

FIGHT!

"Black" Pheasant, after reading up he is actually
a common cross green pheasant

"Ian" the pheasant