Sunday, 28 October 2012

A Shortie story

Just a quick post with a picture from yesterday, Brian and myself (Brian has a full write-up about the day on his blog, HERE) had permission to put posters up in the Northumberland wildlife trust's hides at Big Waters NR and Holywell pond for our upcoming talk and walk on the 10th November at Prestwick Carr, so we headed to big waters to put the poster up and whilst there I had a brief view of a Bittern flying from the west end of the water into the reeds on the far side of the water opposite the hide.
After a short time of freezing in the fridg.. sorry hide we moved to Holywell where we were greeted by a Woodpecker and a few rats under the feeding station next to the members hide, a peregrine a few buzzards also circled above, a Hawker of some description flew near-by.
A quick look in the fields found 2 Short-eared owls showing from the normal spot, after a little bit of a wait and moving around slightly we had 2 short-eareds hunting right in front of us! These birds really performed in the fantastic evening light!
This year has defiantly been the year of the Short-eared owl!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A morning on the sand (erling)

Here are a few pictures from another trip to St.mary's island in an attempt to get some more shots of waders,  
We spent quite a bit of the morning watching the birds, I ended up covered in sand after crawling along the beach slowly to get near enough to photograpg them, but I feel my effort was rewarded by managing to see these brilliant little birds quite close-up, there were quite a few waders around including Lapwing, Curlew, Knot, Golden plover, Oystercatcher and more, but the main birds I was after were the Sanderlings, a large group, around 80 strong stood on the rocks constantly trying to avoid the incoming tide, a few turnstones also gave good views as they fed in amongst the seaweed. We walked up to the wetland to find a large gathering of people watching the hedges for a Blyth's reed warbler, we never saw it but I've been told it did reappear after we left, nevermind!
It was a good day for me with a first for me in the form of a Brent goose (Pale-bellied) and a few "patch" ticks in Killingworth, the most impressive being a red kite that had a breif scrap with a Buzzard before disappearing into the fields nearby. Other patch ticks included the Buzzard, A fieldfare, 3 grey partridges and a small group of Lesser Redpoll and a few linnets that were nearby, we also had Kestrel and Female sparrowhawk flying in the area. 
We may have missed the Blyth's but a Red kite on patch makes up for that in my opinion! 
If you would like a more detailed report of the day visit Brian's (Killy Birders) blog for a full day's report. 


Starling in flight




A Male Eider duck with Blyth in the background,
possible new subspecies...Blyth's Eider?


On the look out






A view down the Wagonway

Not taken on Saturday but one of my most recent pictures
from Bellymack feeding station