Thursday, 31 January 2013

January in North Tyneside

Since my last post, I've barely left North Tyneside or for that matter Killingworth! With the 'Bad' weather I've barely strayed from my patch apart from the odd visit to Holywell and other places, the day after my last post which was New years Eve I travelled back up to Seahouses to get some more shots in the Harbour, I got more pictures of the Eiders and had some good sightings of more waders, sadly not a repeat event of the Woodcock though, a nice suprise was the pair of Red-Breasted magansers which had strayed in off the sea during the strong winds which were very much still present as I was struggling against them while on the Piers. Something else caught my eye though, as I turned around from watching a Bar-tailed Godwit I saw a Small white duck in with the Eiders, I lifted my binoculars up to find it was a Drake Long-tailed Duck giving some brilliant views, It was a lifer and it had been well worth the wait! I watched it for over half an hour as it struggled against the wind and waves in the Harbour, a Brilliant end to the year in my opinion!

After that I stuck mainly to the Killingworth area going out and around the area several times with Brian. you can find a full report of our New years day walk on Brians Blog Here with the most notable sighting being Short-eared owl.
On the 5th we led a walk for the RSPB local group of Newcastle around Killingworth with those attending being keen and enthusiastic and on starting the walk we had several species as well as a Mistle thrush flying over head, as it did so and the group watched bird as it landed in a tree I turned around and looked at the lake, straight away spotting a quite obvious Whooper swan within a small group of Mutes, I quickly pointed this out and it for me was the Highlight of the day espcially when it turned out to be the same bird that was in attendance 2 years ago, which I know has been mentioned in several places now, closely followed by a patch first in the form of a Tree sparrow.

A few trips out to Holywell and the coast also provided some excellent views of Pink-feet, made even better when they were disturbed by 3 Roe Deer!

Other sightings in Killingworth have included Weasel, Long-tailed tit (A new bird for the garden) and best of all a brief sighting a few mornings ago when on the way to school, driving past most of the places me and Brian check while out and about in Killingworth, My dad said to me "Is that a dog?" I replied "Is it not just a cat?" without even looking and as I looked up and looked to my left in the field, A Fox stood staring back at the road but it was unlike any fox I had ever come across before, Its body up to the top of its neck was Black, including its tail and most of the leg, it really stood out against the snow that lay on the ground, I have read up on Melanism in Red fox and it appears to be fairly uncommon although I am happy to be corrected if this is wrong.

A visit over the weekend to the Rising sun gave me Bittern and Short-eared owl as well as some decent pictures of the Red Stag or 'Stan'
I'm Happy with the how my photography has got off to a good start this year and I'm hoping it will continue!
So heres a few pictures taken recently.


Long-Tailed Duck

Whooper swan - Killingworth

Mute swan - Killingworth

Blue Tit


And one more picture I forgot to post earlier! 
Me with Bill Oddie (Which I'm sure is quite obvious!) at the RSPCA Young photographer of the year 
Awards in December where my Image was Highly Commended in my Catergory, there was some brilliant photography entered for the awards so I was very happy to make it to the final! 

Courtesy of the RSPCA

I have quite a few pictures to get through from recent outings so I will try and get some more pictures up over the weekend.


  1. Some excellent images there Sam, including the one that made the Evening Chronicle (Whooper Swan).:-) I especially like the Eider image. January proved that you don't have to go far to enjoy great wildlife. I'm sure the rest of the year is going to provide some excitement. Brian

  2. Nice pics. I hope you manage to get a photo of that Fox! It will have been nice to see that.