Friday, 25 March 2016

Oot and Aboot - Up Cresswell way (eventually)

Oot with SedgyWarbla and we would have gone on to Druridge but the 6 weeks to finish the job on the road has now well passed and the road still can't be passed.  So the limit of our visit was Cresswell starting from Newbiggin and a couple of observations from our portable hide on the way to our destination.  Quite quiet although distant views of a Med Gull at Newbiggin, a Goldeneye out for a constitutional and distant views of a Long Billed Dowitcher and Johns company made the day.  Here are a few pictures and a short video from the morning out.

Distant view of a Med Gull at Newbiggin
 Goldeneye out for his morning constitutional
 Great distant views of a Little Egret
Meadow Pipit doing a bit of displaying
 Quite a few Tree Sparrows around

Finally a short video with the strange sight (to me anyway) of a Goldeneye walking
(something I had not seen before)


Early Morning Walk - Big Waters

Went for an early morning walk at Big Waters last Sunday, 20th March.  Didn't bother with the hides so just mooched around until 9.45 then headed home to attend to Domestic Duties.  Bumped into Ian D just as I was leaving and stopped for a 5min chat.  Apart from the 9 Whoopers that were still feeding well at the top end (Westerly) of the pond it was much the same although the bird song was a bit more louder and I did see a couple more bees and a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.   Here are a few pictures I snapped during the short visit

Plenty of Teal  movement around the Pond

Hey You - Get offa ma Pond

Distant and fast moving Oystercatcher

Plenty of Blackbirds and a couple of Wrens singing noisily 
and the constantly feeding Whoopers


Friday, 18 March 2016

Oot and Aboot by Myself at Big Waters 17 March 2015

Headed up to Big Waters early arriving at 0710.  Still Dull but immediately saw 7 Whooper Swans and could make out a few Goldeneye from the Car Park.  Headed up to the hides where the pond was not exactly full but it was busy, specially with the nearly 200 Black Headed Gulls up and down like yoyos' as the planes from the airport were taking off West to East and throwing out some mean Decibels.  2 Oystercatchers arrived on the Island then about 20mins later another one arrived which after about 5 mins was unceremoniously chased by the first 2 around the pond then went off in a Northerly direction.  2 more Whoopers arrived and immediately the Whooping started, lasted for a couple of minutes as they passed the gossip to each other and where they had been then they settled down for a quick breakfast (see video)  The Goldeneye were numbering about 8 Males and 3 Females when some of them started an anti clockwise displaying swim around the lake in line (great to watch - see video again).  Willow Tits and Yellowhammers in the Feeding station were a couple of highlights also.  Plenty to read in the Book but mainly only from a few regulars although I see plenty of people coming and going and nothing entered so please take 2 minutes just to enter anything you see (enter only unusual things if you have not done counts - remember sitting there a couple of years ago when someone said wouldn't it be nice if we had a Little Egret and a guy sitting there got up and showed us his picture of one taken on the scrape a few days earlier) this applies to any other hide you visit, thanking you in anticipation.

 Anyway must go and count my moths from the trap (still waiting in hope for anything other than a Common Quaker or a Hebrew Character) so here are a few pics and a quickly knocked together video.

Mute Swan letting me know that this is their nest - Last Year there was no successful breeding on
Big Waters for the first time that I can remember in the last 8 years
(This one wasn't at Big Waters unfortunately)
 The most Cormorants I have seen on the tree so far
 Mute Swan hurtling at the Whoopers then when he gets there.......
he realises that there a re a few too many so retires back to the public end 
4 of the 6 Goldeneye that did nearly a full lap around the pond displaying 
Couple of Oystercatchers looking for a bit of shuteye on the island which is filled with BHGs 
 Couple more Whoopers
Yellowhammer poking around on the still saturated Feeding Station 
 Lovely looking Reed Bunting
Stunning Willow Tit


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Oot and Aboot at Bigwaters

On Sunday up to Big Waters and did the short walk round with Ian D, Graeme B and Keith B.  The RedHead Smew was still around and the first Great Crested Grebe of the Year appeared.  The weather was awesome for a change (about bloody time).  Just a couple of pics and no lengthy diatribe as time is short since I have retired and I am amazed at what I did when I was working.

An unusual pair to be flying around together (Well Spotted Keith) although I thought something didn't look right so took a few shots
 RedHead Smew stretching its wings
 Oystercatcher (never came out from behind the pipe) on the island and Lapwing
 They always fight for that branch
1st Great Crested Grebe of the year 

Friday, 4 March 2016

"Oot and Aboot" with Ian D at Big Waters 29 Feb 16

Arrived at Big Waters on Sunday to find out Alan J had headed off to warmer pastures so only Ian D and I started our leisurely walk chatting about Birds, Movies, TV Series and anything that took our fancy.  The highlight of the day was the returning Female Smew which seems to have done the rounds to a few other Reservies also.  Graeme B joined us about two thirds into the walk so as most of you know the pace then picked up but eventually the pace slackened as slight hints were passed that it was a walk not a run so Graeme kindly slowed down for us gentleman who have been around a few more years so we could look at things as well as suck in copious amounts of Oxygen.  (Thanks Graeme).  There were a couple of small flocks of Fieldfare on our walk and also a few Lapwing taking residence in their regular field as well as the regular ducks on the pond, which included a few Goldeneye plus a couple of Shovellers.  A few Siskin were observed also in the feeding station and a few on the walk along with a small number of Meadow Pipits.  Mick M was once again putting pen to paper in the hide and we think he has also been designated as Bolt Checker in Alan J's absence (Stirling Work Mick).  Anyway, I didn't take a lot of pics or do more than a couple of vids (Hooray I hear) so here is what I managed to produce.
Big Waters most recognisable shot
 Still a fair bit of Ice around
 Plenty of Geese
 One of my favourite views on the walk (added a couple of anonymous chaps for scale purposes)
Wanted to join them (but Graeme said keep walking (just kidding)) 
 A Hercules taking off from the Airport
 Still plenty of Wigeon around
 Reed Bunting (Male)

 Obligatory Robin
Distant Smew 

A short video of a few things I saw during the walk

Now I know that a lot of people do not mention Gardens in their blogs but Our Garden is a big thing in our lives as it is where we Birdwatch most days of our lives and just recently I have been attempting to tidy it up so am even seeing more so here are a couple of short videos of 2 recent days of things we saw within a few minutes plus a couple of pics.

I popped down to Howdon for a couple of hours on Thursday morning, not expecting to see much as it was a couple of hours after high tide and a bit of a wind seemed to be picking up.  Quite a lot of small birds around including a few Greenfinch which seem to be becoming quite scarce although I have been getting a male and a couple of females in the garden recently.  About a dozen Grey Herons seemed to be glue to the trees as none of them moved whilst I was there.  Curlews, Redshanks, Teal, Shelduck, a couple of Gadwall, a pair of Mute Swans and lots of Jackdaws and Magpies were the main birds on display.