Friday, 30 October 2009
Started work early and had my major project for the day delivered by 9.30 so when my text message alerted me of a Pectoral Sandpiper at the Beehive flash, off I went. The bird was easily located on the far side of the flash with MH and Dusty Bins already set up for the shot but the the little wader was staying put and after a few minutes taking in the glories of this birds plumage in good light, I headed off to see what else could be added to the list.
Decided to try again for the Sabines gull at North Shields which I had seen at a distance on Monday but two later attempts had failed as the bird seems to move away from the fish quay after its early morning feed. Started at the fish quay and initially no sign so contented myself with shots of a male Eider in the harbour. As I walked back along the quay a bird caught my eye coming out of the sun about 20m away and flying downstream...bingo.... the clear black primary wing markings stood out splendidly. I waited for the bird to return but no luck so, after checking the ice maker where it had been yesterday, I headed to the foreshore where I was soon joined by one, then another, then a further three birders all on the same quest. Stories of hope and missed opportunities were shared probably made more annoying by me having seen the bird fleetingly earlier.
We were joined by a man from the RNLI Station who was also hoping to see the bird but had been told by a colleague working on the south lighthouse that there were eight Dolphins in the mouth of the Tyne. Bins and scopes were trained and shortly the animals could be seen as the school surfaced between a dredger and the south pier. Nice opportunity so I headed to the headland above the Black Middens for a better view.
The dredger had gone out to sea and presumably the Dolphins with it so headed toward the pier on the off chance and met two birders coming in the opposite direction who had seen the Sabines Gull and said it was now on the rocks below the headland. I re-traced my steps and whist checking the rocks the gull flew around the headland and managed to snap the beauty.
The bird settled on the rocks just 30m from the shore with Black headed gulls and started preening. Settled down to a nice little twitch joined by two from the foreshore, two from the pier, a bloke from Carlisle who I had met twice earlier this week and a good few curious bystanders. With my smaller lens the images were not so good but views through the scope were splendid and eventually it had a quick kip allowing me to get a larger lens but the light was poor and only got a couple of shots before the incoming tide moved it away back upstream to the fish quay. Lunchtime already and felt like I'd done two days work!
Friday, 23 October 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Friday, 16 October 2009
A BTO nest record was returned for the attempt and the crappy photo published on their forum. Will attempt to get some better shots of the current suspect when daylight eventually returns to Dinnington.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Would never have attempted any shots in previous days but the benefits of digital mean at least these poor images are at least recognisable. If I'd remebered how to boost my speed to 12.8K then I may have done better but the views were splendid with one bird twice coming within twenty feet. One bird headed off west to the sheep field where in the sunset in squabbled with another, possibly the Barn Owl, the argument still continuing as I left for home.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
At Prestwick Carr there's a Barn Owl most nights, Tawny Owl last night outside my house but little sign of the Short eareds. I have found some fresh pellets which suggest they are still there but my last sighting was one week ago. Last night a Jay and Willow Tit were calling, a lone Pippistrelle Bat flew at Mayfair Cottage and five deer were in two groups . This manage a trois were cavorting near the wood.
No sooner had I written the above than tonight (Thursday) a lone Short eared Owl hunted at 6.30pm so I add this as a postscript
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
I waited for a while to try and get some flight shots but missed the best opportunity and eventually left a now full hide with a good few images to sort. Apologies if you've seen them all before.