Saturday, 31 March 2012

Searching for webs

I found my second Long tailed Tits nest last evening. That's two from four or five nesting pairs of birds that I know of on the Carr and hopefully this one may be a bit easier to record for the NRS.
Both nests are well formed and getting near to being closed up and lined.

Nearby the birds are on a constant search for nest material, probably cobwebs being the main target to bind the moss and lichen together.

There's quite a bit of chatter between the birds turning to phish, phish if you get too close and on one occassion, high pitched chattering alarm as a Sparrowhawk flew by. Always need to keep a wary red eye out for these hunters round here as they fly up the roads and ditches in search of an off guard bird.

Plenty of bees and butterflies after the last few days fine weather. Many pairs of Tortoiseshells battling away these two showing some variation in colour tone and size.

Friday, 30 March 2012


Not Muppets, Meadow Pipits are the current tree toppers on the Carr. Lots of display going on and plenty of 'squeaking' as territorial disputes beak out. Like Skylarks they are very attractive and thrush like when you manage to get a close up view which is not always that easy.
Over winter I was a bit concerned as they seemed to have deserted the horse paddocks where normally you could find 20-50 feeding before the owners of said beasts turned up and disturbed them. Perhaps they moved away fearing the harsh weather of the previous two years but whatever the reason they have returned in force and hopefully for successful breeding. The Owls don't help flushing the Pipits as they quarter the fields and I've seen Pipits mobbing the Owls a couple of times but with little effect. Having said that the Owls should be moving away soon and to that end I didn't see one last night but it won't be the first time in the last month I've thought they had gone.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Spot the........


3/4 built Long tailed Tits nest. Possibly three birds building this which although currently visible will shortly disappear behind foliage and is in the depth of brambles overhanging a ditch.

Deer........sorry no prizes

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Caught in the act

one of the best looking killers around

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Friday evening

Still here

and again

and getting ready to breed.

Friday, 23 March 2012






and off for a light lunch. I suspect that there was some meat in amongst the vegetables given the amount of pecking that went on when it was on the ground.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Good evening sun

The last two evenings have seen some nice late sun with not so many birds about and no migrants yet so it's time not overlook some of the plain species. Pair of Coal Tit prospecting for nest sites.
and pairs of Dunnocks established at many locations. Last night also pairs of Greylag Geese, Snipe and Grey Partridge promises a good breeding season but I'm missing any displaying Lapwing on patch which is a major concern. Perhaps the hunting Shorties of which at least three still remain, have put them off or is it just the sheer number of corvids!

One of my better self portaits. Setting sun ,makes short fat person tall and slim. Today or tomorrow the sun should set directly in line with the bumpy road. Bet it's cloudy.

The goats have already had this years offspring with many kids out and about for the first time even if mother does need to push the odd shy one along.

Monday, 19 March 2012

In the air last night

A fine sunny Sunday evening and the Curlews were calling overhead

a Heron flew in for supper

Oh well, there goes the theme. Four shorties spending more time perched than flying

and two lovers disappeared up the lane into the sunset.

Friday, 16 March 2012


Had some free time after a meeting on Thursday so purchased a pie and watched the gulls whilst stuffing my face. The young Iceland gull was very accommodating
although variable background and changing light levels meant I ruined more shots than I got.

It certainly knows its way around the trawlers and was feeding well.

The truth is out. Someone's been photoshopping!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

What a grey day

Even the Cormorants were feeling it although luckily for them it's only a temporary thing. I fear for myself it's somewhat permanent or at least till the stuff falls out. That may be sooner than later with the current problems but escaped to the coast yesterday after a lunchtime meeting.
Red breasted Merganser escaped the camera as my phone rang just as it swam in front of the hide so it was back to photographing grey.

Greylags moving in pairs

Redshanks aplenty as the tide rose

and carrying on the wings up pose, a Short eared Owl hunted just near the hide before being driven up high into the greyness by a pesky Crow.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Grin for the camera

Ah! Sunday lived up to its name and after a fairly normal webs count and watching England edge le bleu I spent the the dying embers of the day watching the owls. Perhaps I've been premature in announcing their departure as at least six and possibly eight hunted tonight. I watched one evade a fast moving falcon which I assumed was a Kestrel but as it regained height it was clearly not and I got three shots off.
Classic Peregrine which AF also observed as it headed off over the wood putting all the Woodpigeon to flght and nearly downing a Crow. Nice if lethal.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Slipped by

As Curlew numbers continue to build on the Carr and signs of spring are all around I'm getting precious little time to enjoy it as work and car gang up to make life unbearable. Yesterday was wasted sorting out what was urgent and getting a new exhaust so I missed an anniversary. Don't fret there's no woman in the background wailing, I mean that it's six months yesterday since three Short eared Owls turned up building to five by the next day and peaking at thirteen during October. Now it looks like they're moving away. Eight last Friday was down to four or five by midweek but you never know. The books say SEO's don't breed under 1000ft but if there is still a pair here by the end of March I'll be getting over excited again.
Still looking for that perfect pic. I'm sure that branch wasn't there when I pressed the shutter.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Turned out nice in the end

A weekend totally dominated by the weather. Saturday started off dull and wet so I got some work done but just after lunch the skies cleared and I got out for a wander. As usual at the farthermost point from home a rain shower hit and I hid by a tree whilst watching the resulting rainbow.
I pin pointed the rainbows end to the base of the distant tree and was tempted to go look for the much needed pot of gold but I didn't think that farmer Meek would live up to his name if he caught me! The afternoon was then spent in search of the Shrike, to no avail until Brian turned up and got straight onto it way in the distance north of the goats. We then spent the next hour watching owls which kept their distance until the photographers packed up but of course by then the light was poor.
Sunday morning started with a male Siskin on the nyger feeder.

Regular visitors to the garden this last week. Then off for a count which was uneventful and cut short by the returning rain. This time it grew steadily heavier and Sunday was spent preying for Newcastle to get an equaliser (thanks mate), ploughing through some more work and sorting photographs. I realised from this that one of the Long tailed Tits that have spread out into small groups and are obviously nest building (if only I could find the nest) has been ringed.

I had the opportunity to ask AG if he had done it as he was back trying to ring the owls of which more later but it was not him so posssibly a Big Waters or Ponteland Park bird. Anyway as we spoke the sun broke through and Sunday ended all aglow.

Earlier rain means no people so the deer may play in the late evening sun which highlights their white bits.

Friday, 2 March 2012

I spy

a vole! Unfortunately either ir wasn't or he missed.