Tuesday, 31 July 2012

more Swifts

than you could shake a stick at for the last few nights
Between 100 & 200 swirling over the flooded horse fields.
Plenty of opportunities but strangely difficult to get the topside shot
and the head on has proven beyond auto or manual focus as yet.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Flat calm Med

Having a snooze in Briar Dene Car Park yesterday no doubt tired by its ongoing moult the regular Med Gull stood out from the Black headed throng.
Hide the most obvious feature wont you. Poor thing didn't get long to rest as a scooter driver raced through the flock only moments later sending the bird onto the golf course and later to St Mary's Island where it was reported later in the day. Also yesterday 2 Little Egret at Bothal Pond although Birdguides didn't feel it worthy of report so maybe this species is becoming common. I hope so then I may be able to get a bit closer to get a photo!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Short

of time and stressed to the limit! Hoppin about all over the place, it's just not cricket.
Highlight of the week 8 Black tailed Godwit stayed two days but never close enough for the lens.
Missed shot of the week. I'm sure it was sitting on the branch when I pressed the shutter release!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Catching some rays

Just the hint of some sunshine and first one,
 then two Doves collared the best spot on the back roof
whilst Mrs Blackbird prefered the edge of my jungle.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Kids on the beach

Young Wheatear flycatching
Looking for the next one
Fronting up to the snapper
Young Sand Martin
much happier in the air though

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Feeding up

Fifty or more Swifts feeding over the flood this evening on the Carr so bearing in mind they will not be here for much longer I snapped away and learnt a lot.
It had never occurred to me that Swifts had a crop but the evidence is clear to see and not surprising really for a bird so reticent to land. I wonder how many flies are stuffed in there?
The birds beak has almost disappeared in the chubby face!
Secondly, I have always regarded the Swift regarded as a dark shadow in the sky but actually it's quite translucent.
Still a bit of a bugger to get good shots of but worth the challenge.

Monday, 16 July 2012

D up

A pretty run of the mill weekend so nothing spectacular for my 500th post. East Chevington seemed to be lifting with Stoats this being one of four seen whilst trying to find the Red backed Shrike.
Chatting to the local farmers on patch none of them have been able to get any hay in due to the flooding and it's now gone to seed and will probably be left to rot. What's worse is that many main crops of Wheat and Rape are also on the verge of being lost. Of course the one field in the county I hoped wouldn't be cut for reasons I will one day divulge was cut Sunday morning. Typical........
Not so typical were two Great Creasted Grebe on the sea off Hauxley on Saturday.
and our Pectoral visitor at Cresswell had made a new chum who came in handy to churn up the mud but had a nasty spitting habit.
and a case of you scratch my back .................at Druridge

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Ringlet of rank water

Out this morning after a week of torment. After Thursdays rain water levels continue to rise and the roads are breached in five or six places. The range track is 100m of wellie top deep water and has a horrible petrol like glaze on the surface from what source I'm not sure but it smells natural stinky more than hydrocarbon. Ringlets were again in good number joined by a couple of Meadow Brown. 
The horse paddocks to the left of this shot are inundated and held about 200 Black headed Gulls of which 30 or so were juveniles. Many Swifts fed over the water and an unseen raptor must have passed by as the Oytercatcher pair went into commotion and all the birds lifted to reveal 21 Curlew and 23 Tufted Duck amongst the throng.
At the top of the lane, one of four Grasshopper Warblers I have found in the last week reeled and was joined by another further down the track. This bird is, unusually for Prestwick Carr, in a bush close to the lane and I spent a fruitless half hour on Wednesday trying to get a view of the little blighter. Today I managed this after a few minutes peering into the bush from only ten feet away.
Well hardly award winning but definately a Gropper and just to prove it........
video

The bird is on the left hand side of the screen with apologies for the shakes. Pretty craptastic quality but a nice record.
Further rewards on my return trip when I finally spotted a Common Sandpiper that I have been hearing but not seeing for days. That's 103 up and reports of another Eagle about!
PS Anybody on my patch in the next few weeks keep an eye out for a small white van with rogues and lurchers suspected of pinching the Goat mans hens!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

On the surface

Whittle Dene and the flies were staying close to the water
 and so to were the hunters
 and on the Carr a near miss between Swallow and Swift. Bloody sky hogs!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

On the fence

'Well I say it's a damned cheek just showing up for half a moment before doing off!'

Yes I tend to agree so I spent an hour pounding round the Church and Caravan Park at Newbiggin yesterday in the hope the Rose coloured Starling spotted by TC on Thursday would re-appear but no avail. Most of the day was spent at East Chevington looking for and eventually seeing a very smart looking male Red backed Shrike.
It was way too far off for pictures and a constant sea fret made things uncomfortable so few images were had.
The one's I did take were distant and poor quality but had a certain character about them so I turned them into pastels.

Friday, 6 July 2012

UK rain

Another day of deluges today but yesterday was quite pleasant so after a bit of work I spent the afternoon at Druridge watching the Long and the Marsh of things. No decent photo opportunities until just as I was leaving when this slightly moulty male Stonechat put in a pose or two. A detour on the way home for a non showing Rose coloured Starling was fun but the thought of having to make up the work time today dampened the evening as if any more dampening was necessary!
Speaking of deluges my last post, boring and teasing though it was, went big in Ukraine from where I have had 1365 hits in the last two days. Either somebody out there is keen on posts, or it means something very different, no doubt rude or insulting. My apologies and Biтaю
Ah! the wonders of a translation app. Lets just hope it hasn't conned me into insulting them further!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Post after post

As I roll up to my 500th post I've been looking for something special to celebrate and indeed Monday / Tuesday evenings looked like providing it unfortunately however it will have to wait a while. The Carr list has moved on by two to 102 and my county list by one to 269. Last night flushed a Cuckoo from the top of the range bridleway and a big bird passed through but the only photo's obtained were Buzzard........
and Black headed Gulls each with their own post. Ok, if you look closely there's a couple of Common Gulls in amongst them. As you can see the Carr remains flooded although not obviously so due to the length of the grass. I can't see how any farmers are going to make hay this year, with the ground so saturated access is almost impossible and much of the grass will be left to rot down. Let's hope it benefits wildlife as a result.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Ouch...that must have hurt!

Working at the computer this morning there was a thud just after nine. I checked the large rear windows but no sign of any casualties so I just assumed another part of my abode had gone wandering. Then later as I walked in the front room there was the evidence on the window. One of the young Woodpigeons had made a more than the usual splat impression on the glass. Nothing in the garden below so looks like it got away with a black eye and sore ribs. You would have thought with all the rain recently my window would have been cleaner!