Sunday, 28 July 2013

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Hare brained

Or just optically challenged
Trundles up the bridleway toward me this morning and stops at about 20ft away then thinks... ooh err missus and does off the way it came.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Big and shapely

Nothing to do with my preference in women although I wouldn't say no if one asked. I was more meaning butterflies and moths. Tonights walk at Banks Pond where myriads of Meadow Brown, Small Skipper and Ringlet flew was punctuated by a nice Comma.......
and last night a Swallowtail graced the back window along with a dozen other moths I've yet to ID.
Stop press three calling Common Tern just flew over my house heading for Big Waters. That's a good one for the garden list.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Dipper & flipper

So tired. Trying to up the moth count accompanied by a bottle of good wine last night I stayed up too late and hung over today. Most of the pictures are blurred to boot. Never mind. Young Dipper at Bywell from Sunday and Chub trying to scale the weir at Hexham bridge. Blogger still not behaving.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Who's stalking whom

Little Egret is a bird I hadn't encountered this year till Saturday when sitting in the Ponteland hide at Hauxley, Chris ( apologies if I've got the wrong name) said there was a bird in flight which promptly landed in the field on the other side of the pond and hid behind the hedge. After a while it eventually moved sufficiently to get the ID but after half an hour hadn't come nearer so I headed off to East Chevington where Dave E advised a Little Egret had just flown in and there it was, a country mile away but nice anyway and probably the same bird.
On Sunday after doing my webs I headed up to Bywell for some Dipper action and as I waited for a dozing bird to start feeding scanned upstream where a large white bird stood on the bank. A Heron soon approached and it flew toward me, obviously a Little Egret and a couple of semi distant shots were had before it noticed me and flew back off upstream. It was only when I enlarged the shots at home that I noticed it was ringed which suggests it's the same bird that Jack saw at St Mary's wetland last week rather than the individual that was noted by Chester birder near the Tyne at Shibdon.
Good job it's white at that distance!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Feeding post

Mistle Thrush still feeding young in the nest last week.
and a sign that magically changes colour
no doubt the result of digital metering

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Carpet bagging

'I luv carpets me' Those irritating words of a radio advert for Franks Factory Flooring although I quite like carpets mainly because they seem to be around in the day and are relatively easy to identify (although I'm sure I'll have got at least one wrong). So far this year originally the most ubiquitous but seem to have declined in the recent month ..Silver-ground Carpet.
Common Carpet. Not as common as its name suggests.
 Plenty of Garden Carpets though
 Recently a Twin-spot Carpet
and a trip to the woods found Green Carpet
 and Flame Carpet (not the reason for the burnt out photo!)
with Red Carpet currently being the most conspicuous especially at Banks Pond. That's quite a roll but I hope there will be piles more just to underlay the theme and I won't have to change tack or work against the grain for to spin a yarn would be gripping. I'm shagged!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

New to the wing

Saturdays heat saw many young families of Swallows waiting on the fence rails for a parent to feed them. Some exercise always fills in the time between feeds and will be good preparation for the long trip south. 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Friday, 12 July 2013

Star tern

 Blogger still playing silly buggers and not allowing me to place text where I want it. Anyhoo, two shots of Common Tern at Whitt;e Dene the first of which a total coincidence of background and foreground. The second just checking the ring which is SV950 but pretty sure that's only part of the number.
Won't let me edit text either hence the l in Whittle.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Turning green

Banks Pond was heaving in the sunshine yesterday with Emerald Damsel joining the throng of Common Blue and Bluetail Damsels. Few words and single picture as Blogger is misbehaving.

Monday, 8 July 2013

getting Otter

There I was trying to photograph an Emperor in flight when I heard a plop from my right. Assuming it was a frog or the like I continued only to see a tail disappearing into the water and then a few feet further on a head appeared and stared back at me. After giving me some consideration the Otter decided to go to the other side of the pond where it continued hunting eventually coming up with what must have been a freshwater mussel judging by the crunching noise it made whilst eating it. NIce dentition.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bridled & Banded

Fridays work stopped abruptly when news of the Bridled Tern at Cresswell broke. I rang the Alans but only AJJ was available for the trip and off we headed. On arrival a phalanx of scope and camera carrying people were rushing down the dunes toward the pond and the bird was clearly over the other side. Not easy to view on the ground when huddled with the Common Terns but when it flew it stood out like a dark shadow and very elegant too. One pass in front of us and plenty of action on the far side of the pond. 
Then alternating perching and flying before it flew out to sea going higher and higher as it went. Well worth the trip with the added bonus of two Arctic Skuas over the pond and a Cuckoo in the dunes. I repeated the venture again this morning hoping the late visit to East Chevington would mean the bird would still be around bit no show despite a gathering of fifty plus birders at Cresswell. Some interesting banter though with three birders from Norfolk and CP. Heading back home after news broke the bird was at Saltholme I called in at Bellasis. Perfect conditions for the Banded Demoiselles five of whom chased around below the bridge.
One male preferred this bit of flotsam on which to perch from where it made feeding sorties and chased two other males when they came close.
This female preferred a moss covered rock nearby.
The inevitable not quite flight shot. Just too tempting to resist.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Back at Banks

A bit of heat in the day and occasional sunshine saw me skiving off to Banks Pond for an hour this morning after recommendation from John A. When the sun shone there were two or more Emperors flying along with four or more Four Spotted Chasers and the many damsels hiding out of the wind included Large Red, Bluetail and Bluet. As I was rumaging a call rang out and it was Dick and Linda fresh from a trip to Northumberlandia. Both have been quiet on the blogging front of late all explained when I heard of their sad loss. As we chatted a Common Blue male drifted past and I was lucky to find his good lady on the way back to the car.
One of these also landed nearby, a moth which I had photographed a few minutes earlier for later identification. Upon getting home I typed black and white into the keyword search. Well you would wouldn't you? No joy and it wasn't until I found a netted species name that I tracked down the suspect ...a Latticed Heath.
A good few of these Ringlets around over the last two days and Meadow Browns also beginning to appear. Maybe summer is here.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


No terning for me as time and workload will not permit so somewhat blue. One of these sailed past me at Banks Pond the other day but was gone before the camera was raised. Nice to see though as Butterflies are pretty few and far between this year.
I managed to catch up with this one at Hauxley at the weekend. A nice intense blue especially when seen against a background of contrasting colours.
Interesting then that the underside is so different. I've always puzzled that even against the light the pattern doesn't seem to show through to the other side when the wing material must be so increadibly thin. No doubt a trick of reflecting light and like some other blue creatures it's not actually blue.