Sunday, 31 May 2015

another black flyer

I missed the early reports of the Black Tern at Whittle Dene but caught up with it late evening in fading light
Always a lovely bird to watch although this one ranged quite widely over the reservoirs not setting up a hunting pattern as they often do.
Then perched a country mile away. I'm sure that buoy is further away than it used to be. Naughty buoy!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

a (black) wing and a flyer

Upon hearing of the Black winged Pratincole at Bothal I raced up to be rewarded with the bird flying and some excellent views for No 292 on the life (Northumberland 290) list. After five minutes the bird settled on the far shore where it spent the next hour so I departed for tea.
Not exactly thrilled by my Friday evening itinerary I returned later where the bird was still sitting but half an hours patience was rewarded with the bird again in flight this time for ten minutes or more. Wonderful to watch with just the record shots for future reference. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Phil Linnet

No bass but plenty of musical twitterings from these at the moment
Obviously been taking posing lessons from Ron Mael
a genius of Sparks for those needing a clue

Friday, 22 May 2015

Cuckoo grub

Finally got sight of the Cuckoo that's been hanging around the Carr. It's only the second one I've ever managed to see although I hear them most years. If that's it's preferred food of Caterpillar it's a big one.

Thursday, 21 May 2015


A bit of heat in yesterday afternoons sun brought out all the butterflies on the Carr including my first Comma of the year and a Silver ground carpet moth. Also many other flying insects including this you could hardly miss.
Not a true Cardinal beetle which has a black head but the red head means Pyrochroa serratinonis. It took a good few attempts before I managed to get it with the wing cases open as it flew short distances between stones.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Variety is the spice of life

After a warm April it's been a pretty naff May for Moths thus far with cold or windy nights but on 18th May three nice ones graced the trap. White Ermine is pretty obvious.
My second Streamer of the year was nice. 

Then this caused some consternation. After a lot of deliberation I decided Pale Shouldered Brocade based on the shoulders and the white lines but it's very dark so watch this space for humble retractions.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A little more

Little Ringed Plover found last night on the ponds adjacent the Brenkley Road formed as the surface mine move east. Hopefully they will remain as good habitat for such species. Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Canada Goose, Pied Wagtail and Curlew also present. Unfortunately the road is also appears to be attracting the faggotts from Arcot Lane so wear your Bins with pride.
What you looking at?
A bit of a preen 
'If I look up like this you can see my yellow eye ring perfectly' 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Lesser lesser

After a week of torment went looking for P but only found LB and other gulls.
Only a year before this one gets its true colours.

Saturday, 9 May 2015


Out after the rain chatting to Nigel on the bumpy road having just missed a shot at the male Redstart I was pleased to see a number on Orange Tips working their way west along the road. I don't know why they always seem to go that direction but the sun that had brought them out was variable giving the opportunity of underwing shots whilst perched with this male demonstrating fine translucency of the wing.
Not the easiest butterfly to photograph as they as easily over exposed
Only one female found outnumbered by seven males. A tinge of blue to the body and hints of orange at the upper wing tips or is that reflection. I can't recall anything I've read that mention it.
The underwing of male and female is as interesting as the male is striking.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Moving house

This occasionally wet weather means the bumpy road can become a Snail superhighway
Various designs on show
One reason I don't drive down the road when it's wet. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

A bit of warmth

Makes all the difference and there was an abundance of life on the Carr this morning. All the warblers singing, two Swift bringing the pc list to 94, a total of eight Wheatears, three Whimbrel and all the supporting cast with a count of 46 species.
Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and Linnet were the most vocal of all the latter nearly always a pair or threesome and not prone to sitting around long enough to get their photo taken. Nor were the remaining flock of twenty or so Golden Plover who managed to get between me and the sun even when I managed to get into the field close to them.
This Grasshopper Warbler was unusual for the Carr singing from a bush near the golf course rather than hidden in the grass as they normally are. It still took me five minutes of staring into the brambles before a flick of its wing gave the location away it being about four feet above where I was looking.
Back lit Sedgy to finish. The sun also brought out seven male Orange Tips, five Small Tortoiseshell, three Green veined White and a couple of Small White Butterflies and plenty of bugs. No moths last night but tonight may be better.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Both together now

The ducks at Hauxley showing some synchro skills ............landing
taking off
and upending. Fortunately unlike humans they don't need nose clips.
Also an unusually large gathering of Black headed gulls for the time of year. There must have been some sort of insect hatch to attract more than 350 to the smaller pool in front of the Ponteland hide.