Friday, 27 November 2015


For the last two weeks whilst observing Short eared Owls on the Carr there has been a constant passage of Starlings overhead from west to east between 3.15 and 4.00pm. Flocks of 10 to 500 in various formations and at various heights totaling 2000+ subject to the weather. This has been a regular occurrence in recent years but having checked the roosts at Brunswick, Gosforth Park and on the pylons running alongside the A1 no joy till tonight with some spare time I decided to try and intercept the flocks mid way. Parking next to the airport inner marker on the road down to Big Waters there was the murmuration over Big Waters. I reckon 5-10,000 birds but always difficult to assess so some time spent watching the birds gather may give a better estimate and some decent weather wouldn't go amiss. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

A good crop

Prestwick Carr is flooded and good numbers of birds turning up. These shots were the two before the new header when the Owl flew past so close an enforced crop resulted. Worth it for the glint in the eye though. Two possibly three birds present but with all the land in their usual area under water they are generally hunting the large expanse north of the bumpy road.
On the horse fields Saturdays count was 102 Golden Plover, 74 Lapwing and 3 Dunlin flocked together in the middle till flushed by a Sparrowhawk also targeting the 20+Pied Wagtail feeding on the new shoreline.
Worse weather on Sunday saw limited owl activity but this monster breezed through on a G line to the wood.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Alle together

Half an hour at Hauxley this lunchtime saw 27 Little Auks pass by northwards in groups from one to six
The tide was in so birds were close inshore but the shot I missed was one which went over my head
Look at it though, bleak or what. You really wouldn't want to be out there. Tough little chaps

Thursday, 19 November 2015

More like it

Finally some sunshine and a SEO put in a high level appearance before heading down into the shade to hunt
The NWT platform may be needed to keep your feet dry soon
Seven Whoopers in the flooded fields having a wash and feather up before making their way to warmer climes

Monday, 16 November 2015

So far away

A good weekend for sightings but nothing close up and poor light to boot. Nice Peregrine near Belsay
Two Short eared Owls on the Carr but neither too keen on hunting
and a first Little Egret on my Blaydon Webs count at Lemington Gut

Friday, 13 November 2015

Now those are Christmas stamps

In the early seventies the Cook Islands issued stamps like these on a religious theme in mini sheets every year. Not every bodies taste but full marks for effort. Likely printed by De la Rue of Team Valley fame.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Christmas stamps

Another average offering in terms of design for the Christmas stamps issued last week but at least better than last years abysmal effort. Having collected First Day covers since the 66 World Cup I've seen a fair few attempts and conclude that despite the Post Offices desire to be non denominational, Christian religious themes still produce the best results although child drawn cartoon style runs a close second. Last four years shown above to illustrate.