Out early taking advantage of my sleep rhythm unaltered by the requirements of the British system it was fine and sunny but as the morning wore on the cloud built and that winter greyness that flattens photographs was apparent. Good numbers of birds about with a smattering of Redwing and Fieldfare the seasonal newcomers. The weeks wind has seen the Hawthorn lose all leafs revealed precious few berries for them to feast probably the worst crop in recent years so not good for the harsh winter forecast. Dunnocks (11) were numerous along with 60+Goldfinch, 10 Skylark over south and 98 Teal kindly flushed off his pond by Mr Pringle.
Best find was this Grey Wagtail in untypical surroundings up the bridle track.
Further on a flock of 20 Lesser Redpoll fed in the ditch side but were a bit skittish so one pic only the result soft focus the result of underexposing the original.
They like their houses big near the Town Moor in Gosforth. This nest, I assume wasps, was uncovered when a ceiling was removed. The timbers are 16 inches apart so its getting on for 2' by 1' 6" butted up against the warmth of a chimney stack.
Earlier in the week I bet that the three Black tailed Godwit at Elswick wouldn't stay till my webs count. Due to the Tynemouth Book Fair tomorrow demanding my attendance and money, I did my webs count a day early and bingo the birds were still there. Other than that a fairly normal count with good numbers of Cormorant 55, Redshank 90, Lapwing 155 and Golden Plover 228 on the Dunston stretch.
Also hauled out on the mud two seals. A young angler told me they had a pup last year which I find strange so far inland and not in any colony so possibly a fishermans tale.
Doing a bit of sea watching at North Blyth yesterday I noticed an unusual vessel coming toward the river and headed round to south harbour to get some pics as it ran against the incoming northerly at the mouth of the river. The ship was the Greatship Manisha, some sort of drilling vessel. but entrance was not spectacular as hoped. On leaving the small pier next to the concrete pill box and the blue containers a bird flew off the grass headland of little beach over the wall and down behind a pile road debris. I thought 'that's a late Wheatear' and edged round the pile only to find Shore Lark.
Rattling off a few record shots I retired to watch it and sent the news out having first checked I wasn't going daft. It briefly fed on the road before heading back into the grass dunes where I eventually I re-located it. Fifteen minutes later James walked up the beach obviously searching for the bird and I indicated the general area as couldn't see it at the time. He got it and we followed it as it moved around the area giving some excellent views as Brian joined us and we all got some good shots.
These two were when it moved into a fenced yard in the sun where it felt relaxed and safe although in general it was pretty bomb proof not moving for cars or humans and nearly landing on notso when he arrived half an hour later. Only clanging trucks flushed it but fortunately never very far.
I assumed it was just not aware of threat from everything but on reviewing my 55 shots it was looking into the camera on 12 of them so perhaps it was very well aware of our presence.
Six Herons within 200m on incoming Tyne tide at Newcastle Business Park yesterday. Possibly disturbance at Shibdon from people getting the best out of the good weather which today has drawn to a close.
The birds were distant so these shots are from Hauxley taken mid September
Also at Elswick two of three Black tailed Godwit still showing the remains of summer colour around their neck
sad old loner totally p****d off with life, work and modern society hence the propensity to head off into the wilds to escape.
Photos taken with Canon 500D and (from 14.06.13) Tamron 70-300 zoom following the demise of my Canon zoom.