Sunday, 29 May 2011

Pics from today-

Up north today.

Northumberland and its great birding locations have always been a great draw for myself and Jan...(geese lover) when we can visit. Its only across the Tyne from me and the "county" border of Durham has never bothered me regards birding(recording/lists etc.) and on most visits a great few hours can be had.
Today started with the a phone call off Davy F. (which woke me up as a few of us had sampled the delights of the Steamboat in S/Shields the night before) to inform me of a poss. Marsh warb. in the Don valley opposite St.Pauls. The little shit stopped singing 20 minutes before we arrived!..and after a visit later today didn't show either(not surprised due to the wind today). Davies experience and his knowledge of birds, along with knowing his local patch very well commands respect, a view that many of us have.
So over the water me and Jan ventured after this with Little legs in tow. First stop off was Hauxley, a while since I have visited here and had sadly forgot the arseholes had burnt the visitors centre down here!.. But a friendly face(seen the southern spoken bloke here a few times over the years) was on hand to guide us in the right direction for a "lifer for both of us".
I had not given in to temptation a while back to go for this wader at Saltholme area..but went for it today, and cracking views were had!..Tereks sandpiper.(Twitch.... me never!)
I have to say how friendly this visit here was..I was even lent a "huge" lens by a another photographer to take this record shot, this was after leaving the hide for the first time(with good scope views) and another lad shouting us back as the wader was showing better. Also great to see a young family here enjoying the bird life.
Budge screen at Druridge- Great views of 3 Spoonbills, all asleep when we first arrived and dispite the wind it was great to witness 2 of the birds feeding(spooning) in unison a little while later..
Cresswell- 6 adult Avocets...

Friday, 27 May 2011

Mull has Eagles ..did you know?

On the Monday a boat trip was arranged to "hopefully" get excellent views of a male White tailed eagle which comes to fish provided by this boats skipper in Loch na Keal..guess what? the first "no show" of the year. Just our luck! A soaking on the boat trip back to the Ulva ferry sort of picked our spirits up. But a great bit of thinking by Douglas resulted in us visiting the shore of Loch na keal again a couple of days later and waiting for the boat to appear.

A few other people had the same idea and the small parking area soon filled up ..also a Otter entertained us whilst waiting for the Eagle show.

Mull part three...theres more!

On Tuesday we woke up with brighter skies showing and headed for the first ferry over to Iona, a visit here early is something I recommend as the "hoards" start arriving before dinner time. The lads could not believe how loud a Corncrakes call is and pleased with brief views of the illusive critters.. (Jason and Dougie on stake out).

Pleased with views we had in the paddock area by the Rookery on Iona I sugguested a walk along another area ..the road that goes east passed the fire station. This is where we got excellent views of this Corncrake as he sat in a small area of cover...totally not bothered by our presence.

This is the first bird we seen by the rookery and a female or two moved thro- the grass right in front of us...Our presence here attracted many a sort.."all the gear and no idea types", general interested folk and non- birdy folk just wondering whats going on. The locals didn't batter a eye lid...

Great northern divers are plentyful at this time of year on Mull, getting a canny shot is another thing!.. we managed one imm.Black throated diver also and 4 Red throated divers this week.

Mull part two.

Red deer are always a nice sight to come across and a area near Loch Scridan proved again a good site to view the animals closely.

Young pied waggies at Loch Ba

A White Waggy at Fidden beach.....I just love this area of the Ross...One of my favourite sites.

As you can see some of the shots were taken during wet weather conditions this shot is no When "Common" Sandpiper was named the bloke who named them must have been a local on Mull! they are plentyfull here.

Another "wet" bird ....this time a Wheatear again plentyfull on the Isle.

This years Mull trip..part one

Its taken a while to sort out some of the photo's and get around to posting a report from this years trip to Mull. This year our lass Jan give up her place so that a couple of local lads(Dougie and Jason) could join me and pleased they did as the trip would have had to be cancelled for finance reasons if they had'nt. Another excellent week on the Isle of bliss was had!..Pity about the weather but you cannot have everything!...The photo's are in no order whats so ever. This Shortie was hunting near Grasspoint and never even flinched when I stopped the car beside it!.. we seen him 3 times thro- this week but never as close as this again.

Mrs Stonechat was far more showy than her mate at Fidden, again another shot from the car.

Our best count of Mountain hares came on the day we arrived, over 20 hares were around the Fidden best count ever here and the lads just could not believe the views they we getting of these!

Our last "cooked for meal" at Oban before getting on the ferry for Mull and you just have to give time to try for Black Guillemots in the harbour area here, along with a bit shopping for items that you forgot!..Dougie(walking boots!), Jason(moth trap, would have been a waste of time anyway due the weather etc.) and me soap etc.

The best shot I managed of a Otter this week here, and this was on our first afternoon on the Isle!.. we managed other views thro- the week and pretty sure Dougie will have managed a better shot of a one on loch na keal.