Sunday, 26 June 2011

Around the pier area patch this week

Being carless and Jobless at the moment my options are limited regarding visiting any other sites in our area except for the kind offers from friends. So the local patch of Marine park and the pier have been visited often over the last week whilst on the "Max" dog walking duties. This afternoon a walk down here produced my first Juv. Sandwich tern of the year around the pier...Some folk might not get too excited about such a sighting but to me it was a sign that our local beach area will soon be graced again by Juvenile and adult terns. ..Jan and Max looked on in dispair at me getting excited....they have seen it all before many a time. (Jan becomes a tern widow and Max is tied to the pier handrail whilst I sit on the pier wall.)

The Swallow family are coming on nicely at the base of the pier, sure theres another nest around here but yet to find it.

Sandhaven beach today was packed! Sunshine brings folk down here on mass. Chippies and ice cream sellers must have been clapping their hands.Plus the local bike club(Badlanders) had a big gig going off in Bents park raising funds for "Help the Heroes"...sound bunch of folk.

This was the sight that greeted us from the top of South Marine park!

The carrier has been around the NE coastline for some days now. Its a rare sight now as I believe this is our only carrier in service at the moment HMS Illustrious.
I could rant on and on about this but .........I won't, only to say its a crying shame.

Our local "longish" staying drake Mandarin is still in the area and seems to favour Marine park again. What a difference a couple of weeks have made with him going into eclipse molt...(I even asked on Bird Forum in case the bird was a juv.! last week).
A Fanstic productive meeting took place in Westoe cemetery this week with officials from South Tyneside to follow when finalised!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Nest box making CCG style..

A few days back myself and John went down to a couple of local shields based timber merchants to aquire wood to knock up nest boxes. After viewing the timber in one outlet (which looked like it had been just floated up the Tyne!) we got a good deal from Ashley's....this was after explaining why we wanted the timber and the work our group is involved in. Also the threat of not using them again for any future work I am involved in seemed to have helped!...Ive known a few of the lads here for years...sound bunch.

The nest boxes are being made for sale at a few of our various planned involvements along the coastal patch and also to be erected in a few sites within our boro. All the proceeds from this venture will go back into the Coastal Conservation Groups kitty so we can continue to help nature and our area. At £3 a piece they are great value for money. A great effort in a few hours which resulted in 43 boxes being knocked out...a few sold already!

The main man arrived later and was quickly "suited" for this task...a paint brush in hand and off he went!..coating the boxes further. Well there's nee way a power tool was going to be placed in his hands! Many thanks to the National trust for allowing us to use the lighthouse to produce the boxes and thier involvement with the group.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

First Arctic on the patch.

A walk down the sea front today was rewarded with my(our) first Arctic tern around these parts this year , which was feeding just off the pier with about 10 Commons and 4/6 Sandwich which called noisely over.

Friday, 10 June 2011

This weeks wanderings...

Well I think most folk aready know about this mega that turned up in Hartlepool headland at the beginning of the week.
I turned on the pc on Monday morning and scanned a few of the normal bird sites and was gob smacked to learn a White throated Robin had been caught by the local ringer here!...My twitching right leg started to move..."only my left" as the right is a patch faithful one..By dinnertime the both of them were giving me a real irratable feeling.By early afternoon as I watched the reports coming in on BF and RBA both my legs started to give me real grief!(confused! I was also.) My head over ruled them and I am glad I didn’t venture down that way late afternoon after seeing the “Window cleaners and builders” convention that had gathered to help a mass of birders see over a 8-10ft. private garden wall.!. Many a birder got a view thankfully but a few I know turned away in dismay at this sight…think I would have as well. When I turned the pc on Tuesday morning to see the Robin was still present and the Doctor had opened his garden all my bodily functions worked in unison…and off we all went on agreement. 10 minutes standing in the lovely garden with about 60 other birders and the bird was in the bag….another record shot for the collection.

A wander along the pier yesterday started to remind me of last years feelings with terns feeding just off here. Not seen a Rosy yet thro-.

Two singing Reed warblers at the Acdemy pools....first time Ive managed any type of photo of in ST. cracking sound....!

Still yet to see a Fulmar chick this year on watched ledges normal very hard to see young sometimes until they are large grey ugly looking things!(in my eyes anyway).

A few of our group had a nice "out of hours" visit to the Washington wwt last week ....really nice to have the place to ourselves and see the two pair of Avocet families here along with all the other attractions the site has to other.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Twitch never!

After the twitch for last Sundays Terek sand in Northumberland I twitched another 3 times this week!....I know its not like me but a couple of them were not for birds and are on my door step so to speak and I hadn’t seen any of them before.

The first one was for a butterfly in an area of Colliery woods in Boldon which I have tried to see here over the last couple of years with no success. So when a nice sunny day arose I tried again, this time I got the buggers!.South Tyneside’s only site for Dingy skipper as far as I know.

The second one was a bird, this time I had to travel to Blackhall rocks a place I hadn’t been to before but will be back as it’s a cracking site.
The Surf scoter drake showed well with a scope despite the heat haze hampering views. Spot the American in this poor record shot...!

Well a trip down this way cannot rule out dropping in to see the Little tern’s at Crimdon which it didn’t as Max was with us and needed a good run (away from the terns before anyone asks).

The final one was plant related and not far from St.Pauls in Jarra. It took me about 10 minutes to find the plants (about 6 of them). I must have walked past them 3 times! But glad I ventured as the Bee orchid is a stunning sight, how I have to find the ones on the Leas!.

Shields coastline

Been down a few times this week to view the seabird colony which is right on my door step. It’s just a fantastic sight and sound.

The Cormorants are breeding in 3 different places this year, most are on the Marsden rock, a few on the small stack just south of the rock and these birds are part of the colony on Jack rock which is at lizard point.

Razorbill numbers look to be increasing along this stretch of our coastline with birds on ledges I haven’t seen them on before. This ledge has 2 breeding birds on it which is half way down Jack rock.

Both the shots show the same ledge only a few days apart, canny difference with the chick sizes.