Sunday, 9 December 2012

Just a joy to see again.

 Its probably been about 6-7 years or longer since me and Jan clapped eyes on a Red Squirrel. Theres a disagreement going off still between us where was the last one we seen? I think the Lakes whilst on a camping trip, Jan thinks Thornley woods, Gateshead when there was Reds still around here and we witnessed a poor looking Red from the bird feeding hide here...This individual being the last one we seen here.

But what a joy today seeing these truly British Squirrels again after such a long time span especially only 20 miles up the A19!..

 When I lived in the Wansbeck area over 10 years ago I often seen them around the Sheepwash area on walks along the river here (pre- digi camera time), so after picking up on a few tip offs on the net we tried our luck at Woodhorn museum in Ashington.
 The £3 per-person admission charge was paid on the entrance approach road to this site and loads of Red Squirrel crossing notices encountered on the way in ...looking good we thought.!
 How good was it??? exceptional we thought!
One of the friendly staff/volunteers here has set feeders up (has had for 2 years apparently) beside the car parking area and the Reds along with countless birds etc. are benefiting from this locals endeavours. Hats off to the bloke! He even let me, Jan and Malcolm( pleasure to see you again) sit on the small train here to be more comfy to view the feeders.
 Three of the belters visited these feeders in about a hour we had here....Smiles all round with the viewing public. Three quid each well spent!

On a sadder note :  A Grey Squirrel was photographed earlier today here, the first the local lad who tends the feeders here has encountered. Trap set and lets hope its caught or taken out!

 Downed tired Heron on the Leas last weekend, harried by Jackdaws etc.
 Waxwings in Jarra ..(cheers Davy F.)  opposite St. Pauls in the Don valley last weekend, 2 first off and then built up to 7 during the week.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

More Snow buntings!

 The question this morning was where to have a wander.??? Well, the Leas area has still been producing canny birds and it also has the benefit for me of getting the dog a good run, so off I headed in this direction.
After about a hour around the mound area here, there was no Shorties hunting or showing and quite frankly nowt much else either. Sless and Scuzz appeared soon after my futile wander and we decided to try the section of the cliff tops just south of Frenchmans bay which has produced winter buntings over the years. We met Vivien returning from this patch who informed us that 4 Snow Bunting were in the area...nice!
After wandering along the cliff tops to Manhaven bay here with no sign of the blighters we were about to turn back, when a couple of these belters put up, followed by 2 more just by the steps here.
They flew back towards Frenchmans bay and after a few disturbances by passing traffic along this coastal path they settled to feed in the near by grass.

One of only 2 Skylarks encountered on this visit, its more than likely heading south.
Turning around on the Leas road is not the easiest of manoeuvres and its recommended to head to the Marsden mini-roundabout to do so. If nowt else you can check if the resident winter Med.gull is present in the car park here.( take some bread).

No luck Owl related on this visit but the banter was excellent with many a friendly face on show.
Theres been no privacy in our bathroom the last few weeks, this lass has become a lodger here for now.