Friday, 29 March 2013

Souter stack(jack rock) this afternoon

 The last couple of days Ive walked about a mile and a half of the Don in search of Otter sign. This is because of the stretch of this waterway Ive been allocated to carry out the up-coming survey that's being carried out by the Durham wildlife trust.A couple of these areas Ive not visited in years, so it was nice to view them again and see what changes have taken place. Pretty fruitless regarding Otter sign with only "maybe" prints at one spot and the remains of old spraint in another area, but the Water vole signs were very good!! Also another Bullfinch territory within Jarrow was found that was new to me.

This afternoon I visited Jack rock (Souter stack) to see how this breeding colony around this area was looking at the moment.
The Fulmars look to have occupied for the moment all of thier old preferred nesting ledges and hiddy-holes along the cliff faces and stacks...Lots of Fulmar chat going off!

 Kittiwakes haven't fully returned as yet to nesting ledges judging by the numbers present around this area today and also in Marsden.
 The Cormorant colony had 45 birds present on Jack rock on this visit this afternoon, courtship/pair bonding and nest building going off. None on Marsden rock or the smaller stack just to south of this bay here as yet.

Single Shag present also.....(Still waiting to see a success story breeding wise here).
Only 2 Razorbills on the main cliff face on this visit.

Small up-date regarding the Redheads landing Kittiwake colony.
Many a email has been sent and responses had- emails, phone calls and via Facebook.
The RSPB and Natural England have been consulted by the Port of Tyne regarding the planned development, also ST council obviously .
Legally they are within their rights to remove nests out of the breeding season and make future nesting here not possible, morally,thats another thing...........
It hit the local paper last week-

Sunday, 17 March 2013


 It was time for my first visit of the year to this site above, not exactly a local beauty spot but a hidden gem. This is Redheads landing and its a public right of way (for now) and has been for along time. The first thing I noticed when I pulled up here was that a few folk were cleaning up the old slipway here, this group are called Redhead landing public support group I learnt after having a chat with them. They told me about the future development planned for this site and the surrounding area.....and then I was told about the nesting ledges.
 Promotion board on the entrance gate...I think a email will be sent!

And this is why-
 This was the sight that greeted me when I eventually walked further down the slipway. The port of Tyne have removed years of Kittiwake mounds from most of the ledges and put boards over them to stop the birds nesting say I am gutted is a understatement! No doubt the rest will go the same way.
 Ringed bird here today, cannot get enough detail off it unfortunately. But its also been colour ringed so might be able to find some details from this.

So its looking like this sight will not be seen here this year. Over 50 pairs nested here last year, South Tynesides only inland breeding colony.... in the process of being evicted.

This is the first time Ive given the exact details of this colony on any web site etc. due to some of the nesting ledges being easy to access and also not wanting any low lifes to cause the birds harm.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Making the most of a few hours this week.

 On Thursday me and the UN-trained hound Bob....or Bobby (depends on how he's behaving name wise to what he's called) ventured around the northern end of the Leas. Its been a few weeks since I set foot here last, but the sight and sound of a few Skylarks and Meadow pipits starting to lay claim to ground here was just lush!.. And ...4 Snow buntings flew off over the mound area from the south end of Frenchmans bay as we approached this bay. I thought this might be my last sighting on this visit here and also of this winter period in our parts. But on the return leg around Frenchmans a pair hopped up out of the grass onto the railings, a real surprise! as Me and Ian Mc. had'nt seen the orignal birds sighted do a return lap here.
 He,s a stunner no doubt about it.!
 And wor Med. gull is looking great also now.
Sighted the Shorty from the obs end of the LNR at Whitburn the other day also, big ask photo wise but great to see all the same again.

This late morning was spent helping plant sapplings above the Don valley area in Jarrow. Some 300+ planted in only a few hours by the few who turned out to try and make a difference within South Tyneside. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

This weekends exploring.

 I cannot praise the local council highly enough for thier endeviours to protect and encourage our dunes to develop, with a little human introvention.  Matt, the former Countryside officer for our borough is the man to thank regards this great project.  Over the winter period our dunes have enlarged big style because of the fencing erected around the area, which has acted like a barrier.
 This was the scene yesterday... what path?? This is(was) the one leading from the skateboard park(behind the fair) to the pier, and I really hope that this path is never seen again.! 
 The pier wander- This ship still has me doing a double take each time I see it around the Tyne area., its just not the normal.
 Marine park (south) produced my first Chiffchaff of the year on Saturday ( More than likely wintering)  and also a couple of Goldcrests in tow.  8 Pochards on this lake is the best count in our area.
 And what can you say about this beauty.. ? Wor Marsden resident is looking very smart again.( bar the noise, camera wise)
 A Short-eared owl showed briefly along the coastal path in Whitburn after i landed with the dog in tow.
 Just a blob on a rock..? i hope not.  Sign of Otter me things along the Don. Anal jelly ( sounds a tad naughty) but it looks like the real thing.  
 Lesser Black-backed gull on the way back to the coast on the Moor lane flash.
And this arsehole .....words fail me.