Wednesday, 29 May 2013

More Dingy skippers!

A visit to Jackies beach yesterday resulted in counting at least 10 of these little critters after doing a few passes. Its the first time I've seen them here and the third place I know to look for them now in South Tyneside .

Isle of Mull visit.

Its been 2 years since I last visit this fantastic isle of bliss so I was really looking forward to going again this year. We stopped this year just above Uisken bay along the road from Bunessan on the Ross of Mull, an area that we have grown to love over the years. Lovely spot for the morning and evening dog walk whilst taking in the wildlife.
Early start on the morning of travelling..4am. Just to get to Oban in time for viewing the Black Guillemots before boarding the ferry and also a cooked breakfast in the regular drop-in cafe.Well the breakfast thought went tits-up as the cafe is now a fish and chip shop!.But at least 20 birds around the eastern shore/harbor here putting on a good show,and canny bacon butties had at another cafe near here...

Within 30 minutes of arriving on the Isle the first barn door was picked up floating over the Ben mor area...cracking start!
 Whimbrel were in canny numbers in regular places we visited on this visit. My best count was 34 at Fidden to the north of the farm on the first day of arrival on the Isle..After this counts of 20 odd had here and also at Ardalanish bay on a couple of occasions.
 Not that easy to grab a photo of....believe it or not.
 As always visits to Salen were regular to stock up on supplies en-route, and also a toilet stop off. Nee pasties etc. sold now in the post office, gutted! But the residents bird feeders produce some nice entertainment.
 Lapwing chicks at Fidden, she shielded 4 very young-uns the first ones we seen here.
The view looking down loch na-keal
Road side entertainers along with countless Wheatears.
 Iona on the Monday, as always the first fine day of weather we visit here for half a day or so.
Exceptional visit - 4 birds seen and between 8-10 heard around the main populated areas here.

Really nice to see Ray and this better half on a few occasions on this weeks visit... On Corncrake watching duties just up from the Spar shop here, whilst we checked the coastal path out later.
 Otter...! This was the 5th one we seen on the Sunday (our first full day) within 4 hours of setting off from base camp- 1 large dog Otter feeding at the head of loch Beg, and a mother and 2 well grown offspring just a little further along the road.
 This was a sight to behold, I lost contact with this Otter before I seen it settled on the rocks eating a crab.

This Golden eagle was picked up half way down loch scridan, great scope views had.

The 2 shots above are of the loch na-keel goldy.
White-tailed eagle going over, were else can you scope a Golden eagles nest and then spin around and view a White-tails nest!??
Male hen harrier bombed across the road in front of the car one morning...only manged to grab a couple of record shots before he disappeared over the hillside.
This female/ring tail was the cause of some confusement once picked up. One minute we were watching it then it dipped below the tree line and then we were viewing a buzzard and 2 hoodies , the bird was lost completely never to be seen again!

Raven family near Gribon gave us a fantastic flight display, we later watched the young birds begging for food off their parents.

Just a few of the incredible creatures that inhabit this wonderful area, we also picked up countless Buzzards, a couple of Peregrins, 3 Sanderlings (not too common here), single Knot, couple of Mountain hares briefly legging it, Singing Ring ouzel, Tree pipits and a Tawny owl and Merlin on the way back to the ferry on the day of our departure.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Dingy skippers

 One of the highlights of the year at Colliery woods in Boldon to me is viewing these small critters. I tried a couple of weeks back to see them but the set aside area the council have created here didn't produce any then.( too early more than likely)
 But today's visit was rewarded with views of at least 3/4 in this area and the better half picked up another 3 on the other side of the ditch here, which showed well.
I've reported 6 being here on this visit, hopefully in the coming weeks many more will be reported.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Morrisons belter.

 After the disappointments of not being able to get to the Bat detecting evening last night at the Thornley woodland centre because of the approach road  to here via the A1 being closed.Plus also dipping on this Red-backed Shrike once we returned to our area in what light remained., myself and the better half were delighted it showed well at about 10am today.
 A first for the better half and only the second one I've seen... another bird I've not had much luck with until today. We'd only been here 5 minutes today when I picked it up along the hedgerow between the car park and the private estate ( small park type area to the south west end of this supermarket in Seaburn).

 Watched the bird for about 20 minutes sitting on the outside of the bushes here, and occasionally diving down onto the grass to pounce on prey. We didn't see it again after dog walkers spooked it and also a little later after our lass visited this shop.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The large white one.

 A unexpected trip up north today to see the daughter resulted in a trip to Hauxley with her. I don't know what was more surprising today -the daughter wanting to come with me to this site or the Great white egret still showing???. Nice on both fronts.
We had first dropped into the hide to the left of the car parking area after a bloke in the car park told me that that the bird was in this area. After about 10 minutes and telling the daughter what this bird looks like (big white heron looking thing.) I seen it lift briefly in the distance to the south.
 Its been awhile since I was here last,( I think when the Terek sandpiper was here was the last time)  so I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice wooden hide in place of the small plastic hut effort over looking the southern pool area when we wandered down to this area... It could well of been in place on the last visit but I hadn't noticed it.
 We hadn't been in this hide long before the bird flew off and landed on the main water area so we headed to the larger hide back down the path.

 Outstanding views of this bird, only the second one I've seen. So getting a few record shots in the gloomy conditions was a bonus.
I had thought about dropping into a couple of more sites on the way back but the weather put pay to that...
Quick visit to the Rising sun C.P. for a half -hour,  He's still a sight to behold here.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Update on the ringed Herring gulls in Marine park.

This ringing group have up-dated their excellent web site they manage regarding these two new sightings.
The first one is a bird I've encountered before ..

The second bird hasn't been seen since departing the Thames area.

It just goes to show that our pasty snatchers in South Shields are not just confined to the likes of Marine park and King street localy. Excellent to learn of birds movements with sightings of ringed birds like these easier to pick up in the field so to speak and report.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The weekends wanders.

 A trip to Dalton park was due today and its a criminal offence (in my eyes) not to have a wander along Hawthorn dene whilst in the area. Far better than viewing all the 'want to be wags' in this retail centre.
Its probably just the time of year with birds holding territory etc. but this feeding area was on the quite side again today. Only 2 Marsh tits viewed on this visit after we put seed down, along with only a few other commoner species.
And a wander further down the path produced a Yaffle laughing again ..This time seen twice in flight briefly, far better than most encounters with this species in the past..;-)

A few  flutter byes encountered .. around the Jarra boundary area.(Comma on Friday) A canny few around  including Green-veined whites today.

Otter signs.!   Taken a couple of days back..fairly fresh compared to last weekends findings.
Both shots from today very fresh looking . ...not seen two fresh looking spraints along side each other before.?
A bit further down stream.
Mr Wren building a future.

Friday, 3 May 2013

A few hours today, out and about.

 Close encounter of the Grey seal kind this morning along the Shields pier. This one had hauled itself out about 2 thirds of the way along the pier and looked to be pretty content just rested up here.
 Lifes a yawn....
 After a while of viewing the Seal it became apparent that it did have some injuries to its back flippers( don't know if that's the right terminology? ) These didn't look to be too deep, but both flippers showed signs of damage in more or less the same in line.
And when viewing the shots from today it looks like the Seal has more injuries than first picked up.
It looked to be healthy enough with plenty body fat and seemed content just rested up here so hopefully its going to be ok.

 Wander along the SAFC academy today ... Grasshopper warbler showed well briefly along with a Lesser White throat  along the Hawthorn approach path.
 Sedge warbler singing away from the reed beds, single Yellow wagtail and our first brood of ducklings this year.
 Its getting towards the open season regarding grabbing fast moving shots of this buggers along with their mates. About 30-40 Sand martins over the ponds here today on this visit and a couple of Swallows. Let this sport begin..(and the recycle bin fill on the pc..)
Local Mistle thrush on its nest today ( nice one Jan ;-) )