Thursday, 14 November 2013

Station burn today

 I had wanted to try for some action shots of waders this late morning at Whitburn, but as in a previous visit a few days back the place was packed with canines and not a single wader was in view. So this visit didn't last long! So decided to have a look at Station burn, with the hope of seeing Water vole and checking for otter sign. As with most of our area at the moment it was Blackbirds aplenty!with a few Song thrushes had also. plus Bullfinch heard and seen in 2 different locations here of note.
Came across 2 Lesser redpolls feeding on the Don's banks vegetation here and they showed really well. This made a change instead of neck breaking views of these birds at times in Colliery woods just up the path from here.
 Two groups of these little belters (about 20 in each) working their way through the trees.

 Yip its a Woodcock, my first this winter and the usual view you get when you've almost stood on it and its  given you a right fright!
Great otter sign here today (shite shot in 2 ways). Four locations found with many a spraint marking, some very fresh.

Had a quick look in at the Scotch est dene, and pleased to say the horses tethered here previously have now been removed. They might have done the site a favour by grazing here to re-generate the vegetation (which is just about none existent now) time will tell come next spring. Otter sign here also, just on one regular making rock/post.
Well Water vole was encountered at this site after all ! Just the arse end of one dropping into the water and a row of bubbles but better than nowt!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Oh you little belter!

 Well I had decided this morning to have a little wander around the Slake and St. Pauls area of the Don in Jarrow, on the local 'Jarra lad's' patch. After being here for about 20 minutes and seeing next to nowt one of these lads rang to say they where on Shields pier watching a Red-necked phalarope! just ironic I thought!
 So it was a quick return to the mobile skip and thankfully none of the local law enforcement officers where about with the drive to the Pier car park..;-)

The bird was a pleasure to view and later in the day I was informed its a Grey phalarope. This after many a birder had visited and said nowt different. ;-). Ive only ever seen 2 Phals. both Grey's the last one was 27 years ago in Wallsend gut. So this was special!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

First post for a while,a few of the last few weeks.

 I haven't really been out much over the last few weeks due to a few reasons. But here's a few selected shots. The above Snow bunting ; this shot was taken at Sandhaven on the 21st of last month only a single bird present on this visit,before good numbers started to show up along the eastern coastal areas.
 A Marsden car park Med. gull. I think this is the regular one we've had here for years outside of the breeding season, its certainly acting like as in previous years .ie coming to bread and hanging out at the same sites. The only difference is a change to the bill pattern, far more black and less yellowy colour now to the tip.
 I had a enjoyable 20 minutes at Whitburn steel beach not so long back, just sitting watching the wader action which was cut short by human activity. But hopefully I'll get back soon when its a little quieter.
 From Marsden car park again... What a scrap going off with these two Jackdaws here on this day. I had to stop my better half from wanting to step in! Both birds left looking ok, just a few feathers missing.
 And today.. I had a quick look around the Sandhaven/pier area after being told of around 20 of these delights here yesterday. Managed to pick up at least 10 in 3 different small gatherings, 5, 3 and 2. Could well be more in the Dunes area that is fenced off for good reason.