Wednesday, 26 November 2014


 In the normal tradition of mine of humming and haring about twitching regarding crowds etc. I finally headed off this morning for Seaton in the gloomy weather and rain after hearing the bird was still about, with the better half in tow. Only about 10 folk on the beach when we arrived and 20 minutes later it was hopping about within 20 feet!  Its just as well wor lass didn't have her hand bag today otherwise a certain 'bird policeman' would have been whacked big style for his antics and ignorance once he landed,! what a arse..le .

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Just a few from the rare outings lately.

 For one reason or another I ain't been able to get 'out and about' as much as I normally do, so when a 'pass out' for a couple of hours on Friday was on the cards I didn't look a gift horse in the mouth. ;-). After just venturing into Whitburn  CP  on Friday late morning, the 'twitter' alert on the phone sounded,a hasty retreat to the car in the lodge car park was had....Olive-backed pipit showing well in Roker.
 Showing well ! Showing brilliantly more like it, within a short time of arrival at the twitch site.
 Lifer! ...(nee idea what number) and also for a canny few other folk over the last few days. Big thanks to the twitter nation who post regular, seems a great way of sharing news.
 Best I got of the Lesser whitethroat knocking about here, which is about the best I've managed photo wise of this species.
Cracking visit to Station burn last week for a couple of hours or so.. Couple of Grey wags posed nicely, the below shot took some patience. It was a case of 'hide and seek' as it played 'pick a boo' behind rubbish and cut away areas in the leaf litter as one's arse sat hoping for mammal sightings.
The mammal sighting was poor to say the least on this visit, plenty sign of Water vole but no new otter sign, which has been the case regards regular fresh crap on the last few visits here.
Four Jays seen on this visit, all in the burn area. Checked the locals bird feeders on the outskirts of the Cotswolds/Colliery wood but alas nee Willow tit again seen here.
This blue flash rested briefly in the burn whilst flying around and returning to its favoured hunting spots.

Monday, 25 August 2014

This weeks few findings

 These 2 Arctic tern shots where taken last Monday on the southern side of the S/Shields pier, when I thought it was starting to hot up again here. How wrong I was...there's a good amount of splash sign on the south side of the pier(suggesting roost spot)  near the gate and like the photo's show some of the terns where using this area to rest up.
 After last Monday's visit it has gone unbelievably quiet around this patch tern wise. I've only managed a few visits since then due to family circumstances, but these one's have been slightly depressing to say the least regards sightings- Last Wednesdays visit - not a single tern on the beach. Yesterday I visited twice, the morning one was poor with only a few Commons feeding around the pier and a single adult Arctic rested up on Sandhaven ...this being the only tern here with hundreds of Herring gulls and a few GB-backs etc. the evening visit produced even less.
One of 3 Med. gulls seen along the Leas stretch on Sunday including the Marsden car park bird.(think I've shown enough shots of this bird. ;-) )

What has turned out to be a great season for all birds breeding wise, looks like a pretty poor one so far for this patch 'tern wise'. Speaking to a few local fishermen here and going off what they have told me..its sounds like the Mackerel haven't came in too often, which suggests the sprats and sand eels haven't either. It's a knock on effect.Hopefully a nice drop in will happen before they all go south.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Another memorable visit on this patch.

 And finally after umpteen trips, numerous coins fed into machines and a canny few hours put in around this patch.....I gets my first Roseate tern settled on Sandhaven for the year. I only rattled off a few distant shots after picking it thro- the bins, then checked the camera settings,looked up again and it was gone! Leaving its 60 odd companioning Common terns still settled here. Hopefully many more will follow after a great season on Coquet for these terns.
 And then another local lad told me about this little belter on the little beach ( Little Haven) as I was walking back towards the car park. I honestly could not believe what I was witnessing when I caught up with the bird. It was feeding in the shallows just off the shoreline, whilst kids, dogs and joe public just done their own thing here oblivious to this Black-necked grebe.
And the grebe didn't seem too bothered about their presence either. Great stuff!

Monday, 11 August 2014

More entertainment from Sandhaven.

 The above shots are from Saturday, when two visits where had to the golden sands. First off in the morning, about when the tide was about half way out. This venture was a waste of time due to disturbance from folk who should know better field craft wise. We are all guilty at times of pushing our luck, but it's knowing when to back off....especially on this public beach when its not too busy. The second visit around tea time this day  was more like I'm used to. Sitting on the rocks watching the terns antic's, which is a pleasure.

This evening-
 A tad on the windy side to say the least! but the beach was pretty much empty after 6 pm this evening. The only disturbance whilst I was here was one dog walker plus the wind blowing sand which spooked the rested terns at times on the beach at the high tide level.. Just one adult and juv. (above shot) Sandwich terns and the numbers of Common's remain about the same here on my visits. (30-50).

This evening's visit produced also- my first Arctic tern juvenile rested up here this year so far.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Just a few from the pier visits over the last couple of weeks.

 I've had a canny few short visits here over the last 3 weeks or so, just popping down for a hour or so when and if I could. As most know who view this blog its a special time of year on this local patch for myself, and many other locals and visitors alike who love seeing terns away from breeding sites relatively close( at times!) in the field so too speak.
Number's visiting Sandhaven haven't been too impressive to date...( these are my findings. hopefully some folk have faired better). I ain't reached over 20 Sandwich terns as yet, and doubt I will now landed here this year unless there's a 'big drop in' now.
Common tern numbers (3 shots above) .. As always the terns to entertain us here with sometimes 'Farne type views' . Best count so far...up to 80.
 Arctic's recorded on 3 visits, twice with 5 adults...nee bairns as yet.(top pic)
And yesterday two Little terns graced the beach, an adult and Juv. joined the terns rested up here...(.love the beach when the sun god doesn't smile too well ;-) )  Only seen Little terns on the beach here 3 times in a canny few years visits so it was a tad special in my eyes.

Monday, 14 July 2014

More futterbye hunting.

 A couple of outings twitching butterflies!...aye that's right me twitching how often does that happen?. I had made a mental promise to myself this year to try and see a few different species that I ain't seen before within South Tyneside. So that meant travelling to a few different sites not a million miles away, especially with the first 2 shots which where taken just off the A1 roundabout at Chester le street. I only managed to pick up 2 White letter hairstreaks here on my visit, but other visitors have had a canny few more. First new tick for me.

 Tried the brickworks pools area next for Purple hairstreak , not much luck in a couple of hours here, only picked up one high up in the oaks. Never the less new tick (second new one) ! Close encounter of the Grayling kind here above, this one landed on my jeans at one stage.
 And today it was off out west, in search of another 2 species on the 'want to see list'.
I thought the close encounter with the Grayling was great a few days back, nowt compared to the one today with a Small pearl-bordered Fritillary (3rd new tick) whilst sitting watching a few.
 I made the mistake of wandering around a site in trainers today (should have know better) fell into a beck hidden with grass and had't to walk along a section of the Waskerly way in wellies for a couple of miles in search of Dark green fritillary. Pretty windy and dull up here today, fruitless search for this one, but cannot complain it's been a couple of brilliant outings! many thanks to the lads who have helped .

Monday, 30 June 2014

A few from today and last weekend.

 This pair of Broad-bodied chasers led me a merry dance trying to get any type of shots today. But brilliant to watch with the female ovi-posting under the watchful eye of the male who grabbed on a few times (wheeling) whilst she flew around the pond.
 It's a female blue dam. that's all I know.
 Close encounter of the Small skipper kind.
 And yes its a bird...pretty unusual for this blog at the moment with me mucking about with the macro lens and the lack of subject matter lately. 'Pished' this Whitethroat out after it showed an interest in me, love doing this for a few minutes at the right time of year.

All the above shots are from the Scotch est. dene today, plenty Browns and a few Blues on the wing. No sign of Dingies (as expected) and the Banded dem's here didn't show well either.

The shot's below are from the Whitburn coastal park.
 This Blue had my novice head baffled today, don't think I've ever seen a female Common with so such much blue colouration  before (without some brown colouring also). And then I checked the British butterfly site, oh aye, its a minefield still id wise...
 Plenty Browns on the wing over the last couple of weeks.(Meadow brown above).

And below- Flowers!  Three of the 4 species (I think) of Orchids in the coastal park.
And a new tick for me..Pyramidal.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Where's the sun god when you need it most!

 Had a visit to Bishop Middleham old quarry today, the first one for about a year. This after viewing a weather forecast last night, that stated that big yellow thing in the sky would appear like yesterday- early noon. Lying gits!. It was really hard work today to find 'anything' on the wing -bar day flying moths.
 Female blue
 Male blue
 Large Skipper
'A' 15 minute window opened with signs of the sun showing it's face. With this, the temperature obviously raised slightly which triggered a 'small' but welcomed show after being here for a while. And then it was all quickly as it had began. (better luck next time with the Durham argus hopefully).

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Scotchy dene this afternoon.

 It was back down the old play ground this afternoon again, locally known as the Scotch est. dene. in Jarrow. It's a small section of the river Don which provided many hours of entertainment to 'us' kids and has matured nicely over the years now.
Started off firstly this afternoon visiting the Academy pools, which wasn't the best visit I've had here to put it mildly!. Reed warbler, mixed families of tits( blue,great and long tailed) comprising of about 30 birds along the hedge approach, couple of C. Whitethroats, Chiffy, along the usual stuff. Poor on the Dragonfly front also...
So dropped into the old stamping ground after this to see how the habitat has came along since the horses feeding on this land have been removed. The last time I visited was a few months back when the 2 hogs we over-wintered where released here. It was great to see the undergrowth and grasses etc. have re-generated and that no attempts at wild grazing had been made since my last visit.
Five Banded Demoiselles seen in two sections of this stretch of the Don, only one male. Two of the females where ovipositioning under the watchful eye of a male in his territory.

And 3 Dingy skippers seen here today, (didn't see any here last year) after picking them up here 2 years ago here. (second reported sighting I've been told??)

Sadly no Chimney sweeper moths on the wing here on this visit but Small copper, 2 small skippers and a couple of small blues.