Monday, 20 January 2014

Two new bird ticks in the same week.

 I went down to see the Ibises today for the third time on this their tenth day of being reported in South Tyneside, after a being told they are showing well again. This was the sight that I was greeted by as me and a few other lads viewed by the metal gate to the horses field just south of the dog stadium on Blue house lane. A little more distant than in my last two visits, but showing well from this vantage point.
They took off a couple of times whilst I was here and returned eventually to this same location after a short fly-about,this after a few of us ventured towards the flats looking for them to no avail... and viewing them from the other side of the metro line, on northern side of Blue house lane eventually again.

Blink and they are gone!..or stop talking and take notice.?
Bugger! over in seconds and wishing I had got the wings in.

Nuthatch in South Tyneside...another one that until last week has evaded my eyes. I've heard them twice in Bluebell woods and tried a few other times to see a one over the last few years. So seeing two on the outskirts of Cleadon park on a couple of occasions on visits here was a tad special after being tipped off.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A few efforts from the last couple of outings.

 Popped back down to Jarrow again a couple of days back, this time the sun god was smiling.There was still around between 25-32 Waxwings (different numbers counted by folk) in the area of Saxon way along with over 10 Redwings and up to 8 Mistle thrushes, plus 3 Siskins and a male Bullfinch put in brief appearances.
 A good number of the Waxwings were doing their fly catching act, flying up and snatching insect on the wing from the tree tops.Always love to watch this behaviour from these birds.
 I couldn't manage to get over to Boldon all of yesterday to see these two belters, that had been spotted in a field east of the Greyhound stadium. So this morning when I was informed that they were showing well not that far from were they were originally picked up, me and the better half went forth.
After a small degree of difficulty finding the exact location we eventually found it.(cheers Phil). A fair number of folk were viewing to the east of the flooded field area and also some to the north side. The north side looked a better option and proved to be.

Stunning views had when we first arrived at the chosen vantage point.....and then it got better! The birds continued looking for food and edged closer and closer to where me and the better half, plus a few familiar faces stood. They appeared totally at ease and just went about their natural behaviour, not showing any signs of being distressed or put off by the presence of the folk viewing them from this vantage point.They eventually wandered off further away and then flew off a short time later. I didn't see them take off and only realised they had when somebody told me .As to why they did I couldn't honestly say.But I do know none of the folk around where we stood almost rooted to the spot caused these belters to fly off.

New tick for the better half and another magic moment for me...

Sunday, 5 January 2014

First post of the year.

It's been a canny start really to the new year over the last few days for myself, especially with today's events. The first outing of the year was to the pier area (where else!) a few days back and it was nice to see a few Shags now starting to drift in here, along with the usual numbers of waders. But I've been informed there's larger numbers of Purple sands than usual sighted the last few days by different watchers. Also a colour ringed Sanderling was sighted by a Jarra lad just before the new year but I ain't caught up with that one yet.
 Marine park lake holds around 40-50 Tufties at present along with 5-7 Pochards ( depends when you visit the number varies). Four Mute swans and the almost resident 4 Canada geese now. And then I picked up upon this new oddity to the collection a couple of days back....
Definitely a Pochard hybrid, more than likely a cross with a Tufty.?? First time I've seen it here, amazing what tickles ya fancy on a regular walk.
I've viewed Marsden Bay a few times also this new year on the drive along the coastal stretch.This is just a handy spot to drop into for a short time to do a bit of sea watching as I'm not as dedicated as the lads up the road in the Whitburn observatory.. Do I miss that Lizard point car park for this purpose.!
A drake Long-tailed duck present a few days back in the bay along with a scattering of Scoter, eider and the odd Red throated diver on a visit or two. Also a Blue Fulmar a few days back was picked up inter-acting with another 2 Fulmars near the stack, I came back the next day and hardly a Fulmar to be seen around the cliff areas. Harbour porpoises seen on just about every visit also.

 A welcomed phone call this morning from one of the Jarra patch watchers got me activated. I was soon mobile and heading for the town's hot spot of Saxon way after hearing the news that 10 Waxwings had been picked up here. Great stuff!. Myself and the great Waxwing hunter ( another Jarra lad)  managed 14 high up
in the trees at the end of this road. A second visit later with the better half + Bob and the count went up to 20, by now a canny crowd had gathered...great banter . It's a hard one to pin down the actual number due to the Starling's joining in the action here, over 10 Redwings, a few Fenzies (Mistle thrushes) defending the berries and a Songie or two + Blackbirds. Frantic action at times, Brilliant all the same!

Hopefully drop back into tomorrow if lights better and there's more action to be had.