Sunday, 18 May 2014

Out west.

 Cracking morning on the higher path at Tunstal, Pied flys. aplenty busy feeding young.

 A 'duller' male Pied fly.
 The only male Redstart I encountered on this visit.
 Newly fledged Long-tailed tit trying its best to be a Tree creeper.
 Picked up 2 male Spotted flys. calling along the path also. Sadly no Wood warb. seen or heard, hope it's just my luck here for this species.
 Red Grouse chick from the roadside over the moors.
Windy conditions hampered looking for these little belters today around the Muggleswick area.Three showed at a regular site briefly, but didn't settle ..alas the best of a bad bunch of shots.

Male Ring ouzel seen briefly in flight at Bollihope and also a Cuckoo heard.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Parrots,butterflies and mini dragons.

 Just a few of the highlights from a few short visits around the doors this week.

On Monday- me, bob and the better half had a quick stroll around south Marine park at about 3pm. I  had only been in the treed area about 5 minutes when one of these noisy squawkers belted up....guess what? NO camera. After watching one parakeet for about 15 minutes preening and feeding in the same spot, it was back to the car to return home for the camera....Twenty minutes later I was back in the same spot minus my original companions but armed with the camera. Not a squawk or sign of the green bugger!  After about a 30 minute wander my lugs picked up the noisy return of the green invader, more or in the same place as previously. Great views had and whilst watching another one flew over and landed!. Pointed the first one out to a local dog walker who informed me she has them visit her garden around the Mariners cottages.
First for me and our lass in ST, after a few attempts trying else where around the doors.
 Checked Jackies beach out on the Tuesday hoping for Dingy skippers on the wing, wasn't disappointed picked up 4 here...great stuff! Also loads of Wall-browns on the wing around this area this day.
 Spotted-wood near Shearwater est. plenty on the wing now.
 I had the time and chance to join in with a newt survey being carried out along the Don area this week by NERAG (north-east reptile and amphibian group). This involved meeting up on the Thursday evening at 9pm and setting bottle traps with a licensed person who has undergone full training to do so and any other volunteers who fancy taking part.Most of the ponds where also 'lamped' and great views had in one in particular, sadly none caught on this evening in the net. Wellies off and driving home by 11.20pm.
Back the next day at 7am.... along with the other folk, plus a representative from Living waterways who have done a great deal of work along our section of the Don.  I'll not go into too much detail with the results of many a bottle placed in numerous ponds but I found this a great experience as I've never done this before.
The shot above are 3 male Common newts, recorded for the first time by our leader at a certain pond area.
Whilst the wellies where being extracted on Friday morning this little belter fluttered around the outskirts of the parking area!...Great ending to a fantastic experience.

And we picked up a Avocet reported earlier on Boldon flats later today...