Friday, 24 July 2015

A few additions since the last post.

 The lure of the pier and Shields beach seems to have taken over again the last couple of weeks or so. No idea why? ;-). The tern action here on the visits I've had so far hasn't been exceptional to say the least,hopefully that will change in the near future if this area is blessed this year.
 Two Arctics on the beach on the 14th. only one's I've seen rested here so far.
 On the afternoon of the 15 th a bit of a northerly blew. A couple of Whimbrel circled the area calling and a canny bit passage from the end of the pier- Gannets,Auks and a few Scoter, also picked up a bonxie.
 After having enough of being windswept I ventured back down the pier to the usual haven of the steps overlooking Sandhaven. That's when 3 other dark shapes were picked up about to pass the pier head...typical!.

Last Saturday was my first sighting of a juvenile Sandwich tern this year here.

 Last Sunday- Chester-le-street roundabout. Two White-letter hairstreaks showed in blustery conditions in about a hour and a half here.
 This female Banded demoiselle also put in a show.
 On Tuesday this week my first Common tern juv.
 Med. gull/s now a regular sight along the Leas.

 And the late evening visit today found me in the good company of these waders. Single Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Sanderling still with a nice bit of summer finery.
Another local lad reported 4 Purple sands and a couple of Little terns here about 2 weeks ago, right place at the right time. Hopefully the action is starting to pick up.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

This afternoons highlights.

 When the glimmer of fine weather broke this afternoon and I had time on my hands, I headed back down the Don (Scotch est. dene). As expected the water level here was a tad on the high side, which kind of made for some great entertainment.
 From the 3 main ovipositing places seen a few days back, only one had a small scrap of surface weed on show today- which obviously was a highly sort after bit of turf.
 My first Small copper of the year from the same place above.. tatty but great to see.

Dropped into Testoes pond in Boldon after visiting the Don. My first visit here for a while.
 The usual Dam's around here and about 6 larger Drags. near the matchbox building. Including this 4 spot chaser that defended its patch from a stick stuck in the mud here.
 I didn't really check this site too well last year, so was pleased to see this Black-tailed skimmer here today, first for me for 2 years here.
In the wheel..

Friday, 3 July 2015

A few from over the last week (non-feathered type).

 Apologies to anyone who reads this blog for the lack of content of late. Getting the time and weather to have a wander seems to be getting rarer as I get older -thought it would be the opposite!

Last Saturday saw me on Cleadon hills for the first time in a while, to see a big bird do a pass over...Whilst here picked my second Painted lady of the year up (this number increased during the week) and Chimney sweeper moths out in force. As also they can be a pain the butt to get a shot of.

 The last Vulcan in the sky, worth the effort to see this.

Last Saturday afternoon It was down to Bishop middleham quarry for the annual visit, it's just a fantastic site that has to be done !
 The tricky subject matter of separating Brown argus began again, a one I'm still not fully confident with.
 Been told all the shot's look ok for 'Northern'
 Still a learning curve with many butterflies.
 Also seen my first Ringlet of the year here.

Last Sunday I had a wander on the South Shields pier, didn't expect to see a great deal but that soon changed. Picked up a few fins breaking the surface a fair way out heading north from about half way along here. Continued to the pier end living in hope they'd pass closer for better views.
 The pod of about 10 Bottle nosed seem to split up when I reached the end of the pier and four of them did come in closer including calf.

 Common blue male
 Large skipper
 The only Dingy skipper I've seen this year taken at the Scotch est. dene Jarrow. (missed the boat last month). But good to know 8 were recorded at Boldon.

Scotch est. dene did provide my best count to date of Banded demoiselles earlier this week here, 18 at least picked up at 3 different spots here on this small section of the Don. Could well have been more! At one point I had 7 sat within a metre or so of each other.
  It's always a pleasure to watch these belters.Love watching their behaviour.
 And 3 Broad-bodied chaser around the pond (what's left of it waterwise) here. Another couple seen in the Boldon area.

Small skipper