Sunday, 13 November 2016

Star of the show for me.

 First chance on Saturday to view the Waxwings in the centre of South Shields resulted in a 1st for myself, never seen a Waxwing so young looking. Eventually edited a few takes of this bird which I did get slightly excited about at the time.

 Big crops - but a fantastic short time had.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

This years Roseate tern experience on Sandhaven.

Unfortunately this tern season I've had no way near the amount of visits I usual make.Never the less I managed to double my count from last year(one adult and a Juvenile) on a couple of occasions this year, great stuff! ..but the canny counts from a few years back seem to be a thing of the past now.
This years show started on the 6th of August- with a adult and Juv.
Managed to get slightly better views-
Pity about the light for these one's.-

Next sighting was on the 14th of August- 2 Adults and 2 Juvs..(.this being the only occasion I seen 2 juvs this year).

On the 15th of August- 2 adults briefly on a morning visit and a adult and juv. seen from the pier side late afternoon.

On the 22nd of this month 3 adults and a juv. The paired Roseate terns didn't have any offspring with them but still displayed a bond. The beach was virtually empty on this visit (which, made a change) so the terns were pretty much settled allowing great views.

This years joy was over for me after the 4th of September when 4 adults graced the big beach on the morning , one of the birds having no jewellery on display. 
And on the evening visit this day 2 adults rested here. 

So it hasn't been the worst season ever for sightings here, hopefully some folk have had better numbers on this busy beach.  Wake me up again next July... ;-) 

Monday, 19 September 2016

A few from yesterdays ocean voyage.

Picked up upon a tweet a couple of weeks back advertising a pelagic going out from the Tyne on Sunday gone- too good to miss I thought at £35 for the full day! and also I hadn't been on a one for years so booked up.

 Really nice day had with the lads from over the water- the usual suspects bird wise and some great views at times.

 A few Sooty Shearwaters had,this one showed really well- interested in the gull gathering from the chum slick created from the boat.

 I think it's a first for me, getting any shots of Manx Shearwater settled on the water?  2 birds in feeding mode with Kittiwakes and a immature Little gull (not in the pic).
Skuas passing thro-  couple of Bonxies and also 2 Arctics..if my memory serves me well?

Missed out on the bird sweep stake (number of bird species seen from departing port to returning)  by one! Curlew seen close to the jetty taking the count to 35.

Hopefully I'll be on this one again next year.!

Monday, 30 May 2016

Mull 16

 After not setting foot on Mull for 3 years, we decided it was time we returned to the Isle of Bliss this year. As always we set off early doors to take in the pleasures of Oban harbour before embarking on the ferry crossing- this alas didn't go as planned, the weather put pay to this. Thankfully a small window of opportunity opened before leaving Oban.

 Red-breasted Mergansers
 Great-Northern's still around the lochs on Mull and showing great at times near the shore.(still trying for good pics of these) Didn't manage Red-throated on this visit.

 The only Whimbrel this week - 8 in the fields around Fidden farm.
 4 Golden plover at Pennyghael one morning.
 Iona on the first ferry Monday morning and the longest spell we've spent to- date to hear a Corncrake call here. It took 2-3 hours unbelievably on this visit and we were just about to give up and try another day when this male popped up right in front of us calling. The Tea break was postponed indefinitely.

 Whilst he sat here his mate ran through the grass just feet way.A locals comment was just classic after our wait- 'try going to sleep here' ..
 Closest I managed of Raven on this visit-

 Golden eagle above the cottage (seen on 3 occasions here) - we stayed here this year,  cracking base and cottage with great views.

 Loch-na-Keal Goldie.
 Nice birds-:-)
 Expectational visit regards Hen Harrier - Grass point first drop- in after getting off the ferry and we bump into Mick and Mish! and Hilary a couple of times also this week.
 Kintra male displaying above the bay with a kill
 Female hunting at the regular drop in ;-)
 Otter picked up at four different areas.
 Wild goat?
Another fantastic visit to Mull -Eagles,Harriers,otters etc. we dipped on Mountain hares this year around the Ross area and Twite but cannot complain..

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Cracking few hours out west on Sunday and a bit more local.

 Another impromptu jaunt on Sunday - out west for the first time this year resulted in my best count  of Black grouse seen to date. This after nearly coming a cropper on the St.Johns chapel to Langdon beck road, which the summit area was a tad naughty snow wise on this visit. So a bit of a detour via Stanhope followed-got there eventually....

In the usual fields to the north of the hotel- 33 males picked up (could well have been more) after a few counts from the car. Only 3 females and theses hid well.
 7 males near the Cow Green turn off - providing the closest views on this visit

And 15 males rested up just north of Langdon beck seen from on the St.Johns chapel rd. 

 Cow green
 Saturdays visit along the Don seems to have restored my belief - only the one really old 'glue- like' sign on this rock over a week ago and some great pics on the net of Water Vole sightings this week. Great local sightings along the Don wildlife wise.
The Green-winged teal at the flats on Saturday- closer!