Saturday, January 29, 2011
…followed by a bit of…
And then on the way home, I called at the pub again (it’s on the way home, honest!)
Thursday, January 27, 2011
So I’m up early, but my planned early departure is delayed until I can get to the Royal Mail sorting office to collect a couple of parcels, 3 new books to read.
I leave here and head to Harwood (again). I want to try and record Crossbill singing, and again, I heard them, but failed to record the song. I did get some nice flight calls and a bit of courtship. The male was sitting higher than the female, with both birds calling and plenty of wing flicking, but no song...
One of the benefits of the long walk into the forest was that I saw the Great Grey Shrike. No pictures I’m afraid, the light was very poor, in fact it was snowing very lightly almost continually when I was in the forest and the bird was too far off (plus the fact I didn’t take the camera with me!).
I head back via Morpeth, where I have another look for Hawfinch and this time I connect. I took a picture as well, it seems to be just as bad as all the other pictures I’ve seen of this bird
And then it’s homeward bound with a stop at the pub on the way. The pub being the Burton House in Cramlington and only because it has Waxwing in the car park; at least 60 this afternoon.
Ian suggested on Monday that I would get some recordings here, sadly it’s far too noisy, with buses and lorries and just general road noise, I need to find some somewhere nice and quiet!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
…and in the absence of suitable habitat, Snow Bunting have been known to use the next best thing…
…I did, however, fail miserably at finding Hawfinch at Morpeth. Apparently they are still there, I’ll just have to go back!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A bit of a mammal day today, a Fox trying to get itself killed under my car on the A1, another catching voles at Harwood, a Brown Hare, a Roe Deer and two Grey Squirrel at Beacon Hill, I appreciated them all apart from the grey’s.
Stopping early this morning to get robbed at the pumps, a Song Thrush was in full song at Annitsford, spring is on it’s way.
Beacon Hill was on the agenda and it did not disappoint, with lots of birds having a bit of a tune up in readiness for the spring that is just around the corner…
I managed to get close to a Great Tit and it performed well
From here to Harwood where a Coal Tit was very obliging and while here a couple of Crossbill flew over. I saw many more and managed to record one singing but by this time the wind had increased and I am unable to remove the wind noise, so I’ll just have to go back and try again.
Heading back towards the coast, a text from Ian confirmed that the Red-necked Grebe was showing well, so I headed to the South Harbour at Blyth for a go myself, alas it was not to be. A call from Ian gave the gen, that the bird was doing a circuit and only occasionally coming close. It did come close when I was there, but I was looking directly into the light and by the time I had repositioned it was swimming back out into the middle of the harbour…
and, no prizes, it’s not a mystery, what do you think? (hover over the image for a clue)
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I won’t be going…
All pictures from Japan, Honshu and Hokkaido
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
There, I said it, it’s off my chest, but it still makes me feel dirty!
And to cap it all I didn’t see the bird…
I went to Widdrington Old Tip, for a look at the Redpoll flock, that has a bit of all sorts in it, only today it didn’t appear to have the Arctic Redpoll. Plenty of Common “Mealy” Redpoll, Mike estimated 40 birds, a good number of Lesser Redpoll as well and hundreds of Siskin. I did take some pictures today that looked sort of ok in the camera, but when I looked at them on the computer, I just dumped the lot, they were poor.
Leaving Widdrington I went to Cresswell with Alan and Roger and we spent a pleasant afternoon in the hide, the highlight here being a Merlin that tried hard more than once to catch a Dunlin.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
“Feliz Ano mon amigo”
I received this by text yesterday from Steve, which my (very) limited Spanish translates as “Happy New Year, my friend”, however SpanishDict gives it as “mon friend happy new year”, with a machine translation of “happy anus mon friend”!!!
Well, actually yes, its happy (I think)
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Not too bad, up before first light and out for a walk along the beach, going north to Stag Rocks (one of the benefits of staying overnight in Bamburgh). Today the sea was rough, so none of the good stuff seen by Stewart yesterday was spied today.
The honours for first bird of the year go to Great Black-back Gull.
Leaving Bamburgh I head to Budle Bay where the tide was very high and I was back into a spot where I could get a signal for my phone, which then started getting texts at an alarming rate, all of them from late last night, saying something along the lines of “happy new year”, so after responding in kind, I gave the bay a scan, seeing yesterdays Greenshank as one of the closest birds. Most of the birds were way, way off in the distance.
Leaving here I head back South, doing the normal coast trip on the way. At Embleton, I stopped briefly for five Waxwing, before they were flushed by two old guys out for a walk (they flew south, the Waxwings, not the guys!) From here it was just a steady drive back home, not stopping anywhere for long, and not getting out of the car, I had the wrong sort of clothes on for birding in a cold northerly wind!
Good birding in 2011, Happy New Year to all