Monday, February 13, 2012
Out today with Alan and we start by heading inland. First stop was Bolam Lake, where there were no Brambling to be seen. We did however, have a fly over Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker’s drumming, more than one singing Nuthatch and this Great Tit.
Also here, two Grey Squirrel, deep into former Red Squirrel country (we don’t see any)
We leave here and head to a spot that is north of Bolam, south of Hartburn, west of Meldon and east of Middleton. I would say exactly where, but the woman who lives there, who gave us a guided tour, does not wish the location public! Anyway just off the road, is an un-harvested field of oil seed rape and the birds are lovin’ it! We had Goldfinch and Linnet, 200-ish of each, 150 plus Tree Sparrow, 60 Chaffinch, 50 plus Reed Bunting and 6 Brambling being the pick of the best.
A brief stop at Angerton Lake gave this Blue Tit.
On the lake is a single Whooper Swan, sadly with a broken wing. I’ll bet that this bird is included, when the bird race season starts, it’s going nowhere!
We carry on and go to Harwood village. The feeders are quiet as there is a Sparrowhawk sitting on the fence watching and waiting. A Jay is heard, but no Green Woodpecker…
Up the road at Harwood Heads, these male Crossbill were singing nicely.
Further on, a stop at Billsmoor gave us a look at thirty-three Fallow Deer, this is with the point n shoot.
So we head onto the ranges, the roads are open, no flags are flying and we find this Great Grey Shrike!
Not expected, it set the pulses racing. An excellent bird! Also up here are 2 pair of Stonechat. Nice to see that the last two hard winters hasn’t killed off the upland birds.
From here we just have a steady drive back, racking up the Buzzards as we go, by the end of the day we have seen 23! Not bad for Northumberland. We end the day at Prestwick Carr with six Short-eared Owl’s.
During the day we had a pair of Peregrine, doing what they do at this time of the year. She was even doing a bit of house keeping.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
A day out in the county’s west was today’s plan. The weather was a concern, but I had no problems. In fact there was more snow on the coast than on the Pennines! (and not as much as the Southern Softies are complaining about)
This female Black Grouse, was one of ten seen today. The two males that I saw were too far off for pictures.
Further up the hill, Red Grouse were displaying. These two were a pair. I had seen him and when I stopped to take pictures, she appeared out of the heather.
I had just turned the car around to try for a picture of a grouse close to the the road, when I got my eye onto a Peregrine coming up the hill. At the last moment it took a dive at the same grouse I wanted pictures of! The grouse ducked and when the Peregrine turned for another go, the grouse ducked again and then shot off low over the moor. The Peregrine can’t have been too hungry, because it just missed on the first go.
On the way back I stopped at Whittle Dene, where the three Green Sandpiper’s are still in residence.
And then at Prestwick Carr, two Short-eared Owl gave a nice end to the day