Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29 2012

Due to a request from work, for me to go back, today was my last day of holiday. To make the most of it, I did a replay of Sunday.

I think this Barn Owl had just finished a meal, and hadn't manged to get rid of the veg that came with the meat.
I'd had a Short-eared Owl even closer than the Barn Owl was, but failed miserably when it came to getting pictures.
The Cattle Egret was much easier to see, but still a long way off.


This Peregrine tried hard to catch a Fieldfare, tried but failed. It moved between half a dozen perches and still didn't settle.


As I left the Island, a Long-tailed Duck was again showing beside the causeway.
Apart from three different herds of Whooper Swan, I didn't see anything else of note on the way back.
Back to work tomorrow...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 27 2013

Today, it was twenty six years, three months and twenty nine days since the first Cattle Egret for Northumberland was found at Barrasford by Roger. It’s been a long time coming, but the second has now arrived and a few more saw this one than the first.

Of all the countries I've been to, the only place I haven’t seen Cattle Egret is Japan, but they do occur there. Because they are so common elsewhere, I have never twitched one in the UK, and never would have, unless it was in my home county. Today was that day

I picked up the finder of the first this morning and we headed for Holy Island, where it was quickly bagged, pressure off, county tick. Mostly seen badly wandering under trees in an inaccessible garden, we did have a stroke of luck as we walked down the Crooked Lonen. The one guy who has permission to visit the garden, was doing just that, and the egret took to the air…

…as did this Long-eared Owl.

This Kestrel was enjoying the warmth of the sun, sheltered from the freezing cold wind

Leaving the Island, we had the Twite flock at the Beal road ends, then on to Budle Bay, where there was a Little Egret. Next stop Stag Rocks, plenty of Purple Sandpipers, and one Slavonian Grebe. From here to Low Newton and the Black Redstart, which was too flighty to get any pictures of. And that was it, we were too cold, time to be in the car with the heaters on.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 19 2013

First light this morning, I was in the hide at Cresswell, two hours later I left having seen very little!

The Pink-footed Goose flock was just north of Druridge and that was all I saw, no other geese.

Chevington south pool was frozen but the north pool is open and that's where all the birds are, including a Smew.

While here a Diver (sp) came in from the sea and circled the north pool and then did the same over the country park where I lost sight of it, so thinking it may have landed I went to have a look. And I wish I hadn't bothered, it was soooo quiet. I’d had enough by then, homeward bound.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 16 2013

At last a rest day where I wasn’t working, or travelling, or drinking or suffering from the dreaded Norovirus bug!

It seems that, this year, everyone is doing some sort of challenge. So not to be out done and left out, I did my own today. It’s TTCEGNMTOHYFI, that’s the Take The Car Everywhere and Go No More Than One Hundred Yards From It challenge!

It has a very simple scoring system, today’s score was 4

It means nothing, it’s just a random number.

I started this morning nice and early on the causeway at Holy Island, an excellent place for this kind of challenge, as you don’t even have to get out of the car.

The car temperature gauge said it was –6 degrees as I left the house, steadily warming up during the day to +2 degrees. I felt cold only once, during a very nice sunrise…

Holy Island-P1010740Holy Island-P1010741

ice floe’s on the road

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From the car…

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit-8D3E4438Bar-tailed Godwit-8D3E4571

Grey Plover

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Whooper Swan

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Herring Gull

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Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck-8D3E4542Long-tailed Duck-8D3E4556

Further down the road on the way back, both Kestrel and Merlin were seen


the Merlin had been as close as the Kestrel was to the road, but my mode of travel spooked it down the hedge a bit


Budle Bay was surprisingly quiet, but Stag Rocks was canny. A Great Northern Diver, 6 Red-throated Diver, 3 Slavonian Grebe, 2 Fulmar, 40ish Common Scoter and 20ish Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck-8D3E4680

but just one Purple Sandpiper.

Approaching Seahouses, this beauty stopped me in my tracks…

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl-8D3E4690Short-eared Owl-8D3E4697

Eventually I end up at Cresswell, just as some bloke in a bright red coat gets out of his car to try and photograph the Pink-footed Goose flock, which was right next to the road. Needless to say most of the flock moved into the middle of the field, he then flushed the rest when he pulled up behind Ian’s car and got his telescope out to look at the birds; the dipstick was a birder!!!

Fortunately a small group close to my car didn’t flush…

Pink-footed Goose-8D3E4779Pink-footed Goose-8D3E4800

and so, at the end of the birding day, I had seen 73 species

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

So, that was Thailand.

Almost all of the preceding images were taken hand held at a high ISO and a slow shutter speed, so some of them are a little bit soft!

We, Andy, Bob, Muriel, Tom and me were guided through our adventure by Nick Upton of thaibirding.com 

We visited the Pak Thale and surrounding area, the superb Kaeng Krachan National Park and then after an internal flight North to Chiang Mia, we went to Doi Inthanon, Doi Ang Kang and Doi Lang

A great trip with good friends and an excellent guide.

I might have to go back, there is still plenty to see…

Zebra Dove


Zebra Dove-8D3E0289Zebra Dove-8D3E0331

Golden-throated Barbet


Golden-throated Barbet-8D3E3375Golden-throated Barbet-8D3E3378

Yellow Wagtail - thunbergi

Grey-headed Wagtail-8D3E0897
I think it’s thunbergi, Grey-headed Wagtail…

Wreathed Hornbill


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Wood Sandpiper


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White-throated Fantail


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White-tailed Robin


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