Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A media assignment is lurking just around the corner so I got my finger out and headed down to Old Hartley on Sunday (and Monday) to photograph Fulmars. The light was brilliant and the birds performed, I think the images needed had be gained, although a visit to St Bee's Head is on the cards for tomorrow.

Red House Farm produce another unexpected visitor in the form of two Canada Geese, 2 Chiff Chaff were also present. Walking Ruby to the car boot produced massive numbers of butterflies, 18 Small Tortoiseshell, 15+ Peacock, and a single Comma.

Tonight a drive down to Oddendale Quarry felt like something I needed to do, its the site of a massive Black Headed Gull colony. It didn't disappoint.

Just a few more assignments, a couple of exams, and patch birding can again continue.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The record shot of the White-Tailed Eagle at Preswick Carr, taken on 01/04/2010.

Yesterday I was down at Holywell at 16:30, the air and water was calm after a rainy day. Firstly I walked around to the North Pool, due to the possibilty of some Barnacle Geese, 160+ Greylag Geese were present, along with 3 Barnacle Geese, 8 Shelduck, 3 Redshank, 8 Curlew and a number of Lapwing.

Back on the pond, the lone female Goosesander was still present, along with 2 male Shoveler, 11 Wigeon, 2 male and 1 female Gadwall, 23 Tufted, 1 male Pochard, 2 Mute Swan, 15 Mallard, 1 Common Gull, 3 Little Grebe, 4 Coot, 2 Moorhen and the feeding station regulars.

This afternoon I had a drive up to Druridge to catch up with Great White Egret in the budge fields, bumped into SL as I was walking along, he told me that he'd just been watching a female Peregrine took into a Teal. It was a nice sunny evening a lovely way to spend it watching the elegant white bird feeding in the pools.

I'm off on Duke of Edinburgh Gold for the next five days, should be fun, will update on return.
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Friday, 2 April 2010

The past few weeks ...

Just a few of my highlights over the past month or so to get blog up to speed and running regularly again.


16 Whooper Swans overhead at Great Mell Fell


Visit Little Salkeld area, really enjoyed it, I will be back. Highlights, 30+ Golden Plover, 35+ Tree Sparrow, and a Red Squirrel.


Tawny Owl calling at 07:15 just outside of campus window.

2 Bullfinch at Gilwilly Pond

200+ Siskin Greystoke Forest


Walked the campus fields, 4 singing Yellowhammers, 2 Pair Grey Partridge, and 2 Brown Hare.


Had a trip to Haweswater with Ewan the Geltsdale Wildlife Warrior, weather was like pea soup. Birds of note, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Dipper, 1 Female Goosesander, 1 Drake Goldeneye.


Female Sparrowhawk flew past campus kitchen window with Blackbird sized prey.


6 singing Yellowhammer at Backworth


9 Lesser Black Backed Gull at Cramlington


Went to Holywell highlight of a Female Goosesander


Walk down Holywell Dene, highlight a pair of Grey Wagtail


Chiff Chaff seen in hedgerow on carboot


6 Yellowhammer singing again at Backworth


8 singing Yellowhammer and 2 Grey partridge at Backworth


1 Singing Chiff Chaff Brierdene


3 Chiff Chaff singing at Stocksfield


Spent a day with Brian the Killy Birder, check his blog for a write up with pictures :). Was a good day.

Also report of WT Eagle got me down to Preswick car but too late missed it.


Met Phil the Crammy Birder at 10:30, first stop Preswick Carr, after 5-10 minutes we picked up WT Eagle over Plantation by Mayfair House being mobbed by Buzzards. It flew overhead at about 30 metres and looked down upon us, it was amazing, such a huge bird. We watched it for 10-15 minutes before it moved off over towards Dobbies. (will get the record shot up tomorrow)

We continued on to pick the Common Crane up at Eshott, opposite Shaw Farm.


This morning I was up at Harwood with my dad and a mate. No sign Great Grey Shrike, but plenty Crossbills.

The blog will be back to normal from now.