Sunday, 18 September 2011

The past couple of days

I've been working on a roof with my dad all week down on the seafront, the promising winds on Friday had me out on Rocky Island on Saturday morning, where I bumped into  BrianB. He'd had a good sea-watch. Myself and BD continued on to check the island for migrants, which consisted of a single male Stonechat, and a Wheatear which I missed.

The dene was the next location on the cards, only Blackcap, a few Bullfinch and a Tit party with a few Willow Warbler and Chiff Chaff here. Towards the pond the Beehive flash was quiet.

Not until I reached the pond at 12:00 did things begin to liven up. BrianB was already in the Public hide on my arrival. Not long after I sat down a couple of Ruff headed into the the Bay, but never had the chance to land as they were chased off by a Jackdaw, unfortunate. It was clear the ponds wildfowl had recently had a boost, with 37 Wigeon, 26 Teal, 11 Tufted, and a few Pochard present, it seemed to give a new life to the quiet pond. The number of Black Headed Gulls, and the 400+ Lapwing moving between fields and pond to bathe helped add to this lively feeling. 

BD had arrived, and soon got his eye onto a strange looking bird over the far side of the pond which had us all stumped, until it gave a better view being chased by a couple of Black Headed Gulls. It was a Cockatiel! The Gulls and corvids drove it into the willows by the public hide, were it voiced it disapproval loudly for the rest of the afternoon. 

The Cockatiel's lyme light had soon been pinched as a stunning Spotted Redshank graced the shores. It fed solely on small fish, catching quite a number and staying for a good few hours, plenty time for SP to get down and see it.

Back home for a quick tea and I was out again with Stephen, heading for Peter's patch, in search of Owls. We weren't disappointed. The pleasure of 3 Long-Eared Owls, and up to 8 Short-Eared Owls gave brilliant views from arrival, the rest of the night was spent filming their antics, and chatting with a few familiar and unfamiliar faces. A great evening, not to be forgotten.

This morning a quick look for Little Owls proved fruitless, but Holywell added a Dunlin to it shore.

Tonight and the Owls were revisited, this time with my dad, Stephen and Phil. Again they didn't disappoint. Here's a short bit of footage, you can hear the mass of local photographers in the background! Excused the focus at some points, these beautiful birds are difficult to keep track of manually, although I am getting better :)

Best viewed in HD

Monday, 12 September 2011

Ornamentally nice

Best viewed in HD

Bit of a breeze

Just back from the pond, which must have seemed more like the sea to its inhabitants. The wind was creating some substantial waves and spray, pushing most into the sheltered bays.
515+ Black Headed Gulls were all squeezed in the public hide bay, joined by 3 Lesser Black Backed Gull, 1 Great Black Backed, 3 Herring Gull, and 2 Adult Med Gull (one ringed). 33 Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese and the Bar-Headed Goose were also sheltering in the bay, also a lone Lapwing, a Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Heron and 27 Jackdaw.

8 Pochard (5 male, 5 female), 10 Tufted (5 male, 5 female), 20+ Teal, and 5 Coot braved the waves.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Geese at the Pond

Went down to the pond for a late evening visit tonight, to see what was coming in to roost. The Geese numbers have recently grew with 106 birds present this evening, 41 Canada, and 64 Greylag and a single Bar-Headed Goose which has been around since yesterday. It won't be long until the Pink-Footed Geese are back on patch. 

A single shoddy image for you.

Also present were 14 Curlew and 13 Lapwing, both flocks left before us, with the Curlew heading East and Lapwing South.

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Sluice

I'm back in the country now, the Switzerland trip was great, we were lucky with the weather and I seen three new lifers, Nutcracker, Crag Martin, and a Middle Spotted Woodpecker (which may be the first recorded at that site).

This morning I had a wander down to the Sluice end of the Dene, on arrival the Burn was deprived of life, the regular Rooks, Jackdaws and Woodpigeon overhead was all about. It wasn't until I reached a large patch of Elder and Hawthorn covered in berries when things began to liven up. 6 Blackbirds, a single Robin, a Dunnock, 2 Blackcap, 4-5 Bullfinch including immature birds, and a steading stream of a large mixed Tit flock, including Coal Tit, Willow Warbler, and Chiff Chaff were all feeding in the area.

On the way back I bumped into this character hunting in the grass.

Double click on images for a better view.