Monday, 31 December 2012

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Just a quick blog note to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas ..........have a cracking time no matter what or where you are doing it .........................happy birding!!


and a couple of Kestrel pictures.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Black-throated Diver still at the Marina

Called briefly at Hartlepool marina on Sunday just as the BT Diver flew in, it gave some close views before it flew back out to sea after being disturbed by several dinghy's.


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Back in Action

Can't believe it is about three weeks since our last post, but it has been quite quiet of late and also Mick is now back at work so he can't get out as much.  We did however manage to take a trip up to Crookfoot Reservoir today where we located the Red Head Smew in the distance and then had a fly by of a Peregrine which kept putting up the Teal.  We then headed down to the Headland where the Med Gull was in it's usual location on the rocks and lots of Common Scoter were near the sea wall.  At the Marina the Black Throated Diver was showing well. 

Black Throated Diver
Med Gull
Common Scoter
A definate Goldeneye on this bird!
Lunchtime for this Purple Sandpiper
Peregrine Falcon

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Only Quiet at Leighton Moss

Marsh Harrier

Went on the local RSPB trip to Leighton Moss on Sunday, arrived at 1030 which put paid to seeing the Bearded Tits which usually move away from the grit trays before then. Walked from the RSPB centre to the Eric Morcombe hide but it was fairly quiet here with Spotted Redshank showing in the distance, Merlin passing through, although plenty of Pintail and other commoner species here. Back at the Centre, the hides were overcrowded and difficult to see much. Left the area at 3.30 and that was about it for the day. Nice coach though!!

Marsh Harrier
Pintail
Red breasted Merganser
Marsh Tit

Monday, 12 November 2012

Scandinavian Invasion

The Waxwing invasion has reached our area with regular sightings. The birds are not settling as well as they have done in past years but the numbers are far higher than we have seen for years. Have been checking the flocks for leg rings but up to date have not found any as yet. The feeding habits of one our local flocks is a bit strange too, the birds appear to be feeding on sap around leaf buds rather than eating berries.
On Saturday when we were having a trip to Helmsley we came across a Jackdaw with white markings on its neck suggesting it is of the Nordic variety.........only had the standard lens on the camera at the time but did manage a couple of shots. The North York moors have big numbers of Fieldfares feeding on worms in the upland fields. The local Red Grouse population has also grown their white winter 'socks' ready for winter.

Waxwing
Sparrowhawk (watching the Waxwing flock)
Bullfinch eating the Waxwings berries
Meadow Pipit
Red Grouse
Nordic Jackdaw

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bee-eater in the rain!!

Got the chance of a trip to see the Bee-eater today (thanks Col), when we arrived the magnificent bird was sat in a tree at the road side giving outstanding views in the drizzle. The bird only moved when feeding on a diet of wasps which it expertly caught and devoured, eating at least 10 in the time we were there.........definitely won't be going hungry. We then tried for the Little Bunting at Houghton-le-Spring but no luck and the heavy rain stopped play. On the way home we managed to spot about 40 Waxwing at Holy Trinity Rosehill school within 2 minutes of my home...........looks like a big movement of these into the country.

European Bee-eater

Monday, 5 November 2012

Fireworks at Stockton-on-tees

Change of scenery tonight as we headed to Stockton to see the firework display - which was brilliant.

Infinity Bridge - River Tees

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Waxwings - nice end to a quiet day.

Headed over to the North Tees area today, Marsh Harrier (fem) and Merlin in the area and Pintail on Dormans pool. Saltholme was quiet with a lone Redpoll in with a flock of Goldfinch. The Zinc Works road was devoid of any interesting birds. So.....we decided to call it a day and head off home, this was a good move as 'en route' home we discovered 3 Waxwings near to our home.

Waxwing

Goldfinch
Redpoll

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Raptor Fest

A much improved day weatherwise and it was good to get out for a walk on a calm day without the strong wind.  We got out early and found a Short Eared Owl sat on a fencepost at Holme Fleet with another flying close by.  A Kingfisher  flew past and a male Marsh Harrier was also over the marsh not far away.  The Great Grey Shrike was showing well along Greatham Creek, although always distant.  Two Barn Owls were perched on the box when we arrived  but soon disappeared into their home.  The Buzzard was also around but it too was always distant.  A Sparrowhawk did a fly by for us.  On seal sands there were good numbers of Grey Plover and Red Breasted Merganser. 

Kestrel
Short Eared Owl
 Marsh Harrier
Sparrowhawk
Great Grey Shrike
Barnacle Goose
Couldn't resist taking a picture of this flower making the most of the sunshine on such a cold day along Greatham Creek.