Friday, 31 December 2010

Last of the Year.

Went over the moors today and on to Helmsley for a coffee. It was pretty dull but managed to see two Dipper whilst walking around. The second being very obliging and managed to get some pretty decent photos from the car as it pottered about in the stream in the village. It was the first time we have ever sat and watched a Dipper at such close quarters and even sat listening to it singing its head off which is the first time we have ever actually heard a Dipper sing. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Time is running out.


The weather is terrible with fog, mist and general poor visibility which is hampering our bird watching, did manage a quick visit to Saltholme and caught up with the Bittern - a year tick for us - but time is running out to see anything else for this year.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Redwings galore.

Well the Redwings that have infiltrated our close and front garden finally made it into our small back garden which has a pyracantha loaded with berries. At one point this morning we had at least 15 of them either foraging around in the leaves in the front borders or on the bush in the back. It was a brilliant sight along with the mistle thrush which we had also today. This afternoon we had a run across to Sledale which was pretty bleak and devoid of any sort of life. This evening we watched the film 'Furry Vengenance' which was really funny if you have not yet seen it and another film I can thoroughly recommend is 'The Nativity' which again is also a great laugh and a must for anyone who works in a school. We definately need to improve our nativity performances at school from now on!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Water Rail and Woodcock.


Water Rail

Reed Bunting
Fox - Coatham Stobb
Song Thrush - Back Garden

Went for a walk to Saltholme today in the bitterly cold wind to try and catch up with the Bittern but failed dismally. There were a couple of Brambling feeding on the fruit outside the centre and a G.S. Woodpecker along with two Water Rail showing very well at the Wildlife Watchpoint. Along the Zinc Works road there were 3 Woodcock feeding along the fence by the stream although by this time the light was beginning to fade otherwise the shots would have been excellent. Yesterday we went for a walk with Ellie in her new Christmas coat around Coatham Stobb but it was very quiet apart from a lone Fox.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas to all.

My little friend
who visits every day

and one who has only visited the once - the Redwing.

Wishing everyone who reads our blog a very Merry Christmas. Tried all day to get some good shots of the Robin as it came to feed on dried mealworms and get drinks from our water barrell, which is surprisingly still flowing, but was disappointed at the results but have posted some anyway. When I was out shopping today bought some live maggots for him to enjoy for his Xmas dinner tomorrow. Hope he appreciates the efforts I went to to get them. Also had some Redwings in our shrubs and trees today which is a first for our garden. I have watched them over the past couple of days strip the trees at the end of our close bare of berries and they will probably move on now. Anyway going to prepare my vegetables now and get ready for tomorrow or should I say today as it is already midnight.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Little and Large

Long Eared Owl

Little Owl
Stock Dove
Reed Bunting

Water Rail
Decided to go to Saltholme today for a walk in the winter sunshine. There seemed to be Redwings everywhere from the minute we stepped out of the house. A few Waxwings were once again in the trees opposite our home on Upsall Grove in Fairfield. Plenty of Fieldfares and Redwings at Saltholme too along with a single Waxwing near the Bottom Tank. Two Water Rail were giving excellent views at the Wildlife Watchpoint and a Long Eared Owl giving excellent views also on the reserve. We then went on an owl hunt on the way home but only managed one other species, that being a Little Owl or should I say three in West Stockton at a very reliable site.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Feeding in the snow.

Buzzard eating prey

Brambling at Sutton Bank
Chaffinch in the snow

Nowhere to rest
Snow stone walls
Up to here knees in it.

Enjoying the berries
We decided to go and see how much snow was around the area and see what we could find in the process. We had a run up to Sutton Bank Visitor Centre which was very quiet in deed but plenty of snow around the centre, and plenty of small birds at the feeding station including at least 2 Brambling, it was very picturesque. Travelling from there down to Helmsley we came across a buzzard feeding on what we think was a stoat. Also nearby was a huge flock of birds which we could not identify as we could not find anywhere to stop but were small finch like birds of which there were hundreds. Did some shopping in Helmsley which was also very quiet and then drove back via Chop Gate which was a lovely run through the snow fields. All in all a very pleasant day out.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow, snow go away come back on Christmas Day!

Well we are getting a bit sick of this weather now. Wouldn't mind if the roads were clear, my school was closed - but it must be one of the only schools in the country still open, and I could go out birdwatching, but unfortunately I can't. We have had Waxwings in the school playground which I watch and show the children when we are out at playtime, they have been around for most of the week. Looking forward to the weekend when we can get out and about.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Old Moor.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Green Sandpiper

Grey Squirrel

Went on trip to Old Moor (Barnsley) RSPB reserve today and although it was fairly quiet we had an enjoyable time. Highlights being Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Repoll.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Waxwing's galore and a Red-necked too!

Waxwings at Port Clarence

Fieldfare at Chop Gate
Red-necked Grebe at Hartlepool Marina

Had a quick run over to Hartlepool marina to catch up with the Red-necked Grebe which was keeping it's distance. On the way back home we had a call from David to say there was 20 Waxwings in our close, just as we came across 3 Waxwings at Port Clarence. Later in the day came across loads of winter Thrushes feeding on Berries just near Chop Gate.