Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Lunch at Lakeside

Went for lunch to Lakeside Cafe at Ellerton Park near Scorton today.  Can thoroughly recommend the food there and it is a nice run out too with a good outdoor clothing shop and plant centre there.  On the way we walked down to Pepper Arden where there were lots of thrushes and small birds including Tree Sparrow with 4 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel over and Goldeneye on the lake.  There were not as many geese around Ellerton Park as we would normally see but there was a single Barnacle in amongst the Canada and Greylag.
 Stonechat - South Gare, Sunday
 Eider - South Gare, Sunday
 Buzzard - Pepper Arden
 Barnacle - Ellerton Park
Fox - Pepper Arden

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Suprise Auk

Went over to Hartlepool Headland for an hour this afternoon, alot quieter that it had been. The sea was very rough and a quick scan gave us distant views of 4 Little Auk taking shelter in the quieter water, they didnt stay around long and flew off north. On the beach a Brambling was feeding on the Samphire and was not bothered by us at all.

Little Auk
Common Scoter at Parton Rocks

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Fall Continues.

Long may it last.  There were birds galore in the misty conditions at South Gare today.  Goldcrest were plenty as were Robins and Redwings.  A small flock of twite graced the path near the parking area along with Reed Bunting and 2 Stonechat.  There were also Fieldfares, Linnet, Wren, 2 Female Blackcap and a single Black Redstart near the lifeguard station. Chiffchaff and Dunnock also with a flypast of a Red Throated Diver with a Kestrel taking the poor Goldcrest easily for it's lunch.  Poor things, travelling in these conditions to then be killed as they touched land. Life is cruel!
Black Redstart - (Poor quality due to the fog)

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Grand Day Out.

Sunday was a superb day, one of the best days of the year.  Blue skies, no wind and quite warm as well.  Quite quiet bird wise but a lovely run out with some grand views towards the Lake District.
Raby Castle
Grassholm Reservoir
Pennines on way to Tan Hill
Looking back towards the Lake District
We were not sure what this raptor was as it initially seemed much larger than a Merlin.
Any comments greatly appreciated.
What an experience this must be although Mick says he will never do it!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

What a good day.

We decided to head west today but were a bit worried it may be misty but it turned out to be a good day in more ways than one.  We stopped for coffee in the Stang where we had a fly over by a group of Crossbills.  Heading up to Shaw Farm next where we had 15 Black Grouse, Green Woodpecker and Raven.  On the way to Tan Hill there were Red Grouse and a group of seven Grey Partridge.  Travelling Down from Tan Hill we had a Buzzard on a crag and a further 8 Black Grouse.  Reaching the junction at Park House, Stonesdale Lane and the B6270 near the campsite there were 4 Black Grouse feeding in the tops of the trees and whilst we were checking out the Redwings low and behold a Ring Ouzel was feeding in a bush, we couldn't believe it, a great find for us.  We carried on to Kirkby Stephen and just before dark two Raven calling and tumbling above us.  A great end to a great day.  Roll on tomorrow!!
(We should have made more of an effort to photo the Red Legged we saw near Tan Hill then we would have had all the game birds.)
Black Grouse
Red Grouse
Grey Partridge

Friday, 19 October 2012

A few from this week.

Tried to get out and about to catch up with any remaining migrants but nothing of significance has lingered in our area, so here are a few pictures from around the patch.

Reed Bunting
Purple Sandpiper
Kittiewake (1st winter)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

An unexpected movement!

Our regular visit to Crookfoot produced a couple of female Goldeneye but nothing else of note, Hurworth Burn was quiet and the GGShrike reported yesterday had moved on. Checked out the old Steetley Works at Hartlepool and we didn't manage to find the Snow Bunting....................looked like being one of  'those days'. At the headland Borough gardens we found several Redwing which were our first of the year, then a Brambling showed followed by 3 more later. Then out of nowhere a steady fall of Goldcrests happened with a constant stream of birds over the coming couple of hours. A nice end to slow day.


Monday, 8 October 2012

Water, Water everywhere.

Well we managed to get up early - 6am on a Sunday!! and set off to go to Leighton Moss.  We went for petrol and the garage was shut so had to try and find petrol in Darlington.  Then we hit fog over Bowes Moor but eventually it cleared on the way down on the other side but low and behold think we went through a speed trap.  So if you head over that way watch out for yellow vans with a speed trap sign on the side, even at 8.15 on a morning.  Totally sickened me off I can tell you.
Anyway we arrived at Leighton Moss to find the paths still flooded so it was a good job we had our wellies.  The weather however was excellent and so were the birds.  We had a brilliant day watching the Bearded Tits and a Kingfisher
Bearded Tit
Autumn Leaves
Green Sandpiper
Spotted Redshank
Little Egret.