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
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.

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.



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. 

Short Eared Owl
 Marsh Harrier
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.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Kingfisher on the Rocks

Went to Bradbury to collect a couple of bags of bird seed this morning and on the way back we stopped at Bishop Middleham to see the Long-tailed Duck that has been there for a couple of days. From there we went over to Hartlepool Headland, here we were checking out the Purple Sandpipers on Parton Rocks when we saw the blue flash of a bird flying past, it circled round and landed very briefly before flying off again.............didn't expect to see a Kingfisher flying over the sea but it did brighten up our day!

Kingfisher at Parton Rocks
Kingfisher in the waves
Purple Sandpiper
Long-tailed Duck at Bishop Middleham