Sunday, 29 March 2009

2 Ticks today

After the blustery day yesterday we decided to visit the ponds in the local area starting off at Lynemouth where we were lucky enough to see 2 shelducks, Black headed Gulls, Redshank, and Pied Wagtails. Just off the pond shore line there was at least 20 Jackdaw so we had a good start to the day. Further along the road we spotted what Mike thought was a Kesterel perched on a pole at the side of the road but I thought it was a bit on the large side so a heated debated followed. It flew away before I could get my bird guide out, pitty it didn't hover over the filed that would of sorted it out, never mind. We saw a few Stonechats along the way which was nice.
We drove along the coast to Druridge beach where I was lucky enough to identifify (tick number 1) Sanderlings dashing in and out of the water. Mike managed to get a photo and I think these are the funniest little birds. The photo shows just a handful of the 50 or so that were on the shore line. A definate favorite and very surprised they hung around for so long considering I was just about jumping up and down with excitement. If these little birds are not Sanderlings please leave a commet otherwise I will never learn hehhe.
Next we headed to the 2 hides at Druridge where we saw a Lapwing, a Heron a few Teal and Wigeon. There was a few Mallards and to my delight we spotted a couple of Robin bobbing about in the bushes. We were extremely lucky to see the Otter and sat quite happily watching it for a good 20 minutes or so. It was a treat to see and I am still buzzing from the excitement. My 14 year old lesser spotted teenager who stayed at home today was gutted to of missed out on the opportunity to see this wonderful mammal and is extremely gealous. We will undoubtedly return in the next few weeks.
I thought our day was coming to an end when we decided to check out Linton Ponds, a place we have never been to before and less than a 5 minute drive from my house. I was pleasently surprised to find loads of birds, ducks and Swans on the ponds. The list begins with a few Coots and quite a few Moorhens on the little island and the Tuffted Ducks diving here and there. There was quite a few Gulls on the shore and a couple of Mute Swans swimming by themselves. Canada Geese were plentiful and to my delight (tick number 2) a lonesome Barnacle Goose which was swimming with the Greylags. I did have to look twice and consult my bird guide and there it was, a definate tick so my day was complete. We headed home after a cracking day.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Cresswell & Druridge

Whilst shopping at Killingworth this weekend my hubby and I popped over to the lake but to my dismay I did't have my binoculars in the car, typical as I was keen to see the Great Crested Grebe. Never mind, I din't give up and we headed past the Swans, Coots and Canada Geese that were hounding us for food and peered out over the lake. I think I saw the Grebe diving way off shore but without my binoculars I didn't count it as a tick. Never mind next time.

Today we had a coupe of hours to spare between lunch and being a taxi service for my 17 year old 'larger spotted whinging teenager' so we headed off to Cresswell rocks which was a wash with Curlew, this picture was taken the other day as my photographer hubby was off photographing the rock formations. Never mind there was plenty of Oystercatchers, Redshanks and I am sure I saw a Ringed Plover but it was a quick glance before it popped behind a rock. We then headed off to the ponds between Cresswell and Druridge to find the rickety old hide replaced with a new one. I was quite comfortable despite the wind blowing a gale. I counted at least 12 Heron on the far bank plenty of Lapwing and my favourite Wigeon which were happliy feeding not far from the hide. I was soon joined by a lovely couple who were obviously experienced birders and they spotted a couple of Snipe, they showed me where they were and even let me look through there scope but alas they popped behind the reeds and I didn't get my tick. Never mind I did spot the Shoveler, Teal, Mallard and Black Headed Gulls. I saw what looked like a Redshank but couldn't get a good look at the colour of the legs. I was still straining to identify it when the lady said she saw a Greenshank, after looking it up in my bird guide I am happy to get a tick even though I didn't identify it myself. The bird was very obliging by coming closer to the hide just as my hubby and daughter popped in after their walk along the beech. It was a good couple of hours, fingers got numb, face was stiff with the cold but I could of quite happily sat for another hour or so because there was so much to see and record.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Newbiggin Beach

I popped over to Newbiggin Beach this afternoon with my husband who ended up being my personal photographer because apparently the sky was too flat for photographs what ever that means!!!!!. Also tagging along was my lesser spotted teenager who was constantly whinging in my ear, but overall it was good to get out and about again. My sightings today included; Redshank this one just around the corner from Church Point, Black Headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and a couple of Cormorants just off the shore. I was delighted when I thought I had identified a Snipe through my not so good binoculars and was busy looking through my bird guide when it flew away. To my horror when we got back and down loaded the images I was proved wrong once again and the bird was deinately not a Snipe but a most fabulous Curlew. Never mind I was wrong this time but at least I had a good time trying to look through my binoculars whilst balancing my bird guide on my knee and in my defence it was quite far away. All you experienced birders are probably having a hoot at my expense but well I laugh with you because I have made some blunders and no doubt will make loads more.

Other sightings included a Heron, I have seen a Heron on this stretch of beach once before so it obviously likes it here and I am sure I saw a Turnstone just of the shore on a rock. Didn't get a good look and the photo didn't come out but last time I was at Newbiggin was on Boxing Day and I identified my very first Turnstone just around the corner from Church Point, so I am pretty sure of this one. Back to work on Monday, can't wait till the Easter holidays when I plan to get out and about a lot more.