Sunday, 11 October 2009

Alwinton and back again

Yesterday was the Alwinton show and with no kids in tow we made an early start to get some photo's and birding in before heading there for about 12ish. We stopped just shy of Rothbury for Mike to do some faffing about with his camera and I wandered down a lane to see what birds I could see. 3 Robins 2 Geese (flying) and a bunch of Jackdaw was about it. Plenty of bird song which was nice though. We made one more stop on the way just out side of Rothbury where I saw some Phesants in the fileld.

After the show which was good by the way we headed back to Morpeth the long way down small back roads which was a really nice drive. I was jumping about the car when we passed a field with Pheasants and little odd birds, I shouted to stop and turn around which paid dividends in the end. My first guess at the odd birds was Grouse or some game bird and I was pointing at them dotted around the field for Mike to try and get a picture, but these birds were very skittish and were off like a shot, legs going 50 to the dozen. I still didn't know what it was till I got home and zoomed in on the pictures and I can safely say it's a tick for me... a Red Legged Partridge.. A delightful little bird. Still on a high we continued our drive and just outside of Elsdon we saw a Buzzard, unfortunately it was right in the sun so no good photo's unfortunately.

We passed a couple of fields where 3-4 Kestrels were hunting, of course we stopped the car and had a go at getting a photo or two but they were quite high or in the sun so it proved quite difficult, we finally managed to get a decent enough one to post, this bird was successful and flew away with it's lunch.
Near to Hartburn there is a lake and Mike was off faffing about again and I got out my binoculars. Now at this point you must be aware that I have a very real fear of cows..they always seem to want to charge at me..anyway in the field between the lake and the car there was a group of vicious cows so bearing in mind I didn't want to get too close to the fence I started scanning the lake for anything interesting. To my delight I spotted some Whooper Swans and another tick for me, I know they are not rare or anything but for me to be able to tell them apart from the other swans was a bit of a thrill. 3 were quite happy swimming about the reeds and doing what swans do. Also on the lake were Mute Swans Coot and Mallards. As I scanned back down the lake I got the shock of my life when a cows head appeared in the binoculars, I must admit I did scream and of course I have had the micky taken out of me for scaring myself. All in all a wonderful day with 2 ticks and fish and Chips for tea.


  1. Sorting the swans yourself Michelle is what its all about, great stuff, I'm sure it will lead to more successes...

  2. Thanks Stewart for the vote of confidence,Mike thought they were geese but out came the book and I spent 5 minutes or so talking about beaks and the difference, funny but good