Sunday, 23 January 2011

Forgotten Tick

I haven't been able to use my lap top for a while due to a problem with the wireless connection but after receiving a new box last week I'm happy to report I'm up and running again.

Hunting through some old photos I came across this delightful bird which I had totally forgotten about. It was taken down near Castle Island on the River Wansbeck 23rd June 2009 and I believe it to be a Lesser White Throat which takes my all time list to 112.

Delighted to add this beauty to my list and all though I remember being hassled by the flies this little cracker didn't seem to mind.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Two Knot or not Two Knot that is the question?

Popped to Cresswell today to discover a deserted beach and these two delightful birds on the rocks. These and 1 Oystercatcher were the only feathered friends that I saw on land which is unusual for Cresswell.

Then I was baffled by what they actually were and proceeded to try and get an ID photo to look at when I got home. Armed with a cuppa and a Marks and Spencers Scone I hunted out my bird books and came to this rather long conclusion......

First thought ....Dunlin....they have a bit of a dark patch on the belly, fairly common winter visitor to coastal areas, so maybe....nope wrong...beak to short and wrong shape, only shows dark patch in summer.

Second thought......Grey Plover....hmm maybe but unsure if they are common in the North East in Winter as book says Jul -Nov and Apr - May but a common winter visitor to some areas, so conflicting evidence there. Its a possibility.

Third thought.....Knot....Looks to be the right colour, beak about the right size and shape, didn't get a good enough look at the legs to see if they are Green / Grey but are a common winter visitor, so it looks promising.

Now if they are Knot I have a new tick which would be great but if they are Grey Plover then that's great as well as I've only seen 1 bird before and that had to be pointed out to me, so either way it's OK.
A few Cormorant and Eider Ducks were seen just off the shore and Gulls were dotted here and there. All in all a great afternoon and I've had a cracking time as always trying to ID the little blighters. Even if I am totally wrong still a lovely afternoon.

Hubby didn't get any photo's today despite the weather forecast saying it was to be a sunny afternoon but I was quite happy with my snapshots.
As always comments much appreciated.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Seaside Sanderlings

This morning on the way to Morpeth for my weekly scone trip to Marks and Spencers (highly recommended) a huge Buzzard landed on the fence just in front of the car, pitty I didn't have the camera with me as it was really close by and quite some size with all the feather marking clearly visable and quite stunning.
Later in the day hubby and I popped down to chilly Blyth Harbour to be met by some Mute Swans looking for something to eat. Redshank and Oystercatchers were in large numbers on the Cambois side of the harbour and a group of 6 Eider ducks 3 females and 3 immature males swam by.
We later headed to Blyth beach for a quick walk along the shore and spotted a few Sanderlings at the tide line despite the number of dog walkers disturbing the peace they hung around for quite a while. At least 20 Cormorants passed by and landed just inside the harbour mouth and started to fish, which was quite fascinating to watch. Loads of Gulls were here and there and I spotted at least 3 Black Backed Gulls amongst the Black Headed variety. With my cheeks starting to freeze and Marks and Spencers scone calling me to go home we headed off home after a canny trip to the seaside.