Friday, 29 April 2011

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Hauxley Nature reserve was our port of call yesterday morning and was delighted to get a possible 2 ticks in one day. A cracking morning was spend scanning the pond from the hides and also the fields around the reserve where the warden was telling us 4 Heron were nesting with 12 chicks hatched.
My first Tick (I hope) is of this Partridge, I have seen Red Legged Partridge before but I think these 2 are Grey Partridge....I came to this conclusion by the lack of white on its neck and also the rusty colour on its head. A hare was seen running along the top of the field which was nice. We headed to the first hide spotted Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Widgeon, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Mute Swan Redshank Mallard and hopefully Tick number 2.
I think these Geese are Pink Footed..... The bill isn't as bright as the Greylag and the necks seem a bit more stumpy. The only thing putting me off is that my book says that they are a winter visitor so if they are Pink Footed Geese then why are they here, Birds and books can be confusing hehe

Also on the ponds were what I think are Gadwell, These ducks have been pointed out to me before so it's not a tick but it will be a positive ID if I'm right. Scanning my bird book Gadwell and Pochard are the only ducks I could see with the Black rump, so fingers crossed I'm right.

On the way back to the car a beautiful Whitethroat was spotted in the trees lining the path and sat and sung it's little heart out. I have seen Common Whitethroat at Castle Island, Ashington and thought they were the Lesser variety but my gut feeling is that this one is a Common Whitethroat but still a cracking bird who was very obliging and photogenic.
Also spotted were Coot Moorhen Long Tailed Tit, Tree Sparrow (I think) ohh and not forgetting the family of Rats which apparently visit the bird feeders, ahhh I hate rats
A good morning out and as always comments and suggestions always welcome.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Grumpy Birders

My sister (complete birding novice) and I popped to Cresswell today to see if the Avocets were about and to our delight 2 were asleep on the sandbank. Also bobbing about were Teal, Coot, Lapwiong, several Cormorant, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, a few Widgeon, Oystercatchers and Greylag Geese all in plenty of numbers. A Ring Plover dropped by for a short while and a few Heron were dotted about.

There were a few experienced birders in the hide today and were having a good time discussing what they kept seeing popping up from the grass, when my sister and I popped over to see what all the fuss was about they shut up and didn't move so we couldn't see but hay ho some people are just grumpy. HAHA they missed a fab photo opportunity of this cracking (what I think is a ) Sedge Warbler

After pointing out a few birds we headed to Druridge bay where we had the right side hide to ourselves and no grumpy people to bother us. Pretty quite on the pond with Tuffted Ducks, Mallards, Coot, Moorhen and Geese dotted about. We came across this Grumpy Greylag Goose chasing away what I first thought were Red Breasted Mergansers but on closer inspection I beleive them to be Goosander. The bill has a hook at the end where as the Mergansers have what looks to be a longer bill and straight. I've only ID'd a Goosander once before so a cracking find although they are quite common.

We popped into the left hand side hide and immediately saw some type of wader on the far side of the flash, scanning my book as well as trying to keep them in view was no easy task, they were far away but I tried desperately to get a picture but all I got was a brown smudge. A guy popped in for 5 minutes and said he thought they were a couple of Ruff, but he wasnt sure, pitty would of been a tick if I could of gotten a possitive ID. Never mind might pop back at the weekend and see if they are still hanging about.

Cracking afternoon and my sister is hooked.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cresswell Does it again

Its great to get out and about agin after a terrible virus and cresswell was my port of call today and boy was I not dissapointed. The Beautiful Avocets were feeding nicely and is a tick for me. I have tried on several occasions to catch a glimpse of these birds and failed but today I was lucky enough to spot 2 of the 4 which are hanging around the Cresswell pond. Great.

Also spotted were Black headed Gull, Lapwing, Teal, Coot, Swallow, Mallard, Tufted Duck Pied Wagtail, A lone Mute Swan, Magpie and Cormorant.

On the sand bank next to the hide a pair of

Sandwich Terns were doing a mating dance of sorts before getting down to business to an audience of several Shelduck, Lapwing and Redshank.

The warm weather is a welcome sign of more birds to come, Wheatear have been spotted at Hauxley along with some Common Tern and I'm sure I spotted a Stonechat on the way to the hide today.

Its good to see my first Swallow of the season and I can't wait till the House Martins are back in the street.

At leat 20 Shelduck were dotted about the pond today and they were showing their fabulous coulous really nicely in the sun. Absoloutly stunning. A good hours birding before tea and a fab way to end the day. Hoping to get out more at the weekend and maybe head up to Dunstanburugh Castle to see if the Fulmars and Kittiwakes have arrived.