Saturday, 19 September 2009

(Cress)Well Spotted

Ticked the Spotty (sounds a bit rude!) at Cresswell this afternoon.  A fine specimen, feeding outside the hide, with a HG, BHGs, Knot, Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew and allegedly Greenshank (according to others, but I didn't get a blimp, more's the pity).  Plenty of Teal and Mallard and a Wigeon too.

A short sea watch off Snab Point saw Eiders and Guillemots on the water and plenty of juvenile Gannets travelling north above it, with the odd adult, Kittiwakes and common gulls.

Beagle And Bins(er)

Like a couple of searchers, Lils and I did an early turn around last night's venue, and it was a little more productive.  No Buzzards, but a Kestrel hovvering to the north of the new NF&R building, and over the other side of the access road from the building site entrance, at least two Chiffchaffs were chiffing and chaffing, as they do.  Hods of Woodies to the east, and likewise Jackdaws, and so to the ever decreasing flashes.  A couple of dozen BHGs were with three dozen Lapwings, two Dunlin and a Redshank.  Predictably, one or two Pied Wagtails were taking advantage of the ever increasing mud islands.  To the north of the Sub-Station, another Chiffy, and above it, House Martins.  On leaving, a flock of a dozen Long-tailed Tits flew in behind the entrance sign.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Once Upon A Time In The West (Hartford Industrial Estate)

I thought the title was appropriate, given my birding is in dire straits of late (Oh, the humour!  When will it end!!)

Skys alive with Swallows and House Martins, the odd woodie and a few corvids as we circled the flashes.  Several Pied Wagtails on the shoreline were accompanied by three Dunlin.  On the walk back along the access road, opposite the new fire station, two Common Buzzards left a tree and flew off north - which was nice!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Not Much To Tell

Tonight's amble around the usual stubble fields was thwarted by an over-diligent farmer who spent many an hour once the sun had gone down yesterday ploughing the fields over.  So this evening there was no chance of any sprawk action, nor a repeat of Wednesday dusk's two Kestrels v two Crows 'dogfight', which gave excellent views of the former as they were only about ten feet from the ground, so almost eye-level for me.  This evening, West Hartford was the destination for One Man And His Dog.  Although it was beautifully cool and clear, with a picturesque sunset, the bird life was negligible.  A dozen or so House Martins over the Sub-Station, a Skylark too, and on the flash, a few Pied Wagtails.  There is now more mud than water.  Definately all quiet on the West Hartford front!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Turned Out Nice Again!

Left the bins in the back of the car at work (hire car brought home ready for an early start tomorrow).  Mistake.  One of my favourite birds is the sparrowhawk and we have one or two that frequent my garden feeders in sunny Cramlington.  On Sunday evening, I was in the sunroom and a male flew over the garden wall, and along the bushes (forsythia.buddleia etc) and then a very sudden right turn and it landed on a peanut feeder.  After 10 seconds of flapping around, it made off the way it came.  So, either, the sudden right turn occurred because it happened to see the feeder at the last minute (the feeder was devoid of any potential prey - bird or mouse), or, the sprawk knew where the feeder was and took a chance at surprising any meal that might have been there.  I favour the latter, but if anyone knows better, let me know.  So this evening, me and the trusty beagle (who has aspirations one day of being as famous as Boulmer's Bunty), walked the newly cut corn fields between the Y estate in Vietcram and the railway station.  I have seen a spuggyhawk in the area the past few days and tonight was no exception, except this evening it chose to land in what would have been an excellent location for a longer gaze, but as I said, the new bins bought on Sunday were 10 miles away.  Not to worry, on the way home, walking along the cycle path behind Chez Moi me and the Lilster were confronted by a male sparrowhawk heading for us just below fence level.  No surprise, when it saw me, it did a quick up'n'over and away into a garden.

Monday, 14 September 2009

West Hartford @ Dusk

7.15pm tonight - a few BHGs, a few dozen Lapwings, 19 Dunlin and 2 Snipe.  And 80 geese landed to the north of Merck, Sharp and Dohme but when I got to them they were only Greylags.