Saturday, 6 March 2010

Too bored to even think of a title.........

What an afternoon!  I don't think I have been so ornithologically bored before.  Ever!

Arcot Lake this afternoon was quite a non-boring start.  Five Mute Swans (two preparing for jigginess!), Five Pochard (four blokes and a lady), 14 Coots, a pair of Canada Geese, one Gadwall (who'll have to get self-jiggy!), two male Tufties (who'll have to learn how to get jiggy from the 'gentlemen' who frequent the shore and beyond) and a Cormorant.

Havannah NR - should be re-titled Haven't-annah!  It was quiet; too quiet!

Prestwick Carr (Prestwick Can't!) - was, like Haven't-annah, simply a Great Tit fest (and I am so bored I cannot even be bothered to attempt a double entendre with this one either).

I am off to unpack my crochet hook and Ladybird Book of Needle-Point................................................

Monday, 1 March 2010

Turned Out Nice!

Perfect weather for raptors in the Kielder area, so I thought.  My guru concurred and so off to the area for a look-see.

Our survey said!  E-errrrrrrrrr!

Only Buzzards, but on Forest Drive, Crossbills!  Never seen males so red.  Brilliant!

Bring It On!

Patch trot from 07:10 yielded 27 species - disappointing as it was 16 before entering the WHBP and 27 after leaving the Flashes.  Shelduck pair are back, no Oystercatchers, but hods of Lapwing, Teal, Mallard, BHG, CG and a few HG.

Best bit was a family of three Roe Deer near the woods, dad was be-antlered (if there is such a word), mum attentive and alert, and the wee one going loopy in the sun.

Skylarks singing, crisp, clear and NOT RAINING!

Bring on the summer!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Air:Sea Rescued

Travelled north for a few hours this afternoon with the Chief Spotter (trusted canine companion stayed at home).  Bagged Barnacle Goose in the flock north of Bell's Farm, and then off to The Pools for the GWT.  Driving north, even I could see the big, yellow, noisy Boulmer-copter as it flew south and low.

Any way, eventually got to the Budge 'bean tin' (no wellies, which was a poor decision) and spent 15 - 20 minutes looking at every exposed Eurasion Teal imagining a vertical stripe, but the intended target was clearly snoozing in or behind a tuft of grass.

And then, prayers answered, as the RAF decided to fly over, causing everthing to lift off!  Oh, joy!  The reshuffled pack making Anas carolinensis an easier spot amongst its eastern cousins.


Old enough to remember the adverts of the 70's?  Well, it's been a long time since I have posted, due to dog health, not been anywhere and computer problems.

Yesterday's dinner time patch stroll was reasonably eventful.  Sparrowhawk v Crow 'dogfight' over the Nelson Industrial Estate, pairs on Pintail (spectacular) and Shelduck on the Flash, two Buzzards harrassing the Woody flock over the woods to the north and a  bolt of brown lightning (no, not from my pup's rear end!  The money last weekend was well spent!) as what I believe was a female Sparrowhawk pursued its feathered quarry into the copse in the NE corner.

Mid 20s in terms of species, after a spot of lunch, off after the rain to Prestwick Carrs for an hour.  The field behind the sentry box was alive with Lapwings and Golden Plover and a Buzzard over being pestered by a Crow.  The red flags were out, so a military-like 'about turn' was greeted by a male Sparrowhawk very low to the left and approaching.  A-feckin'-mazing!

Even more so was a very damp Buzzard trying to dry itself in the top of a small tree at the back of the goat field (the goats now requiring SCUBA gear to get out of their sheds!).  Whilst drying my scope lens (euphemism?  No!) the bird vanished, then as I watched it left the long grass below its perch with what looked like a small rat.  The nearest fence post was duly used as a resting place to behead the prey, rip a few bits off, and then consume the rest whole!  A-feckin'-feckin'-mazing!

The north path was alive with Great Tits and Chaffinches but little else.

And so to this morning.  Out at 7:10 am and the same route as yesterday, this time 28 species noted.  The Pintail pair had morphed over night into a female Goldeneye but the Shelducks remained.  Three Roe Deer leisurely entered the woods after watching me and the pup to make sure we were not threatening.  No Buzzards nor Sprawks but a Kestrel was looking for its brekky and a single Mute Swan flew north.

Saw my first Common Frog today.  Unfortunately, it was squished on the road, making successful hibernation a complete waste of time.  Must check my garden ponds from now one to see when mine wake up!