Friday, 15 October 2010

Nearly Shopped

Sainsbury's at Crammers this pm filling a trolley to then fill the cupboards and remove the Old Mother Hubbard-like ambience from the kitchen Chez Moi.  Thought I'd check the web to see if the Ibis had reappeared.  Alas not, but SIX Snow Geese at East Chev. merited a return visit before sun down.

Like supermarket sweep, but without the girlie commentary, it was trolley dash time, and Cruella Devile-like driving 'standards', with the foodstuffs delicately placed in the correct locations before another 101 Dalmations-esque trip north.

Not surprisingly, Foghorn was there just in advance of me, and the sextet was duly 'ticked'.  I have never seen any other than singles before and never seen a juvenile, so all'n'all they were well worth the journey.

No sign of the GN Diver tho'.  The flock of RTDs, GC Grebes and Common Scoters I saw this morning were still there, albeit a few hundred yards further north, but no sign of the Big Fella!

Thee's always tomorrow!!


Well, now that Barred's a tick, and in anticipation of Vipers' joker appearing at any time, thought I would try and increase my 'dominance' with a Redpoll or two.  After a Dusky chat with Sir PC Wanderings last weekend, off the the Carrs 'early doors' in the hope of one.  A walk around Newburn Riverside mid-week had failed to locate any, so Option Two was necessary.

All was quiet as I walked west from the east end.  A Sparrowhawk was up and off north, and another (or may be the same one) lifted from the hedge further along and flew into the woods.  It had a peculiarly visible white 'panel' from the base of the tail running forwards along its flanks as it did so.  I have never noticed this in Sprawks before.

And then the text from SH re. Glossy Ibis at Cresswell so a slightly faster amble back to the car, with a calling Willow Tit moving through the hedge alongside. 

A Common Buzzard was perched on a telegraph pole opposite on the road from Dinnington to Horton Grange as I drove north.

Needless to say, the Ibis knew I was coming and was never seen again until I left the area at 11 bells.  Did spot a male and female Viperus smithicus in the south-facing hide, last seen moving towards the beach.  As I left the same hide, a gull was barracking a raptor (or as Americans say, Rap-torr!) over the big pool.  Bins raised, male Peregrine.  Nice!

And so off home, neither flat nor ecstatic.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Four Yorkshiremen

Well, dear Reader, it is with a significant degree of pride that announce the eventual arrival of Sylvia nisoria onto my L.I.S.T. 

At noon today, I located Spital Burn car park, N-b-t-S, and within about ten minutes, spotted a substantial, grey, fluffy ar*e in the rosehips to the immediate right of the car park entrance.  After five or so minutes of different, brief views, it disappeared for another ten, but was then picked up as it gorged on elderberries along the eastern edge of the car park. 

After the activity of dog walkers, pram pushers and loud chatterers, the bird became a little more confiding and I reached for the camera.  Relax, there's no sh*te record shot below because at that point a silver car with four blokes in arrived and the bird flew NNW and into the shrubbery along the northern edge. 

For the next 25 minutes, it was a mixture of swapping stories with the Doncaster-bred occupants and watching the antics of the Barred.

Four Yorkshiremen?  Not the Monty Python sketch, but a quartet of South Yorkshire 'character', en route to Holy Island for a few days of quality birding.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

3 in 1

Well, Gents, after an orgasmic weekend, time to reflect and tell the tale that will be handed down from father to son (many generations over) of the weekend The Liverbirder bagged three Lifers in one day.

Yesterday started poorly, disproportionate to the excitement and expectation of Friday evening when Birdguides was dissected and digested and plans laid for a 7:30 start.  And start on time it did, with a 90 minute spell at Tynemouth Haven. 

Haven?  Asylum more like!  A place for the orithologically frustrated as nothing was seen or heard of a Radde's (is it pronounced Rads or Raddies (I prefer the latter)?)/Dusky persuasion.

At 9 bells (car park fee commencement time), I decided to venture south to Whitburn and give the CP a try.  Boy was it busy in the shrubs to the east side.  But the Barred quarry was not seen.  This little fella was tho':

And there were lots more.  And for once, or so it seemed, right place:right time (No. 1) as at 10:09, a Red-breasted Flycatcher was seen north of the Shearwater Estate and I was 50 yards away.  So I ran, and ran, and ran, and got there, and looked, and looked and looked.  And as fast as it appeared, it was gone.


So back off to the busy path in the hope of a Bogey Barred, and after another 3/4 hour, and thoughts of a swift leap into the briny to end it all, as I walked back for one last attempt at the R-b F, right place:right time (No.2) as one had been caught and ringed and was ready for freedom.  So again I ran, and ran, and ran and got there, and voila!

You know you're sh*te at photography when you can't even get a decent snap of a bird from SIX FEET away when it is held still for you!  And to prove it, here's another!

So Lifer 260, and off to The Haven again to see the newly-id'd Dusky.  And within 10 minutes, 261.  And on a roll now, so N-b-t-Sea for the R-f Bluetail, and after another 20 minutes, 262, albeit the views were very brief.

So today, chores completed, it was off the Tynemouth yet again, this time for the Shore Lark and with my guiding light, Mrs Liverbirder for company. 

Compared to the confounded Dusky and its Yellow-browed cousin last week, this chap (or chappess) was a doddle to locate, but to capture 'on film', challenging as ever!

And so, off to St Mary's, recently described by Sir Tim of Whitley in his world-reknowned blog as, '...carpeted with Goldcrests this morning.'  Never a truer word (or series of words) has ever been written, it was heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeavin'!  heavin' with the wee birds, and Robins, and Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.  And with views of the Bluetail that were superbly captured (by others), and with rumour of a Barred Warbler (my bogey, and still so). 

And Howdon Blogger has been stalking me all weekend, waiting for me at The Haven yesterday morning, and at St. Mary's this afternoon, with, I assume, Mrs HB as a cover story!  Scary!