Thursday, 29 May 2014

29th May

I was just leaving the house when news of 3 Bee-eaters came on the pager at South gare, Cleveland :0 i don't normally waste money and time going to see birds which iv'e already seen but i couldn't resist going to see these birds :) i arrived at South gare to be greeted by 2 of the Bee-eaters perched in a bush at Paddy's pool, i watched the birds for about half an hour before heading off to the bomb hole where a Black redstart was feeding, got the bird straight away before it vanished. Then it was back to the Bee-eaters, by this time they were up feeding and one of the birds was calling and seemed to be displaying to the other with its catch. Great views for a couple of hours before they wen't elusive only showing briefly a few times. Well worth the trip for this bird :)

Monday, 26 May 2014

26th May

Picked the Dragonhunter up at 7pm for a nightjar session, we went to Blanchland first to meet up with Bob. At Blanchland we had a brief view of spotted flycatcher, next we headed up to the moors where we had 3 male black grouse and a single female, lots of waders were on show and a few were still displaying. Slaley was our final stop where we waited for the nightjars to show, while waiting we had 3+ cuckoo, 1 singing tree pipit, red grouse with chicks, common buzzard, 3+ woodcock and 3 nightjars put on a short show as the rain that wasn't forecast started to come down :( not to worry though as the views we got of a male flying around in front of us were amazing :) managed a bit of a blurred shot of one of the nightjars, i think i could improve a little with a bit practice, lol. The Dragonhunter put on a show with his white hankies which i tried to get a video of, lucky for him it didn't turn out :( next time, lol. all the shots below were taken in very poor light, hence the quality.
Nightjar and Woodcock in flight

Nearly a good shot, i'll keep trying.

26th May

Haven't posted for a week now due to me being busy, today i decided to head to Bury where a Little bittern was showing well all day yesterday, i waited until the bird was reported this morning before setting of as they usually migrate during the night. The bird was reported at 5am, so off i went at 6:30am and arriving on site at just 9:15am, on the way down it came on the pager and was followed by another message at 8am as no further sign. I had in my mind that this was going to be a dip :( as i approached the crowed i noticed everyone lifting there bins and pointing, the click off cameras was a tell tale sign that the bird was on show :0 i ran to the crowed and lifted my bins and the first bird in view was a stonking male LITTLE BITTERN feeding in an iris filled pool :) a few minutes later a coot with chicks attacked the Lb and flushed it into the willow before i could get a photo. It took another 2 hours before the bird showed again only this time it came right out in full view allowing me to get a few shots before it flew back into the willow, also here was drake common scoter, sedge warbler, garden warbler, after a bit of a natter to a few birders i decided to call it a day and head back up north. On the way back a black stork was reported at Thorne moors which i was passing but i was to knackered to twitch it, good job i don't need it for Britain ;) i also had a couple in Nepal. Yesterday i had a dodge around Derwent reservoir with the Dragonhunter and we had - Black grouse, tree pipits, 7 cuckoo, spotted flycatcher and the Dragonhunter gripped me off with a male merlin :/ lucky so and so!

Monday, 19 May 2014

19th may

Nightjars at Slaley :) decided to try my luck early with a trip to slaley for nightjars as its going to rain over the next week, i wasn't disappointed. 4-5 birds were displaying, churring and wing clapping right in front of me. What a show they put on, i also had 2 woodcock and a tawny owl fly over. Managed some film of the birds which you can hear the churring, wing clapping and calling, also a short bit footage where a bird is perched on a tree.

19th may

Went to Blanchland to photograph the reported 6 spotted flycatchers which were in the village, it didn't take long before i could hear one singing :) then the little fellow showed in one of the gardens. Another pair was found nest building in another garden which i managed to photograph, i'm sure i could hear more around the village but can't be sure it wasn't the same birds. Red hot up the reservoir today and this kept the birds quiet for most of the day, tree pipits were singing at winnows hill and a couple of cuckoo were heard. The red squirrels were on show being fed by some photographers despite the large sign saying please don't feed them! Didn't do my full rounds today as i took my mother around the reservoir to show her the sights and to have a spot of lunch in Blanchland. Here is the spotted flycatcher photo i got.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

18th may

First of was a hobby showing off its red vent and white cheeks as it graced the sky over winlaton mill yesterday afternoon, it drifted off north. Back to today and first stop was winnow hills where i had 3 cuckoo and 8 tree pipits and a dark bird with a white rump being mobbed by gulls, i couldn't get a id on the bird as it vanished over the brow of the hill and didn't reappear, my thoughts were hen harrier or montagu's harrier, lets hope it's still in the area? There was a male black grouse at blanchland moor, i also bumped into mike, keith and rob on the moor (gatesheadbirders) who seem to have relocated to the reservoir aswell ;) lol. we all went back to winnows hill for a walk and had cuckoo and tree pipits, next we went to the reservoir in search for the osprey which didn't put a show on today :( but we did have great crested grebe, buzzard and a few more common birds. The green hairstreaks at muggleswick was our next port of call where 5+ butterflies were showing, we also had a odd looking common buzzard here and a red kite. The lads moved on to slatley only to dip there target birds of spotted flycatcher and turtle dove :( i went to coalgate gorge for a walk and had spotted flycatcher ;) pied flycatcher, redstart, wood warbler, garden warbler, blackcap, willow warbler, chiffchaff and cuckoo. I then had a drive around the other reservoirs but there wasn't a lot about apart from a few golden plover with chicks and red grouse with chicks. Enjoy the photos and short film.


Thursday, 15 May 2014

15th May

Started the day at tower car park where i had a calling cuckoo from the south side also common sandpiper here and 2 swallows.
South dam car park the same cuckoo calling which i heard from the tower car park? also greylag with 15 goslings.
Pow hill cp had a singing spotted flycatcher which showed well, it was also fly catching, shame it started to rain when i got the camera out :( a walk around the cp produced another cuckoo, lesser redpoll, siskins, red grouse, goldcrest, curlew, collard dove, mistle thrush, whitethroat and a red squirrel.
Derwent hide an osprey (no rings on) showed well perched in a tree before flying east towards the dam,2 common sandpipers, 2 drake wigeon, house martin, 10+ sand martin, oystercatcher, 2 great crested grebes and a kestrel with it catch. Nice to have a natter with John (howdon blogger) and his good wife, hope you found somewhere for a nice steak ;)
Blanchland moor a female black grouse showed briefly, breeding waders on show were redshank, curlew, lapwing and oystercatcher, yet another cuckoo in this area, must be 10+ cuckoos in the area around the reservoir.
Slaley forest common buzzard drifted over and another tree pipit.