Sunday, 26 October 2008

Holy Island

I went on my annual trip to Holy Island on friday. Just as I had crossed the causeway I saw three Pale Bellied Brent Geese- Lifer feeding on the tide line.
I spent three hours on the island and walked around the main areas apart from the Snook.
In half an hours sea watching I saw my three Grey Seals for the first time as well as 11 Gannets, 5 Eider and 1 Common Scoter.
From the lough hide I saw 1 Goldeneye, 9 Mallard, 1 Moorhen and 4 Coot. One House Martin was also flying over the beach, a late straggler.
In the trees around one of the tracks there were 7 Redwing and 4 Goldcrest.
On my way off the island as I waited for the tide to shrink I saw 40+ Curlew, 2 Grey Plover- Lifer, 50+ Redshank and 80+ Brent Geese wading in the mud. A good number of the Brents were Dark Bellied- Lifer. Also a Grey Seal was only a metre or so away from the causeway.
On my way home I called into the hide at Fenham where I searched through 100+ Wigeon but didn't find an the American.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Toad and other forgotten pics from Sherwood

Linton Lane, confused Grey Heron and huge Gulls

Before I start I dont know why there is such a big gap after my pictures in my last post.
On Sunday I went to Linton Lane again in the hope of seeing some winter migrants.
On my way to the smaller pond a flock of 20 Goldfinches flew over as did two Great Tits also I could hear a couple of Jays calling from the trees further down the railway track.
The Gadwall I saw last time had been replaced by 13 Teal and on the bigger pond a Little Grebe avoided every camera opportunity as it dived in the water near the hide. No sign of the Tundra Bean goose from last week or any geese at all.
Over the last week I have noticed more and more Gulls returning to the grounds of CLV, mainly Common and BH.
Today a huge Lesser Black Backed Gull pulled three BH Gulls around the quad as it stole their sausage roll. This gull is one of a few LBB Gulls around CLV and it takes no shit from anything.
Also today I was as looking out of a window in B block when I saw a Grey Heron circling the Cricket pitch.
It then landed on a roof next to the schools wildlife area and ran up the roof before landing between the trees where the small pond is.
The schools wildlife area is really crap and all there are few trees and a pond you could jump across.
Still it was a good CLV patch tick.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Sherwood Pics

Sherwood Forest

I have been at Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire) with friends for the past few days and on a trip where I did little bird watching I managed to see.
4 Mute Swan, 11 Canada Geese, 12 Mallard, 9 Egyptian Geese, 70+ Moorhen, 5 Coot, 1 BH Gull, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Pheasant, 3 Stock Dove, 20 Woodpigeon, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Dunnock, 4 Robin, , 4 Blackbird, 2 Goldcrest, 5 Longtaild Tit, 9 Coal Tit, 2 Great Tit, 5 Blue Tit, 2 Treecreeper, 1 Nuthatch, 4 Magpie, 4 Jay, 3 Carrion Crow, 10 Chaffinch, 20 Siskin, 30+ Mealy Redpoll, 2 Greenfinch, 40+ Goldfinch and 2 Wren. Not bad.
I was glad to see that since my last visit 2 hides and a nature centre have been opened. A small section of heathland has been created to attract Nightjar.
Pictures will follow...

Friday, 3 October 2008

Grey Wagtail...Again

It always seems like every time I see a lifer or patch tick that I will then see about twenty the next week.
Today I was walking home through the village square and as I past the war memorial I heard another Grey Wagtail which then flew over and landed near parkside.
I had never seen a Grey Wagtail in crammy before until Monday, flying over the train tracks at Beacon Hill and now thats two in five days.
Hopefully I will complete the set and see a Yellow Wagtail (which would also be a lifer).
Pied Wagtails are common in Crammy and are best viewed around the libary and the track leading up to CLV ( Cramlington Learning Village), which next month will be a year ago since I saw a White Wagtail everyday for two weeks around the schools gates.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Crepuscular time of year

Went to Cresswell Pond this evening from 5:45 to 6:45 to try once again and see a Bittern. I can tell it is going to be the new Water Rail.
On the way to the hide I saw a merlin on the telephone wire near the road and a Barn Owl was hunting around the smaller pond.
I didn't see the Bittern, (as usaual) but did see a flock of 500+ Barnacle Geese fly over and around the pond as I was leaving.
On my way home I saw 400+ Pink Footed Geese land in the crane field next to Alcan.