Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Gateshead year tick

Having missed the spring Black-tailed godwit i was pleased to find another at Lamesley water meadows this morning :) The autumn wader migration is underway, just need a good one ''pec sand'' will do fine or the ''spot sand'' on the tyne :0 please please lol

Monday, 29 July 2013

Quiet day

Not much to report today :( but here is a few shots from yesterday and today to be going on with.

Little owls at Ravensworth fell

Green Sandpiper at Shibdon

Snipe & Redshank at Shibdon

Green Sandpiper & Snipe at Shibdon

2nd year Med gull at Shibdon
Yellowhammer at Ravensworth fell, just after a bath

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Waders Waders & more Waders

Plenty waders on show today at sites in Northumberland and Gateshead, a rare one too :0
Spotted Sandpiper was pick of the bunch at Foxton Bends
Common Sandpiper x 3 here aswell

East Chev held:-
Curlew Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper x 4
Knot x 4
Dunlin x 10+
Ruff x 4
Whimbrel x 1
Common Redshank x 2
Greenshank x 2
Otters x 2

Cresswell held:-
Oystercatcher x 1
Avocet x 1
Knot x 2
Dunlin x 6
Black-Tailed Godwit x 1

Shibdon Pond held :-
Green Sandpiper x 1
Med gull x  1

Lamesley wm held:-
Green Sandpiper x 2
Bar-Headed Goose

Others birds of interest were:-
Roseate Tern Coquet Island viewed from amble links when tide was well out, i managed to pick a bird up close to shore which carried a fish back to one of the boxes on the island :0
Curlew took the wader count to 18 for the day.
Spotted Sandpiper
photo taken with Leica apo televid 77 + Samsung Note 2

Friday, 26 July 2013

Amazing Garden Tick

Could'nt believe my luck when i spotted a White Letter Hairstreak butterfly on the lawn in my garden today, i managed to get onto it before it flew up into the tree tops :0 my cottage is  joined onto a wood and i've never noticed that there was a few elm trees in the wood until today when i checked my tree guide. I spotted a couple of small butterflies flying around the tops of the elms, i haven't got any plants for butterflies to feed on unlike next door, so iv'e put a sugar solution out on the lawn in the hope they come down to feed. There is a colony of white letter hairstreaks in the Derwent cp which is on my door step, so maybe these have come from that colony? more than likely they have been there for a while and iv'e just not noticed them, maybe there is Purple Hairstreaks in the many oak trees that border my garden? :0 or am i just being greedy :) lol
These 2 shots were taken in the Derwent cp 2 years ago, no sign of any last year and this year so far, hope they turn up soon. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Hobby in the Lakes

Had a few days in the lakes with my mother, i stayed 7 miles from Keswick in a lovely little place called Troutbeck on the caravan club site Troutbeck Head. I didnt intend taking my bins :0 but a good job i did as the walk from the site turned out to be a cracking spot with the best bird being an adult Hobby :0 which flew past me and perched in a nearby pine tree giving cracking views :) rare for the area, just a shame i had no camera with big lens :( also in the area were 3 Ravens, Buzzard, Kestrel, Lesser Redpoll, Meadow Pipits, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Swift, Sand Martin, House Martin, Siskin, Pied Wagtail, Linnet, Collard Dove, Wood Pigeon. There was loads of Common Hawkers in the area 20+ and a possible Golden Ringed which i wasnt quick enough to get onto :( Great area, from the site the public footpath which i went on was to the Matterdale Forest. We also visited Keswick, Grasmere, Poole Bridge over the time we spent at the Lakes, here is a few shots.
Troutbeck Head caravan club site

Footpath to Matterdale forest from the caravan site

The area where the Hobby was seen

View of Patterdale from Kirkstone pass

Derwentwater boat launch

Derwentwater boat launch

Helm crag

View from Grasmere

View of Helm crag from Grasmere

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Graylings are out

Graylings x 5 are out at Birtley reed beds site, Banded demoiselles x 20+ at Hagghill on river derwent.
Grayling, a rare butterfly in Gateshead

Grayling, only recorded at 2 sites in Gateshead

Male Banded demoiselle, a bit distant for good shots

Female Banded Demoiselle

Nearly a cracking shot :0

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Good little morning

Little Egret at Shibdon pond today (cheers for call George), it showed well for all in front of hide this morning, next was dragon hunting at Kibblesworth bwp where me and the dragonhunter had best ever views of Emperor male and female :) 3 common hawkers, 2 male black tailed skimmers showed aswell as many four spots and common darters, here is a selection of todays shots.
Cracking views of this Little egret

fishing in front of the hide

the reflection was great also

a quick flight around the pond and it was back perching on the island

great bird in Gateshead

female Emperor eating a four spot chaser :0 what an amazing view

we could hear it munching away

it ate the whole four spot in mins :0

cracking views of this male Emperor

what a dragonfly and a great morning out :)
how close do you want to get to that ''Emperor'' Dragonhunter ;) lol

Thursday, 11 July 2013


2 Male BBChasers at far pasture today and 3 Four spotted chasers, had a look at pow hill for Golden ringed with the Dragonhunter but no sign of any :( our trip was cut short as i had to go and meet a plumber, bloody plumber :) lol. we did have 2 red squirrels, spotted flycatcher and 3 possible common hawkers which got away.

Here's one i made earlier :)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kibblesworth brick works pools

Had an hour at the brick works pools today in the hope of ticking off Black-tailed skimmer and Emperor, it wasn't long before i had both in view :) on the main pond i had:-
Black-tailed skimmer x 3 - mmf
Emperor dragonfly x 1
Four spotted chasers 30 +
Common darter 30 +
Painted lady butterfly was a bonus which flew off before i got my camera out :(
Small skippers
Small heaths
Common blues
Meadow browns
Small whites

Monday, 8 July 2013

Speyside Trip

Picked the dragonhunter up at 4:30am :0 and off we went to speyside for a couple of days birding and dragon hunting :)
Day 1
Started off at the Findhorn Valley where we had a Peregrine within 5 mins of getting out of car which was a promising start, a possible Golden ringed dragonfly which got away not to be seen again, a spotted flycatcher was seen on the drive out. Next was Anagach Woods where we were greeted by the calls of Crested tits which showed on and off, we also had female Common hawker here and a few Large red dams. Next was Loch Garten rspb, A pair off Ospreys showed well at the nest, also Crested tits showed well on the feeders. We checked the board walk pool near the entrance to the rspb center and we had a few Northern damselflys which was a lifer for the both of us :) next we headed into Aviemore for some bait (haggis & chips) mmm, the Dragonhunter said it looked like a battered brain :) lol, he is a veggie though :). We decided to have a look at the base of Cairngorm so we could check out our route up the mountain in the morning, we pitched our tent up on a field in Glenmore and cracked open a couple of cans of the black stuff and and sunk into our seats after a hard days birding and dragon hunting, a bit of a quiet day with only 1 year tick and 1 damslefly life tick.

Day 2
Got up at 5am :0 packed away the tent and had a wash with a bottle of water and some wet wipes :) lol before setting of for the climb ahead of us :0 whilst in the Cairngorm car park we had a female Ring ouzel fly past with a beak full of something to feed her 2 chicks which we saw as we left the car park for the climb, we also had 3 Hooded crows lower down the mountain which was a year tick :) it was a hard slog up taking 1:45 mins :( which included a few rest breaks. The Dragonhunter had a mountain hare which ran into some rocks not showing again :( once on the top we followed the path which takes you to the next mountain where the Dotterels usually are? on the way we ticked a female Ptarmigan with 1 chick, it didn't take much longer before we had a male Dotterel with 3 chicks which showed well :) then we could hear the song of a Snow bunting which we tracked down, we managed to get 5 Snow buntings. So with our targets ticked we decided to make our way back down the mountain where we enjoyed the cracking views of what we had just climbed up whilst enjoying a well deserved cup of coffee, which i managed to spill down the front of my shirt :( lol. With the sun out and temps of 20c we set of for some dragonfly hunting, Loch garten and Uath lochans were the places visited, where we enjoyed some cracking views of White faced darters and Northern emeralds which were both lifers for both of us :). we stopped of at a known Osprey nest site where 3 chicks and 2 adult birds were all in the nest :0 The dragonhunter also spotted a Golden eagle being mobbed by 3 buzzards on one of the mountains :) nice one, our target bird from yesterday in the findhorn valley :) with the time getting on it was soon time to end a cracking weekend and head home :( we stopped off at Berwick for a leg stretch and a bit of sea watching where a couple of Manx shearwaters were a bonus year tick, just a nice way to end the trip.
Birds added to year list
Crested tit
Hooded crow
Golden eagle
Manx shearwater
Dragons seen
White faced darter
Northern emerald
Northern damselfly