Thursday, 18 February 2016


Barn Owls everywhere. I found 6 different sites in two days within 5 miles of my house. They are probably finding the hunting difficult (wet, cold nights) and so they have continued hunting well into the daylight hours.

Other wildlife of note: Stoat (almost all white),  Foxes at 3 locations, Roe Deer, Hares and Rabbits.

Hope you like the carefully positioned strand of grass .... ****** .

Common Scoter

Whoopers near Druridge. (19 in field NW of pools)

Fieldfares still near Widdrington.
The Marsh Harrier is still present at Chevington.

Wigeon at Cresswell

Oh ... the title. No not the bird, the past-time. A text from BD on Sunday to inform me of Bearded Tit calling at Chev had me scouring the reserve every day without success. 2014 and 2015 I saw birds in early March but then it was days later before I got seconds. Seems like I will have to wait a while.

Amazingly I noticed this picture in the newsagent and was intrigued. So I bought a copy. Although my father kept caged birds when I was young, I was never really interested. I have always preferred the wild ones. I was gob-smacked to learn that people keep Bearded Tits. The article states that the bird are kept in a 'spacious' 3.9m long x1.2m wide x2.1m high flight (cage). In the wild I watch their aerial displays with vertical flights of 10m, their ability to cover the whole length of Chev in minutes.

It got me wondering about how people perceive others hobbies. I know I can't make judgements being a meat-eater and  so many of my judgements are flawed. But, have these people seen wild birds? Strangely enough the publication (Cage and Avary Birds) was really interesting. Articles about; Feeding garden birds, Taxonomy of Asian thrush species and Migration mapping. 

On the other hand the adverts were rather distressing; Himalayan Snowcock £700 (pair), Elegant Crested Tinamou £250 (pair) etc..

Typing this I'm sitting by the window enjoying; Goldfinch Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Hedge Sparrow, Robin, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Blue Tit and Coal Tit. All these birds free and it costs me a few quid a week to fill up the feeders. Nest Boxes in the garden and in a few months some House Martins under the eaves.

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