Sunday, 31 July 2016

A Few Surprises

Young Harriers venturing far and wide. This one was at Druridge Pools.

White Deadnettle

Rock Pipit

Early returning Turnstone in magnificent plumage.

Common . ish bird ... can you guess?

4+ Greenshank, 2 Ruff on Budge Fields

A trip to Gibside NT was interesting with Red Kite, Buzzard and Jay seen. Visit to Thornley Woods VC to get a key for hides. May be a few more trips South of the River on the cards.

LargeWhite and Green-veined White (?)

Shaded Broad-bar

Meadow Brown

Juvenile Little Gull. (Could this be a Scottish youngster, from Loch of Strathbeg?) Little Tern in background.

This was most unexpected. Right in front of the hide!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Eclectic Mix

A few young Newts on the path at Druridge this morning.

Then on to Allingtons, Ashington, to drop off my car for its service. I have to say this is the best garage I've come across. Customer Service is excellent. My little car seems very well built and reliable (touching wood).

As the garage is near Castle Island I left to re-visit the Bonaparte’s Gull.  It was very obliging and on one occasion flew to reveal its little pink legs. A supporting cast of; 7 L Egrets, 1 LRP, 1 R. Plover, Lots of Blk T Godwits and 4 Goosander made it a pleasant walk. Arriving back to find my car was almost ready … excellent. 

My interest in plants has increased over the last few weeks and I realise now how little I know. Just like birding however, get to know the common stuff and then you start to notice other plants.

Still making lots of mistakes though …

1,2 and 3 Wild Parsnip Pastinaca sativa
Thought to be a ‘Ballast Plant’ in Northumberland. Seeds carried in the ballast materials in ships and dumped on the river banks. (These plants were on the banks of the Wansbeck.)

4 Comfrey Symphytum oficinale
5 and 6 Field Scabious Knautia arvensis
7 Lady’s Bedstraw Galium verum
8 ??? Bedstraw(haven’t worked this out yet
9 Sea Rocket (?) Cakile maritime
10 Frosted Orache Atriplex laciniata

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Waders ... at last!

Third Cuckoo of the year at Chevington. The last two have feasted on the Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars and thanks to MF I'm assured they have no negative effect (despite being full of toxins).

This latest bird has two white patches on its head. It is also replacing the outer tail feathers.

Small Skipper (must check)

Early Thorn (moth)
Holds its wings like a butterfly but has comb like antennae. Found this one in the garden while picking Raspberries.

Drinker Moth Caterpillar

A very tatty Garden Tiger (not in the garden).

OK so I'll get to the waders eventually!

This first year Avocet has colour rings on its tibiae. The colours were hard to discern but I think I found the project co-ordinator. Waiting for a reply, I think he rings Avocets in the Norfolk area.

This morning I photographed the same bird and now the ring colours are clearer. It is definitely the project I found so I've sent updated photos.

Cresswell has suddenly become a haven for waders. Ruff, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Knot, Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank and this bonny Curlew Sandpiper.

This morning it flew from the area near the hide and landed very close to me on the causeway pool.

Little Egrets are becoming a common sight nowadays but they are still worth studying and they are very photogenic.