Monday, 31 December 2007
It was cold, damp and miserable with very little to report, the wigeon numbers have picked up to 134 and there are few more snipe about. The big pool was very quiet, offshore, there was still a slav grebe and a couple of red-throated divers. I went to look for the little owl on the lane but there was no sign of it, I still haven't seen them since they returned in November. There was a nice group of 12 redwing by Scott's farm and a mixed flock of tits and finches.
I've had two patch-ticks in 07, red-breasted flycatcher, which was caught and ringed by Janet, and a sabines gull - but still no red kite!
Am lookin forward to 2008 at the pools, getting some more ringing done and finding a mega....and I will try to keep a patch year list this year....
My biggest hope for 2008 is that NWT will sort out the management of the site, especially the grazing of the budge fields. It has been totally neglected for 6 years now and it shows, I have a site meeting in the new year with the Chief Exec at the Trust so hopefully we can move things on..
Happy new Year to everyone who reads this drivel and good birding for 2008!
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Hawsen Burn Car Park - busy for a winter's day
Harthope Valley above Langleefordhope
The second tetrad started slowly, but we got a green woodpecker, dipper, goldcrest and 6 black grouse males later on. On the way back down the valley we had at least 130 siskin, then further down, outside our tretrad another 170, these are certainly underestimates, there was probably something like 350-400 siskins in the two flocks....siskin way!
Some of the c400 Siskins, they were a bit like baubles on a xmas tree
Back in the first tetrad we saw loads of birds we hadn't seen during the timed visit (sods bloody law!) including crossbill, grey heron and 5 mistle thrush.
All in all a very enjoyable day, 20 species in total, more than I expected and lobster and trout sarnies, thanks to Janet. It was great to see the black grouse at this site, I have been watching this lek for a number of years now and the population is increasing and green peckers are always nice to see in Northumberland. I am looking forward to doing these tetrads in the breeding season, they should be really good.
Friday, 28 December 2007
FAT SAM HAS TO GO!!! - I can't believe he blamed the players for his bad tactics, spineless tosser!
Ok, that's it, rant over...back to birding...Two bullies at Druridge today, a pair, perched on dock just near the entrance to the hides when I arrived, needless to say they had flown by the time I had got my camera and scope set up, but I did manage a crap 'through the twigs' shot later. Bullies are rarities at Dru, so was v.happy to see them - second patch year-tick of the xmas break - Cool.
It was a lot milder so the teal and wigeon have migrated to the now unfrozen wet meadows, not much on the main pool, 140 pinkfoot flew south and 40 greylag north, oh and sprawk went through pushing some siskin out of the wood, I saw another further south at Bell's farm carrying what looked like a stonechat on the way to Dru.
Bully through the twigs
Offshore 4 red-throats were loiterin and one flew north and the great-crested grebe's were still about.
Tuesday, 25 December 2007
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Grim - look at the depth of the grass, what self-respecting wader is going to breed here?
Still it was better than my other WeBS site, Ellington Pond, which was 98% frozen and 6 teal and 5 moorhen!
It's been a hectic week on the social front, hence Sundays stuff today, went to see the Widlhearts supported by the mighty Wolfsbane last night - Fantastic! Office parties and other xmas (just to annoy BB) hilarity to follow.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Marbled Godwit at Elkhorn Slough
Elkhorn Slough - See what I mean about going back to Druridge to count bloody mallards
Greaterlegs - Kern National Wildlife Refuge
Sunset at the Big Sur
House Finch near Lake Isabella
My compact economy - a 3.8 lire V6 Pontiac aka The Silver Beast - halfway up Mt. Whitney
Saturday, 1 December 2007
And in the hand...