Friday, 21 November 2008

Ear Wax?

Invariably winter creeps in and the hours available go birding mid week reduce to next to nothing. A benefit of shift work is that I'm able to pinch the odd hour in the morning or early afternoon depending on which shift I'm doing - it was early shift this week, so 30 Waxwing that flew over the car while driving home through Bassington Industrial Estate (Cramlington) provided enough motivation to head straight back out with the camera prior to the light diminishing. Alas, the flock appeared to have moved on, although there will undoubtably be plenty of opportunities this winter as good numbers have arrived over the past few weeks. The image above was taken with my old trusty Canon 10D in January 2006 at North Seaton (just south of Ashington, Northumberland).

Another species that keeps me going during the winter is Short-eared Owl, this stock shot was also taken in 2006 on my patch - West Hartford. This site is destined to be a business park so currently consists of rough grassland and a shallow subsidence pool. The area has had quite a good track record with Northumberland scarcities including a single avocet, green-winged teal, marsh harrier and greenland white-fronted goose. Spring and autumn wader passage can be quite good if the water levels are favourable, with green and wood sandpiper being almost annual along with occasional black-tailed godwit, little ringed plover and greenshank. WH is also a reliable SEO wintering site and late afternoon visits are usually productive - in good years 4 birds may be present, and with patience, will be seen quartering the fields.

As with Waxwing, this species is on my "need to get better pictures with latest camera" list...


Crammy Birder said...

Do you have any info on the Snow Goose reported on Birdguides today at West Hartford? Most of the time I don't go to the main part of West Hartford I just explore the marshy field next to it.
I'll try and get there tommorow morning. Thanks for confirming that Hume's Warbler last week.

John Malloy said...

The snow goose was on the pool with 9 grey-lag. I picked it up from the roadside near the farm buildings (often get better views of the SEO there) - flew SE at 15.40 after a dog went onto the pool side.