Saturday, 26 December 2009
At home the garden has been a hive of activity with visits from dunnock, robin, blackbird and assorted tits - including a tribe of long tails.
Hopefully I'll manage an update during the trip, if not it'll be early new year, hopefully with some nice photographs!
Sunday, 20 December 2009
We had a rather nice meal at the Brasserie prior to the main event - Spiritualized, who were set to perform their much acclaimed "ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space" album in it's entirety. The show itself was spectacular and intense, with a couple of bonus songs for the encore. The band were joined throughout by a sting and brass section plus a choir. Lighting was superb with a starry back drop that twinkled throughout, although photographically it was too dark to capture in it's glory. For the first time in a long while a Steward asked me to stop filming (on the mobile), so that was a shame. How apt was the show finale? Silent Night. Pure genius.
In the garden a house mouse has taken kindly to the bird feed, joining the blackbirds, dunnock, robin and house sparrow that are frequenting of late.And with the BA strike action "injunct-ed" (?), I can now take relief that the end of December will be far more birdy than the start. More on that later.... three and a half days left at work then a nice break.
Monday, 14 December 2009
It was a great night at the O2 Academy, Newcastle on Saturday where Madness performed a storming set of greatest hits to a very lively crowd... their second show of the day. First time I've been to a gig where "does anyone live in Cramlington?" gets a mention from the band!! No support act, but a thoroughly entertaining video of hw to become a sucessful band starring, no prizes for guessing, madness.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
I saw Yeah Yeah Yeahs earlier this year at Lollapolooza, but had to view from a distance as the crowd was huge! It was an easier show to get to the front at Newcastle, all we had to do was arrive early enough to get a good spot. Karen O and her team certainly know how to pull off a good show - great combination of dramatic costumes, playing to the crowd, lighting and a huge inflatable eyeball!!
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
A potter up to Druridge Bay revealed very little - the north end of Cresswell Pond was busy with curlew, lapwing, wigeon and grey-lag geese, while East Chevington was rather desolate. Nearer home, West Hartford was also rather quiet, with two stonechat patrolling the field and a few common and black headed gull on the pool. No owls... yet. The Horton Burn held one kingfisher ~ a colourful end to a relatively quiet, dull day!
Hope to get out on Saturday morning...
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
This dunnock was photographed as dusk descended on my unkempt garden (15:27 to be exact!) at ISO 1000, 1/500th sec manual, fill flash at -1.
Three of this subtle species are visiting the garden feeders at the moment.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Four weeks out of the last five have been spent on nightshift, so birding has been restricted to weekends. This forthcoming weekend does not look to good weather wise, so maybe I'll have to content myself to some rest, relaxation and bass.
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
Holy Island has hit the jackpot with a red-rumped swallow arriving today ~ I've already planned a visit there tomorrow (to try for the beardy) so hopefully both will linger.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
A close look at the juv greater black backed gulls revealed one with its legs tangled in fishing line and one foot missing. Nice.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Monks House pool had held a snow goose for the past couple of days, but there was no sign on Saturday morning, just a few grey lags with mallard, shoveler and many black-headed gull. We later learnt that the snow goose was at Budle... and we had headed back south, via Swinhoe and it's amusing signpost -
Our next stop was the Beehive flash where a pectoral sandpiper had been reported off and on for a couple of days. Initially there was no sign and it was not until we drove off that the pec was seen (from the moving car) sunbathing in the long grass on the northern edge of the pool, hence the quirky shot below.
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Fridays selection of images can only be regarded as record shots as the bird barely filled the central focus spot with the 500mm & 1.4 extender. However the colours of the sycamore leaves in the photographs provide a subtle distraction from the notequiteascloseasI'dliketohavebeento phyllosc.
Friday, 23 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Saturday, 17 October 2009
This presumed halimodendri individual was very mobile and ended up spending most of its' time feeding high up in the willows at the north end of the wetland. The image here was taken late afternoon - 17:30 ~ 17:50 ish, and when natural light was extremely poor.
Camera focus was done manually and fill flash was used - without which I would have got no record at all.
There has been very little photoshop work in these images in an attempt to keep the as shot details of plumage as accurate as possible.
Hopefully the bird will stick and give another opportunity to get usable images...
If time permits and better images are not obtained, I'll post some more from this late afternoon session ...
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Weather was very mild but skies were grey and it was a bit damp. The wetland was heaving with newly arrived blackbird and redwing - all very active and vocal. Lesser numbers of robin were present but more elusive. Only one 'crest - a gold was in the northern willows, while the "gut" was very quiet.
The evening was spent at a dark Newcastle Academy with the Editors ~ a wonderful night.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
The cemetery at Whitley Bay prove to be quiet, I could not relocate the yellow-brow that had been reported earlier and made do with further redwing, mistle thrush, grey wagtail, great and blue tit.
It was annoying to hear that the radde's at Druridge had been booted a bit this morning after being battered with mp3... anyone remember fieldcraft and patience? Or is that not convenient for "listing" in this day and age?
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Having had the ibis and greenshank "fill" Mark and I headed back to the car, noting the increase in robin numbers - several were "ticking" along the track back from the Oddie hide. Coffee poured and the BBRC 2008 report in hand we began planning our route to the inevitable Amble chippie... would we stop at East Chevington for the black redstart? No.
A very pleasing shout of "Radde's" from Ian had us (well, me, Mark was a bit more cool about it) walking (trotting?) rather quickly in the direction of the ringing team just up the road from our parked car to have a grill of a fine radde's warbler!
This was a great twist to our morning out, and after the bird was processed and a few photographs were taken, the bird was released none worse for wear.
This was only my second radde's in Northumberland, following the 1991 bird at Tynemouth.
It was interesting to see that further radde's were reported at Holy Island, Spurn and Filey today... along with many yellow-browed warbler... maybe there is a real biggy waiting to be found?