Monday, 27 April 2009
Normal service will resume early May... I'll try a post or two from Krabi if I can get access to a computer.
I look forward to hearing all about the whiskered terns' in Northumberland etc when I get back!
Saturday, 25 April 2009
This particular bird was "reeling" (singing - it's song is very much like the sound of a fishing reel being wound) out in the open, sitting on brambles.
As the bird sang it would flutter its wings and bob its' tail - cracking!
Today was perfect - warm, sunny and still. Four birds were heard along with two lesser whitethroat, one common whitethroat, two sedge warbler, blackcap, willow warbler and chiffchaff.
Summer has finally arrived in Northumberland.
After the GWE had departed we stuck around for a bit chat with several local birders who had arrived a few minutes late - luckily for us the drake garganey flew out of the reeds and onto the pool - only my second in Cramlington, so a great record and a magic end to an amazing morning at the pond!
Friday, 24 April 2009
In my excitement I decided not to go to bed, it would be much more punk to wait for the Blur tickets to go on sale at 09.00... annoyingly when 09.00 arrived it transpired that tickets were only available from the venue, so my constant re-fresh of the web-page was worthless! Tickets were purchased for Massive Attack in September, but I guess it's a slim to non chance that the delightfully talented Liz Fraser (of Cocteau Twins fame, some of you may recall her vocals used in the MA "Teardrops" single a few years back) will join them.
In consolation I headed up to Druridge Bay this morning - regretfully avocetless, but little egret, marsh harrier and a couple of 1st summer med gulls were collected while I tootled about. Earlier still, a visit to Arcot Pond at 06.15 quickly provided grasshopper warbler reeling in the scrub.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Another trip down memory lane with this stunning halcyon. (I'm too tired to go out birding today... "nightshift hangover").
This big brute was photographed in the wonderful Singapore Botanic Gardens in August 2007, with collared and white-throated kingfisher also available for good measure.
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
This bird was photographed in Singapore in August 2007 - as you can see it's favoured habitat is not the best for photography, it is very dark in the jungle!
The camera was set to ISO 1250 with exposure at 125th second. The original image was very grainy, and as the 100-400mm lens was hand held the image is not as sharp as I'd have liked, even with image stabilisation.
This blast from the past has re-inforced my decision to have a play around with fill-flash, I certainly think it will enhance chances of getting better images on the trip.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
This confiding bird help alleviate some of the boredom between little gull appearances at Killingworth.
I guess it'll be happy with it's catch!
Coot can be quite tricky to photograph - black and white tones are sometimes hard to balance and detail can be lost. This image was taken in good light, and some fill in flash was used to help bring out colour in the eye and feather detail.
Friday, 17 April 2009
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Monday, 13 April 2009
Friday, 10 April 2009
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
From the Budge screen at Druridge Pool the drake garganey was on show, although the duck was not to be seen. A single black-tailed godwit was feeding in the shallows among redshank and lapwing. I didn't have time the venture to the main pool or hides, which probably is the reason why the little egret was not seen, nor Brians' little ringed plover - hopefully I'll catch up with another soon.
Later in the evening I spent an hour at West Hartford; Two SEO were on show along with one common buzzard. The SEO and CB had a bit of interaction, with the CB coming out on top - both owls drifted east, returning only as dusk turned to dark. No sign of the barn owl, I may have left to early, but there was a steady stream of LBBGs/HGs dropping into the pool for refreshment prior to roost.
Sunday, 5 April 2009
All sites were generally quiet, but a little egret on the budge fields at Druridge was nice. Still a relatively uncommon species in Northumberland, surely will end up as a breeding bird soon.
East Chevington held a single black-tailed godwit and drake pintail, while at Hauxley the wandering bar-headed goose was still present. I even managed to have a classic "in binocular view at the same time moment" - bar-headed goose and a black rabbit.
Much better than my mate Mark, who had to once make do with issy wheatear, red-throated pipit and gannet in the same view on Scilly. Quality wildlife viewing in Northumberland eh?
The redshank photograph was taken at Hauxley from the wader hide. A couple of snipe almost came into camera range, but promptly turned around when one of the hide shutters fell off its latch, making an almighty crash!
The only summer migrant today were chiffchaff - two - three at Hauxley. Thought I might bump into a wheatear or two, but alas, no.
Saturday, 4 April 2009
Friday, 3 April 2009
New blog link added to "other voices" section - Farne Islands - bound to be gripping reading during the migration periods!
Thursday, 2 April 2009
1 SEO hunting fields to south, east and west of the pool,
2 shelduck - I expect that these will breed in the area again this year,
5 sand martin (flying south - do they know something we don't?),
2 snipe (put up by the owl).
With a heavy sea fret moving in from the east, it was actually quite cold this evening!