Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dipping continues

In keeping with recent tradition, this morning was (between gardening duties) spent not seeing two very good West Hartford species - gbb gull / shoveler.

The gardening duties have been very exciting indeed. Turn you head on its side to watch...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

DDDip. Drip.

Highly unsuccessful trip out on Saturday, south of the Tyne to Teesside (no sign of the semipalmated sandpiper nor temminks stint at Saltholme).

The real reason for a trip to Saltholme RSPB

Closer to home, we managed to avoid any contact with the bonaparte's gull at Whitburn. So that was a complete result.

Then it rained. Alot.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

After the storm...

Wonderful West Hartford...
I took a bike ride out to West Hartford this afternoon after a really heavy rain shower had bombarded Cramlington for a half our or so. The immediate effects of the rain can be seen in the two photographs of the Horton Burn (below) - but more of West Hartford first...

I'd thought that there may be the chance of a wader or two after the down pour, and that water levels on the flash would have been greater - alas no to both theories - no waders (as such, oystercatcher don't count in this equation), as the "water" equated to a few puddles... A few pied wagatail fed on the mud, but it was raptors that provided the entertainment - 1 water-logged buzzard sat miserable in the hawthorns, while in the distance a hobby was flycatching over the course of the River Blyth. 2nd consecutive year that I've had this species here. A few texts and call were made to the Cramlington birders and not long later I was joined by LMcD / GM.  No repeat of the hobby during our vigil, but 1 sparrowhawk and a couple of kestrel were noted up till late afternoon.

Otherwise WH was quiet - a single great spotted woodpecker was working the dead trees that edge the main flash and an occassional stock dove made an appearance with the wood pigeon. 9 mallard flew out of the marsh but that was about it!

The Horton Burn had been the instigator of my trip out - having passed over it coming back from a shopping trip it was clear that the volume of rain water had swollen the river course - most of the housing estate storm water drains into the burn - and has an instant effect - !

Horton Burn - just after the rain storm

Horton Burn - a couple of hours later!