Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Shore Road

Well that's it for this year my last trip (Except perhaps a walk along the river Allen) out to find some new birds. I went over to Whitley Bay Shore Road to see if I could catch up with the Sanderlings which I first saw this time last year.

These birds breed in the high Arctic around Greenland, Arctic North America and fly at least 5,000km non stop according to my RSPB book  and should not be disturbed while feeding so they can obtain enough food to survive the winter and there long flights. Just wish some dog owners would read about these birds, as today while watching the Sanderlings, Bar-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers from a distance through the scope one couple let their dog run out in to a group of Oystercatchers and Sanderlings sending them in to the air with alarm calls to wheel around and land a bit further out.

I was pleased to catch up with these tiny bird again as I like there frosty white, grey and black plumage and how they run about here and there searching for food. This little bird as now brought my list up to end the year on a 151 species seen in Dorset.

Old Photo of a Sandling Whitley Bay
I hope with the knowledge gained this year of were to find the different bird species I can better the list next year and on the 1st I hope to be out trying to reach a hundred in a day though I do not hold much hope in achieving that one. So I wish anyone that reads the blog a Happy New Year

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit in the grass

Monday, 29 December 2014


Tried to photograph the Blackcaps today in the garden as I had three coming to the feeders and chasing each other two males and a female , but failed as soon as I went out side the went over the fence only to return when I went back in side so gave up.
Garden list for today.

Blackcap - 3
Blackbirds -2
Starlings- 3
Robin -3
Wren -1
Blue Tit -2
Dunnock -2

It was interesting to watch the Blackcap chase each other and the Robin chase them and another Robin out of the garden.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Garden Bird Watch & then RSPB Arne

This morning I watched the birds in the garden for the BTO Garden Bird Watch Survey  , this is were I watch/monitor the bird species that use the garden through out the year. I do not get many different species in our garden though but what we do get as been interesting to watch, and one bird I look forward to seeing is the over wintering Blackcap which most likely come from central Europe.
They useal arrive by November (male) and by December (Female), the female usually chase away the male which as happened as I have not seen the male now since the 12th of December and first spotted the female on the 26th December, up date just seen the male Blackcap in the garden with the female. I have recorded Blackcaps returning to the garden from December 2nd 2012, here are a couple of pictures from January 2013 & March 2013.

Female Blackcap 19th January 2013

Male Blackcap 11th March 2013

After recording the birds went went over to Arne for the afternoon, it was very busy and did not see many birds as we went up to Shipstal view point through the wood and round the beach a cliff path,
though we did see a Raven,Kestrel,Shelduck, Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tits and heard a Dartford Warbler.
On our way back through the wood we came across a couple of Sika Hinds and a Stag we were have great views of the Stag and get very close which would of given me a great oppertunaty to get a very good picture ( better than the one I got anyway) until some muppet managed to let their dog slip its lead ( how that happened I do not know)  which chased the stag which took flight not to be seen again!

View fronm Shipstal view point

View form the steps at Shipstal point

View from the steps

Sika Hind
Sika Stag, I converted one of the pictures to black & white  as i like the look of it.

Sika Stag Arne Wood

Stag marking it territory 
Stag Marking its tree Arne Wood

The Black and white shot of the same Stag.

Yes this is my Tre

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Walk

Took a walk along the river Allen after Christmas lunch just to see what was about and get some fresh air.
It seemed rather quiet on the bird front though I did spot one or two about from Mallards, Moorhens and Mute Swans and one bird that I always really like seeing along the river but never seem to be able to get a very good picture of it/them as they are always moving and bobbing their tail up and down and the bird is a Grey Wagtail. This is a picture of one of the birds I took last year.

Grey Wagtail R.Allen 2013

Walking further along the Allen I spotted a little Robin in a willow and with the late afternoon sun illuminating the twigs I thought it looked rather nice but when I took the picture it as not come out as good as it looked with the naked eye

The Mute Swan family is still about and their only surviving cygnet is starting to look more like it mum & dad, think it will not be long before they chase him/her away from the territory .

Mute Swan

Juvenile Mute Swan  told by retained brown feathers

Mute Swan
On the way back along the river I came across a Blackbird searching the fallen leaves  for food so took a couple of quick snaps and from on of the pictures I could tell ( I think if I read correctly) that this Blackbird is one of this year juvenile birds as it is still retaining some brown feathers at the Primary coverts and Secondaries

Male Blackbird showing retained brown feathers

Last one same Blackbird

Male Blackbird

Saturday, 13 December 2014

River Allen Walk

Due to a bad back sustained at work a few days ago and dosed up with codeine at did not feel like going far this week end so took a walk along the foot path of the river Allen  just across the road from home.
The Allen is a wonderful small chalk stream that is home to many species of fish, and is one of the last strong holds for our native  white clawed crayfish. Their is a wealth of wildlife along its banks and close to town if one just looks I have seen so many time people walking to town or their dogs and not realise what is round them like water voles Kingfishers and such creatures.

The R. Allen

I digress from my walk which really began on Friday after while I took a walk to the doctors to get my prescription  and this walk reminded me of how special this short walk can be with me seeing the following species
Mute Swans, Moorhens, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds,Kingfisher, Long-tailed Tits with Blue Tits, Great Tits and a Goldcrest along with seeing a Great Spotted Woodpecker for the first time along the river path  and a Wren.
So with Saturday being a fine but chilly day  I headed across the road with my bins and camera with the hope of get some pictures and to see some nice birds

Pony near the farm track
Well I got see some good birds again but only managed a few shots along the way one bird I would of liked to get a shot of was just to quick at diving into cover not to be seen again. That was a Cetti's Warbler that I had a good view of through the bins but I was not quick enough with the camera.
To go along with the list of bird seen yesterday are as follows
Redwing, Mallards, two Stonechats in Pony field next to the farm track, Chaffinches, the Cetti's and a Buzzard sat on top of a telegraph pole  up bu Walford bridge.


Mute Swan

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A good week-end birding

After spending over an hour at the barbers with my son to get our hair cut it was a bit late to go over to the moors  so I spent some time in the garden trying to get a photo of the male Blackcap that as most likely come from centrel europe and decided to over winter in our and the surrounding gardens.
But as soon as stepping out in to the garden he went and sat in a bush not to move until I went back in side so no picture of him but did manage to get a couple of other garden birds.


So after a spot of lunch I head off to Longham Lakes as weather was very good and I hoped to get a picture of a Pochard, though I did see Pochard they were Just to far way .
Had a good walk round the lakes and saw a lot of birds these were the many Coots.Tufted Ducks, Mute Swans that always seem to be about and with them 10 Little Egrets the most I have seen there so far. Teal, Wigeon, Shovler Little Grebes,Grey Heron, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese two Green Woodpeckers and a Fox.

7th Dember 2014 and a Dorset Rarity
This day my son and I headed over to RSPB Arne, but on the way I stopped of at Slepe Heath to look for a couple of birds that got reported yesterday. So we made our way up the hill to the advantaged point to look over the moors and fields to see these birds which were Geese and these geese were Bean Geese(Tundra) there were a couple of folk up on the ridge and they pointed out the geese and I scoped a distance view of these Geese though the light was not brilliant I managed to see there orange legs and orange bill, short thick neck and rounded head and dark upper parts.
My 150th bird and mission achieved . While looking round we saw a Great White Egret, two Kestrels and a small herd of Sika Deer came running past no more than 20feet from use a great sight.

We then moved over to Arne and Coombe Heath were we had good views of Avocets possible a flock of about 300 and a large flock of Lapwing on the wing and Brent Geese so I looked for a raptor and soon found a Marsh Harrier working the reeds and creeks for prey.

Bean Geese (Tundra) # 150