Monday, 21 December 2015

Two First's

It goes without saying that Otters have been dominating my previous posts and this post is no different in that respect other than its the closest I have ever been to a wild Otter ( 1st) and its the first time I have used 10,000 ISO to achieve any sort of a picture at f4 another (1st) hears the result of this mornings encounter.


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Friday, 18 December 2015

Otterwell Pond

I Slowly approached the members hide this morning squinting thru the viewing screen to see if the elusive Kingfisher was on the perch. Instead I was confronted with Otters three in front of the hide,I watched from a distance at first before slowly moving closer. I watched them for a good five mins before movement off to my right caught my eye and there was a fourth Otter feeding on its own before joining the rest and moving towards the middle of the pond eventually loosing sight of them on the north bank.,Holwell is certainly living up to its nickname now as Otter numbers are on the increase.

Gosforth Pk
Wednesday morning with my mate Bob was fruitless from the new hide with nothing of any note so we retired to the feeding station where I managed a couple of decent shots before packing up early due to Bob not feeling too good.

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Friday, 11 December 2015

Gosforth Otters

It seems that Otters are dominating my outings at the moment,watching three on Holywell or should that be (Otterwell pond !!)on Wednesday and Thursday now two this morning at Gosforth Pk.
An early morning shot of a female Reed Bunting started the ball rolling followed shortly after by the two obliging Otters.
They were splashing and thrashing in the reed and came out with a nice Eel.

The camera clicks didn't seem to put them off ,but the haul out at the end made for a great morning.

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Chinese Visit !

A quick visit to the pond this afternoon opening the shutters I spotted this stunning male Mandarin quite a way off at first but slowly getting closer to within range of the 400mm,the light levels were quite good so the pics are a little better.not too many though as the ponds big bruiser saw him as a threat and moved him on.

 Other things of note 5 Goldeneye (no showy males) and a few flypasts by the local Kingfisher

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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Three Kits a feeding !

A cold blustery snowy morning saw me heading for shelter in the key hide at Holywell,opening the window to the far left of the hide in anticipation of a little more shelter from the N/E wind, in the distance I could see 6 Goldeneye inc 2 stunning males,2 adult male Goosanders plus Wigeon and Gadwall .
The surface of the pond was quite rough with the wind as I heard a Grey Heron giving off its alarm call looking to my left I was taken by surprise to see three young Otters playing and feeding as they came past the front of the hide,I scrambled to get the camera out of the bag remove the lens cap and switch on ,this is the result.

 The above shows the three kits swimming away.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Morning at Gosforth

The weather early on Wednesday morning looked clear, no wind or rain, Gosforth Park was to be our destination looking for the Bitterns wellies were the order of the day on the well trodden muddy path to the hide.
First in the hide (that makes a change) opening the shutters slowly I could just make out a bittern to my right on a clump of reeds however it also saw/heard us and flew to another area of reeds,others were seen in flight leading us to  count three different birds,our patience was rewarded two and a half hours later when a bird dropped in the reeds close by, we watched the reeds moving for a short while before it came out on the opposite bank to the hide .

It didn't stay long before moving off into the reeds.
If I keep going long enough I might get some good light values for these pics !!!!

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Monday, 28 September 2015

Leighton Moss (part two)

It was down to the sea hides next with the Eric Morcambe hide being a particular favourite,once again reed cutting the previous day was going to have its effect but hundreds of Redshank hadn't been put off  here's one coming in to land.
A solitary Dunlin in with the Redshank wasn't the easiest bird to pick out
This next bird really takes the biscuit as being the most scruffiest bird I have put in front of my camera for a long time Water Rail perhaps!!
Moving off the bird scene there were lots of these guys flying around
And finally I have to put these up as being one of my favorite Fungi Shaggy Inkcap going in to meltdown
A close up of the above showing the caps going into meltdown I don't suppose there will be much left come tomorrow ?.

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Leighton Moss ( part one )

A few days over on the moss left a little to be desired with regards timing, water levels had been reduced and reed cutting was still in progress but you've just got to get on with it .
Lots of work has been done since my last visit and some new hides as well ,nice to watch the masses of Godwits from Lillians hide quite a spectacle when there all in the air here's one that came a little closer.
The new causeway hide gave me the best opportunity at the Great White Egret which has been around for some time,not always at this distance.

You can't walk along the causeway without stopping to try and catch a glimpse of Bearded Reedlings on the grit trays and try as I might I can't manage decent images this ones been heavily doctored

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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Crap Weather

Arriving at Cresswell you could sense that we were in for a bad time with water levels as high as I have ever seen, rain, north winds and whipped up brown foam in front of the hide meant a hasty retreat was on the cards( without even opening the shutters ).
Off to Druridge pools next it can't be any worse than Cresswell or so we thought ,the only difference was there was no whipped up foam but we did open the shutters( only two tho) sightings matched the weather with 1 Black Tailed Godwit  and 1 Little Egret however the Otter came out to feed and kept us entertained for a good hour here's a couple of well cropped images from today.


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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Holywells Pectoral

My morning visit to the pond was again productive with good views of the Pectoral Sandpiper along with 2 Ruff 2 Dunlin 4 Snipe and of course the elusive Water- Rail, water levels are good at the moment for waders here's a few pics of the Pectoral Sandpiper.

Sorry that this post is a bit late but I had issues with Windows 10 which didn't allow me to upload pics on Blogger pleased to say this issue has now been overcome .Nice to meet up with Brian and Sam (Killy Birder)and witness the eleven yes eleven Common Sandpipers piping on the fence .

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

White Woodpigeon

For two and a half months this bird has eluded me only giving me brief glimpses and always too far for my lens, but this morning my wait was over as I looked out of my upstairs window there it was standing out in the small flock feeding in the field I had to take the shot from upstairs window for fear of disturbing it.
I have never seen one like this before I would assume Leucism is the cause of the white pigmentation ? nevertheless a very smart bird.
 My morning visit to the public hide at holywell was also quite productive with  Common Sandpiper ,Green Sandpiper and Dunlin not forgetting the mentalWater-rail that does a lot of jumping up and down in search of flies it would seem and running backwards and forwards in front of the hide ,but the highlight this morning was two Kingfishers always nice to see around the pond shame they never sat together.

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Sunday, 26 July 2015

RSPB Blacktoft

A few days at Blacktoft hoping to see the monty's was not disappointing witnessing a good number of food passes all of which where at distance and out of reach of my camera ,however I did get a couple of shots of the female showing a little closer this time my one and only chance.

 This bird was causing a bit of a stir and turning a few heads a moulty white headed Ruff but it stood out from the rest.
The Black-tailed Godwits were also in heavy moult but this one was quite presentable.
Perseverance prevailed with the next little blighters ( leaving many people disappointed )two seconds out in the open is the only chance I had.

A great visit, Monty's were spectacular and the rest didn't disappoint either.
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Friday, 24 April 2015

Lady in Red

A week away in the lakes saw this young lady touring around the site almost daily,this shot shows her lady bits off a bit more and she could possibly have Kits ?
Sitting in the back garden with a morning cuppa the other day when I was buzzed by what I thought was a couple of Bees they were heading for our Aubretia plant which is in full flower,as I watched them I realized I was wrong they turned out to be Bee Flies here`s a quick shot as they didn't stay long.
Finally after a tip-off from Cain about the American Wigeon on Holywell Pond I decided to have a wander down after tea to see if it was still present,it was hard to spot at first laying low behind a tussock of grass and not looking like moving,however it was startled by a Magpie which made it stand up only to show that it's a little lame although at distance and in fading light I did manage a record shot.

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