Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Going Cuckoo

I had a nice walk around Slaley Forest yesterday morning with the family.  Didn't see a great deal in the forest, but it was really just to have a look for suitable areas for Nightjar as it's been a few years since I've been down to see them.  The highlights were Jay, Bullfinch, Tree pipit, Redstart and a Red Kite over the Quarry.  In the afternoon we had a look around Derwent Reservoir but didn't see the Osprey that has been hanging around although it was reported on Birdguides.  Near the Dam on the South side of the reservoir was a very showy Cuckoo giving probably the best views I've ever had of a Cuckoo.  Unfortunately the light was on the wrong side for photographs but with a little help from photoshop I did manage to get something usable.

When we retuned home I checked Birdguides and saw that a male Red-Backed Shrike had turned up near Ashington.  So I jumped back into the car and headed up the A1068 to find it.  The report on Birdguides said roadside bushes but it seemed to be favouring an area about 200m west of the road.  So no photos, but still a cracking bird to see.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Hello Yellow

Driving between Druridge Pools and Cresswell Pond this morning I spotted a Yellow Wagtail in the cow field.  So I slammed the brakes on, grabbed my camera and jumped across into the passenger seat.  Snapping a couple of quick shots, it then took off and flew straight towards the car.  I looked up from the camera expecting it to fly straight over or veer off,  but it didn't.  It landed on the fence right next to the car.  I quickly took a couple of shots with the wagtail just about filling the frame, expecting it to get spooked and fly off and once again this didn't happen, it just sat there looking around, so I zoomed out a bit to get it in frame better (now there's something you don't say in bird photography very often!).

It eventually got spooked by some passing cars, who's drivers were probably cursing me for being stopped in the middle of the road.  I think these photos are worth their inconvenience!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Pie Eyed

I had a nice walk around a small wood in South Northumberland this morning.  It’s a place I like to visit every Spring if I get the chance.  Today I saw six male Pied Flycatchers, on top of the four I heard singing last week at Allen Banks, so it’s looking like it’s going to be a good year for Pied Flycatchers in Northumberland.

I also had four singing Redstart but unfortunately none would pose for a photo.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Allen Banks

I had a nice walk this afternoon with the family from Allen Banks to Plankey Mill and back.  We heard four or five Pied Flycatchers singing but only saw one.  It’s nice to hear so many singing though.  I was getting a little bit worried because we didn’t hear any Wood Warblers until we were nearly back to Allen Banks.

 Some of the other birds seen during the walk were Blackcap, Grey Wagtail, Common Sandpiper and Common Buzzard.  A bit of a surprise was that we didn’t see or even hear a Redstart, although the afternoon is not really the best time of day for finding birds.