Saturday, 25 January 2014

Beans I'm toast

Bean Geese on the patch. Seen today apparently and I'm working all weekend.

Thats all I want to say.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Half Hearted

This morning agreed to meet down at the costs. Weather forecast wasn't good but we hoped for a break. There wasn't one.
It was overcast with dreadful visability and one heavy shower just seemed to merge into the next. We sat in the car hudled around mugs of tea, the highlight of the morning was a slice of superb chocolate cake.
Stewart received a text message announcing a Glossy Ibis had been seen at Lynmouth. Off we drove.
The weather was appalling as we checked the area the bird had been reported from, no sign.
Later we discovered the bird was indeed exactly where we had been looking for it but was a little tricky to see, our half hearted efforts had let us down.

Later in the day I decided to take a look at the Aln Estuary as the weather seemed to be improving. It was a short respite and I was soon standing gazing through rain speckled optics, I went home.

Sometimes only Tea will do
The weather did improve by eveningtime. I headed back out but this time I headed for the high ground. Parking up and scanning over Alnwick Moor.
This really was nice, clear and very cool. The sun was setting over the distant Cheviot Hills.
Birdlife was quiet, as expected, untill a Red Grouse began calling from the Heather close by, this bird would continue calling until I left, what a sound it is when it is the only sound you hear.
I had a short walk along the roadside trying to find a better position to take a picture of the sunset. As I walked a Woodcock flew through a gap in the distant trees, this was the first of at least 9 of these great birds, there seemed to be pairs together as well as singles and they were calling all the time.
Almost dark as I headed back to the car and a single Snipe flew overhead calling..



Sunset from Alnwick Moor

Monday, 13 January 2014

Aln too late

Busy all weekend but I was free later this afternoon so popped down to Alnmouth. Light was fading, it was very cold and high cloud was blocking out any late evening sunlight there may have been. It was quite nice sitting viewing the estuary from the cycle path, 2-300 Teal were dabling around the shallows, I think the tide was on its way in.
Gulls were floating overhead and landing on an exposed sand bar. 60-70 Curlew lifted from the Cricket pitch and dropped into the estuary.
3 Grey Heron and 3 Little Grebe were nice to see, Redshank, Mallard, Wigeon all went into the notebook. I must get this list started, see how many I have for the patch..

Monday, 6 January 2014

Harbour Watch

I Parked up in the sports club car park just as the sun was rising and met with Stewart. Cold and still almost dark. We walked along the cycle path towards the Aln Estuary, we attempted to photograph a very obliging Little Grebe that was fishing either side and beneath the small wooden bridge that crosses the stream running into the estuary from Bilton. Low light and unforgiving cold on gloveless fingers fumbling with camera controls meant that I had limited success, well no success actually.



Sunrise over Alnmouth

 
After viewing the estuary from the village we headed off down the coast to check Gulls in Amble Harbour.

Amble Harbour from Little Shore
 
 



 


Mediterranean Gull with Black Headed Gulls

 
 
 
Plenty of birds to be seen in and around the Harbour but this lovely Maditerranean Gull was particularily pleasing and allowed close approach for photographs.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Buston Links, Seaward.

Called down this morning to gaze seaward with the scope for a change. I'm sort of planning to keep a "list" this year, and have decided to use Coquet and Aln as my patch, so I thought I'd try and add some seabirds. Eider was the only addition. There were three Red Throated Diver quite close in but no sign of the Great Crested Grebe that was present prior to new year.



Aln Estuary

Looking into The Aln Estuary on my way back to the car was quite good. Good numbers of Teal and Wigeon and Gulls were dropping in to bathe in the fresh water. Black Headed, Common and Herring.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Coquet to Aln Estuary

Looking south to Coquet Estuary

Walked along the shore and dunes north from Coquet to Aln Estuary yesterday morning. Bullfinch, male and 3 females, and Greenfinch were feeding in the bushes around the car park at Warkworth.
Dunes were very quiet walking north, as I dropped onto the shoreline a fabulous hunting Merlin flipped down over the shore and flew low over the sea towards the pier at the Coquet Estuary.
 



Birling Carrs


Tide was well out, a group of 9 Purple Sandpiper, single Knot and Rock Pipit were feeding on the rocks.
 
I then walked back up through the dunes and along past the small pond in Buston Links towards the south side of the Aln Estuary. There were finch flocks of mostly Linnet feeding in the rough field edges, Goldfinch and Skylark.
 

Buston Links
 
 
 
 

Looking North to Aln Estuary