Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Building up

Arcot Pond on Monday night was alive for the first time in a while. A pair of Great Crested Grebe were on the pond, Grasshopper and Sedge Warbler were reeling away as was a Lesser Whitethroat. Two pair of Common Tern fished above the pond and later another pair passed through at the same time making this my highest total I have seen in Cramlington. At least two Grasshopper Warbler were also rattling behind the Brockwell centre on monday afternoon.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit Cain's ''office'' near Kielder. With the sun shinning GS Woodpeckers were drumming away in the woods and  Green Woodpecker was yaffling away. On a short walk by the river we stumbled upon two Song Thrush nest, one with young chicks and another still under construction.
The peaceful woods were momentarily disturbed as two rutting Roe Deer ran through the trees before crashing through the river barking as they went. A Dipper was dipping through the rapids as a Grey Wagtail picked amongst the rocks and a drake Mandarin flew downstream.
The highlight of the day for me though was seeing a Common Lizard (a British lifer) chasing spiders along the grassy bank side.

Later in the afternoon we checked Killingworth Lake where we got excellent views of the Great Crested Grebe pairs. At least eight Common Terns were fishing here and a Speckled Wood butterfly was in a garden near the lake side.
During a quiet trip to West Hartford today I spotted a Speckled Wood flying around the substation. A pair of Gadwall and a Whitethroat were also noted. A few Tree Sparrow flew east calling high up as they passed were my first noted record of seeing them on visible migration through Cramlington.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Back to the future

After a family bereavement and work commitments I am slowly getting back to birding in what spare time I have. I managed to see the Ferruginous Duck at Gosforth Park the other week which was very nice to see.  The patch has been relatively  quiet, I missed the GW Egret at Arcot but I have just been enjoying watching the more expected common migrants preform well and in good numbers early on. Cramlington seems to be carpeted with Ladybirds at the moment, I dont know if anyone has noticed a similar pattern anywhere else?

On sunday I did the WEBS count at Castle Island with SH. I cant remember the last time it was as exciting. The usual's were on the island and in the water near the bridge but east of the island in the river were a pair of Red Breasted Merganser, 4 Goosander and 1 summer plumage Red Throated Diver. The diver didn't stay long and ended up flying back towards the sea. Also a Lesser Whitethroat was calling from the bushes near the cycle track