Friday, 31 October 2014

Two Norths and a Bank!

Silly title perhaps but it was a quiet day. Chap came to clean the oven, and a very good job he made of it. He took it to bits, cleaned everywhere and then put it back together. Sandwiches from now on!!

Time to go out after lunch, and as I had to be back in York for 4.30 could not go far, so decided on North Cave. It was very busy there today. Building work going on near the entrance, and fencing installed along the far path, so I decided to visit South hide and Crosslands hide.From Crosslands hide all I could see were some distant gulls, mostly black headed, but a nice number of common gulls, and two lapwings.

It was warm outside, but cloudy, so light conditions were not good. However I saw a few plants still in flower and a fungus.

From the hide I could see lots of greylag geese, mallard, pochard, great crested grebe and a female tufted duck with lots of white round her beak.

A sparrowhawk flew over and disturbed a few birds.
I decided to move on to the second north, North Duffield. There were a couple of cars on the car park, and I met one chap on the way to the first hide. He was telling me how quiet it was, with the only notable sighting of some whooper swans.
I walked down to the far hide and again one or two plants in flower and another mushroom.

In the distance I could see the whooper swans, who were just sitting in the field, so again only a very distant photo.

The wren was busy outside the hide.
Time to go to the bank. Bank Island on the way home. I planned to go to the viewing platform which is high and nearly level with the top of nearby hedges and trees. I was hoping to see either jays or perhaps some winter thrushes in the hedge. No sign of any jays, a small flock of redwing and fieldfare flew onto Wheldrake Ings. The only birds  I managed to photo were some geese.


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Illuminating York.

It is the time of year when people project images onto some of the buildings in York. Daughter, grand daughters and I set off for a look round. We did not visit them all, as you had to pay to see some. Here is a flavour of the free ones!!

We then headed for the Nation Railway Museum, where some of the engines have been illuminated, and the sound of steam trains helps to create a great atmosphere.

Birding around Hartlepool

Chris and I spent a few hours on a sunny day visiting a few birding sites in and around Hartlepool.
Our first stop was to look at some waders and gulls on the rocks to the north of the headland. Here we added redshank, knot, curlew, oystercatcher to our day list.

From the headland Chris spotted two eiders and a red throated diver. We slowly worked our way round the headland towards the pier and added cormorant to our list.

 A small flock of linnets was busily feeding in some vegetation, but I found it difficult to get a clear shot.

a redshank had wandered a bit closer,
Chris spotted more eiders in the harbour and we were able to get closer views.
We left this chap sunning himself and headed for Newburn Bridge.
A quick call at Jacksons Landing proved birdless.

Here Chris soon spotted a med. gull on a lamp post.
Who said that there was no coal industry!

Time for a trip down north gare road, where we saw more curlew and wigeon.

Dormans pool was our next stop where we had distant views of a stonechat.

From the hide we could see lots of lapwing and golden plovers. I tried my hand at digiscoping again. This time I managed to get square pictures, nit just circles, but need to be able to improve the focus.

 We drove to the view point from where we could see a grey heron, and some carline thistles.
.Phil Stead hide was our next stop where we added green and goldfinch to the list, bringing our total to 50, the target Chris set earlier.
We had a quick glimpse of a water rail as it ran in front of the hide.

We decided to go home via Albert Park in Middlesborough. A short while a go, someone posted on Teessmouth Bird Club site that it was a good place for jay. Finding the park and a parking place was a bit tricky but Chris managed it and before long we were watching jays picking up acorns and flying away with them.

Another excellent days birding, thanks Chris.