Monday, 29 August 2016

The Tyne

My wife and I started the morning off with breakfast in the Staiths Café at Dunston and very nice it was too. It was then off for a walk along the Tyne and what a cracking walk it was. The area has changed out of all recognition to the coaly Tyne it once was it is now, how shall I put it, stunning. Here are some of the birds we saw on the walk.



Black-headed Gull with a fish

Black-headed Gull



Saturday, 27 August 2016


A walk around Kibblesworth ponds yesterday produced some good photo opportunities with two or three Southern Hawkers and one Migrant Hawker. A Sparrowhawk circled high before going in to a dive, the way it came down I thought I’d got it wrong and it was a Peregrine, it then flew low over the grass before landing on a post (of course I was on the opposite side of the pond) before flying off. In addition, there was a lot of Common Darter ovipositing around the edge of the pond. No sign of the Albino form Small Copper at Lamesley but a couple of “normal” Copper put on a show. Has anyone seen a spider pee before because I got a couple of shots of a spider with what appears to be “pee” coming out of its back end?

Common Darter


Southern Hawker

Migrant Hawker?

Migrant Hawker?


Spider having a “pee”

Spider having a “pee”

Small Copper


Friday, 26 August 2016

Low Barns

My wife and I went out for lunch yesterday with a couple of friends of ours and very nice it was too. After lunch, we headed for Low Barns and as it was a bit damp, we decided to head for one of the hides. I am pleased we did. We had been in around half an hour when a blue flash headed up the lake, Kingfisher. It landed on one of the sticks placed at the edge of the lake then another a little closer. It then flew onto the fence just outside the hide. It then got even better as it landed on a large post right in front of us it was so close it filled the frame (I was using a Nikon D500 and 500mm lens). The first two images are cropped the others are not. The only thing I have to complain about was the light; it was rubbish so I had to use very high ISO to get these images.



Saturday, 20 August 2016

Help with Identification

Looking through some of the other pictures I took at Cresswell the other day I came across these two. After finding out that there were Curlew Sandpiper there I am now starting to wonder if there are two here in amongst the Dunlin one in the centre and one on the right. I have looked through a couple of books and they do look promising for Curlew Sand but any help would be appreciated, as they would be a lifer for me.


Friday, 19 August 2016

Humbug (not the sweet type)…

…more the Great Crested Grebe type. Had a drive up to Cresswell and Druridge yesterday. First stop Cresswell, at least ten Little Egret were on the lake, which is the most I have ever seen in one place. Avocet, Dunlin and Greenshank were also on the lake and Sedge and Reed warbler were in the reeds. It was then on to Druridge in the hope of spotting the juvenile Cuckoo but alas no. On the main lake was the afore mentioned Humbug being fed by an adult (and well fed at that) it was no sooner swallowing one fish before another one was being offered. Good numbers of butterfly were along the path to the hide and in the dunes Stonechat were still feeding young. Back nearer home at Kibblesworth were my first Common Hawker of the year two or three were flying but not one of them would land. Purple Hairstreak, again first of the year, at the Causey were always too far away for decent pictures. But all in all a canny day out.

Great Crested Grebe feeding young

Humbug with lunch


Sedge Warbler

Reed Warbler

What are you looking at

Female Stonechat

Take off

Male Stonechat

Painted Lady


Wall Brown

Purple Hairstreak

Common Hawker

Emerald Damselfly