Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Is it a bird?, is it a plane?

NO--- its a human suspended
from a thin piece of nylon
by a few strings, How dangerous.

And another fool.

That's Me with the green one, yeah right.

I was just thinking as you do, its about time I changed my header photo and put a more seasonal one up there. Now I'm thinking, considering the weather at the moment it is still in keeping.
I don't believe this, its snowed all morning here, fortunately it didn't stick but on the tops its a different matter.
Now for health reasons I don't like to venture out in cold conditions preferring instead temps. around the 70* plus mark hence the none bird related photos, one doesn't tend to see many birds between radiators. I would definitely become a Snowbird if I could afford it and do my winter birding in warmer climes, but alas.
I get quite annoyed with myself when I see all these other guys out and about in all weathers, and here I am stuck inside waiting for the sun and better temps. (its the thyroid you know) surely warmer weather can't be that far away, can it ? The weather persons have forecast another barbecue summer, so looks like Wellies and wetsuit at the ready for another year.
You've got to laugh haven't you.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Rook who dropped in

Rook at this (for Sun readers)
Its nicking the little birds food.

I know they will eat most things, but I would have thought it would be able to find food more to its liking in the surrounding agricultural fields.

when seen at a distance they just
look like another black Corvid
but not so .

Yesterday I had a walk round Thacka with Kyfer & Misty, the weather wasn't that clever, overcast and damp. On the rooftops of the industrial sites there was six Lesser Black-back Gulls and 1 Herring Gull.
On the flood I found 1 Snipe, a few mallard, Common Gulls, and a few Black Headed Gulls. There was also 13 Oystercatchers, and still a few Lapwing in the fields, but no sign of any displaying yet.
The dogs had been left to their own devices while I scanned the flood with dire consequences as the pair of them was covered in mud.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Sunny Morning at Thacka flood

The markings on snipe are fantastic,
if they are not stood out in water like this they can be so hard to find.

Took the dogs up to Thacka this morning and had a look in on the flood , there was 20 Common Gulls, a few Black-Headed Gulls, 2 or 3 pairs of mallard, 10 Oystercatcher, and 1 Pied Wagtail, and new to me on the top flood, a Redshank, normaly see them in the wet area below the settleing pond.
There was a few Jackdaws around the edges of the flood, along with Crows. Flying around the area there was quite a few woodpigeons and Stock Dove. At one point a Sparrowhawk flew over and disturbed everything momenterily, it went on its way heading towards the woods near Newton Rigg. A mistle Thrush was singing in one of the trees near the big house which was good to hear.
The sun was shining and it was really warm on my back as I scoped the flood, lets hope there is more to come !!.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Thacka & the flood

  A misty morning last month near the flood.
             Had a look in at the flood this morning, a few Black Headed Gulls, 12 Common Gulls including juveniles, a pair of Lesser Black-Back gulls 2 pair of OysterCatchers, and pair of Mallard. There was also Lapwing dotted around the fields but not many. Jackdaws and Crows made up the remainder of what was about.
               The weather was dry but there was a cold Northerly wind blowing, and the sun only shone fitfully. At least the wind was drying the paths, can't wait for some warmer weather!!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Cumbria, Marshside, & Martin Mere

Female Linnet Maryport

And as always Beautiful to see
Male Mute Swan
Mrs W has had the week off this week so we have done a bit of touring about, and making the most of the weather . Firstly we had a ride over to the west coast and a visit to Siddick ponds. All the Mute Swans were sorting their territorial problems out , and there was still 6 Whooper Swans and 1 juvenile at the paper mill end of the main pond . There was also a couple of Heron about , but the wild fowl population had gone down quit a bit since our last visit . There was still some Goldeneye on and Goosander , also one or two Pochard .
Next we moved on to Maryport and by now Mrs W's stomach is beginning to remind her where the little harbour cafe is , so that had to be the next stop . Great, one of my favourites on the menu -- buttered shrimps and toast , all went down very well . So Mrs W is happy again and its back to birding. There wasn't a great deal about but it was nice to come across this Linnet near the beach wall.
So that was Wednesday the 10th , on the 11th we moterd down to where I still call Lancashire (can't stand "Mersyside") and had a look round Marshside . It was nice to see a few Hares about enjoying the sun, and we had Snipe , Godwit , Redshank right in front of the Sandgrousers hide.
Next we moved on to Martin Mere and just in time to sort out Mrs W's food problem again , all these places She knows to drop in for lunch never ceases to amaze me . Now Martin Mere is a great place when once you have left the arrival and check -in area , and the buggies and pink anoraks are far behind, (I do wonder sometimes) . Anyway back to birding, a spectacular sight is 1000 Whooper Swans, I didn't expect there to so many still with us, also masses of Black-Headed Gulls about and a Med gull with them apparently!. The Ron Barker hide was doing a good trade everyone looking for the American Wigeon , While we were there it was seen fleetingly before being spooked by a Sparrowhawk .
As anyone that knows the place will testify there is always plenty to keep birders happy , once you get past the blue rinse and pink anorak brigade.
After leaving we headed for my old town St.Helens and called in on some friends before making our way back up the M6 and home.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Its All in back & white

                                     Black Swan---White Swan

What you looking at ? don't know
What you looking at ?
Goosander male + 2 female

The white dot in the distance is a male Smew
his mate is below the surface, honest.

Had a ride round today covering parts of Cumbria and Northumberland, the amount of snow that's about is amazing. I finally ended up at Tindale tarn where I saw all the above . Other wild fowl included Pochard. Tufted, Goldeneye, and the usual Coot. Another good day .

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Buzzards abound

Fresh snow two nights ago (Blencathra)
A beautiful morning again this morning, wall to wall blue sky. So the Westies and I decided to make the most of it and we set off up Thacka. There was all the usual to be seen in the hedges -- Blue & Great tits, a pair of Dunnock, Chaffinches, and various corvids. We continued on till we reached the river Petteril in the hope of Dipper or Kingfisher, I was in luck with the latter, I herd it first , then it flashed past me going upstream.
On the way back through Thacka not one but six Buzzards circling an incredible sight, and very enjoyable morning.