Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not doing the predictable...

 A long weekend this week to try and finish up the decorating business, but before that, as it was JWR's birthday, we had a full day out birding.

Whilst others did the twitching thing down at Teesside where the Isabelline Wheatear put on a show, despite looking a bit sickly in some photos, we headed up on to the moors to look for raptors.

Red Grouse
It was a lovely early winters day and despite being typically quiet on the raptor front we enjoyed the wilderness experience. Up at the Harthope Valley, the only Buzzards seen were local birds, but there were loads of Redpolls and Siskins, 6+ Crossbills and 10+ Red Grouse. At another moorland site, the hunt and its band of merry men ensured that the whole area for miles around was largely devoid of any wildlife other than a scattering of Fieldfares and a flock of 20 ish Yellowhammers.

A late Pale Pinion in the moth trap the other day.
 Today was spent painting windows and skirtings. What a task!

I managed to get out for an hour with Bunty this morning and for a shorter time this afternoon. The female Stonechat sporting an albino throat patch showed well along the roadside. This bird has been around for the thick end of 6 weeks now.

Stonechat female with a hint of albinism...
Down the long walk a few good patch birds were seen - a pair of Gadwall and a female Shoveler on the pond, not annual here, 17 Whooper Swans and masses of Pinkfeet flew S and a Red Squirrel was chewing on some acorns for breakfast.

If that wheatear had been up at Musselburgh for example I might have gone, but down there to the smoke...no thanks, not this time, maybe I'm starting to get away from twitching rarities?


Wilma said...

The stonechat looks rather smart with the white throat patch.

Lou Mary said...

Nice images Stewart - especially the grouse in flight - nice lighting