Tuesday, August 22, 2017


On Friday ADMc found a Spotted Crake on the Budge Fields at Druridge Pools. This is a big area of tall juncus with muddy patches in the middle, where birds as large as Spotted Redshank can go missing for hours on end, so I didnt bother going. The bird seemed to be typically elusive until Sunday where it began to get a bit more confident and fed out in the open so, as I had a couple of hours free time today, I popped along to try my luck. Lucky I was too, as I had only been in the hide for a couple of minutes when the bird swam out of a thick rush clump and back in. It then appeared on a muddy strip,walked into the water right in the open and began bathing and preening for a while.

Great little podgy creeping birds these, full of character as it sneaked past Snipe and Water Rail, making both look like large birds.

This is the first Spotted Crake Ive seen since the one found here by Steve Taylor in 2002 and is only my 5th ever.

After having my fill, then adding padders to the book such as 3 Ruff, 50 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel S, Black Tailed Godwit and 1+ Water Rail, it was time to head back to the farm...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Digger Wasp

At the weekend I found this funny faced chap loitering around our sweet peas. It seemed to have a flight route around the border often returning to this leaf. Unusually for an insect of this type, it had a neck and even looked up at me when i took its photo! The massive eyes gave it a comical expression that I had not seen before.

A short sweep of the internet, found it to be a likely Ectemnius cephalotes, a Digger wasp that nests in dead logs or stumps. I have a pile of such nice habitat only a few feet from this fellows hunting path. It feeds on flies and hoverflies apparently.

A nice, medium sized wasp, a new one on me.

White Rumper

After work this evening I popped down to Druridge Budge Hide to look for the White-rumped Sandpiper that has been kicking around the bay over the last week.

It didnt take too long to relocate it feeding along the muddy edges of the field flashes. A nice cold grey little wader and quite easy to pick from the Dunlin once a clear view could be had. These used to be mega in the county but seem almost annual these days.

Also around the scrapes were 1 Little Stint, 40+ Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank, 50+ Black-tailed Godwit, 20+ Snipe, 2 Garganey and a male Marsh Harrier .

As the wind got up and the light dropped making the birds on the field into blackish silhouettes, it was time for tea. A good couple of hours out...

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Anti-social Media.

Once again I have found myself neglecting the blog. Usually I have some reason or another, been busy, other stuff to do etc but lately there is a more sinister reason for this lack of entries. Social Media. Or should I say, Anti-social Media. I spend probably hours gazing at digital imagery on the phone.

In 2006 when I began this blog, I did it as a diary rather than some form of written social statement. I was never going to push the boundaries of anything. Then, some years later,  came Twitter. I like Twitter, you can link with loads of like minded people who you don't know, but they become 'pen pals' if you like. News comes through as it happens, info is passed around and it is like reading a bespoke magazine just for you that never ends.

Remember that bit. It never ends.

When it came to Facebook, I always resisted the connection saying it was just frippery, boring stuff with endless pics of people's meals and cats, but my friend John was on it and not on Twitter so I joined to see what he was posting. So I could see his photos and stuff.

Then smart phones became ever more seductive. Info on the go, at anytime, at a press of a screen. No longer would you be out of touch with mates you'd not seen for ages or people who have moved abroad, no, its like they live next door, or even in the same house! You can join groups and get advice on things you know little about, you can troll those you disagree with too.

This is where all the time goes. I know it and most of you know it too. We hate it. We all think that this social media mullarkey is a right old pain in the arse so why is it so prevalent in our lives? I cant answer that one, but lately I have considered jacking them all in, but cant do it. What if I miss something? Not someones breakfast or cream tea but something important to me, like my nephew's school play or nice pics of the rare bird I have just been to see ( or dipped).

As I have mentioned earlier, this stuff never ends, that's what irritates. There is no escape or down time, because that too will drive you mad. Its like an addiction.

What is there to do about it?

I don't know. I'd like to trim it back and keep my blog updated more, at least that's more writing rather than throw away commenting. I think. I'd like to read books more rather than the inane sometimes aggravating comments on the small screen too.

If you read this, and are not too busy on your phone, leave me a comment, telling me what you do, or try to do with this bloody awful demon in our lives...

Normal service WILL be resumed!