Monday, November 12, 2018

A flexi day off today so loitering around home.

Over the weekend I have borrowed a camera trap from work to see if I can find out who is actually eating the hedgehog meat we put out nightly. I was suspicious that it wasn't just hedgehogs as some will be into hibernation now.

Over two nights we found that 3 local cats are getting into the feeding sanctuary and scoffing the bait before Mrs Tiggywinkle can get a sniff! I've now ammended the feeder box to deter the cat burglars....

Finally a wiggy gets to have a look, but unfortunately all the food has gone...

Hoepfully Mk111 will be better.
A look around the home turf with Peggy today was generally quiet as befitting this time of year, but I did get 27 Pinkfooted Geese S, 5 Crossbills S, Brambling 1, Redpoll 5, Grey Wagtail 1, Stock Dove 1, Snipe 6 and Curlew 48 over head.

I took a walk to a spot visible from our kitchen window that I have never been to before. The hill gave great views east to the North Sea over our village...

Monday, November 05, 2018


After my little mention about not recieving any comments on a post last week, Steve Gale emailed to say he had left some. I had not recieved notifications by email so had missed them! When I checked on blogger I had missed about 30 comments back to January from many of you!! Anyway, apologies for not replying, but thank you for your kind remarks, I WILL check on Blogger for comments from now on.... Please dont let it put you off...

Cheers All...

Sunday, November 04, 2018

I wasnt really out birding today, but the beauty of living in your own local patch is that you can literally just 'pop out', so thats what I did. It was bright and breezy first thing, quite mild, but that soon turned to that awful heavy drizzle for an hour, but that too, changed to a brighter mild and pleasant afternoon.

First thing this morning a female Sparrowhawk attacked our feeders with such speed and force that I didnt even see if it took anything. I think it probably did.

I then walked Peggy around the village wood that was very quiet, with nothing at all going into the notebook. The return walk down the lane had 50 Linnets on overhead wires and a lone Fieldfare flushed from the village hall waterworks, calling.

Village Wood

I then took the car all of 400 yards to Seahouses Farm layby to check the gulls in the field ( it was raining after all). There were 200+ Black headed and maybe half a dozen each of Common and Herring Gulls but no sign of the Med Gull today.

Our village in those trees and if you click on it, some of the gulls.

The coast fields muck heap.

From here the rain stopped so it was time for a stand and watch from the Rumbling Kern. The sea was deathly quiet with no passage at all other than 1 Gannet north, 8 Herring Gulls S and 2 Goodsanders S overhead. On the shore were 1 Grey Plover, 10 Curlew, 9 Oystercatcher, 5 Redshank and a Turnstone while in the small amount of scrub at the haven and dump were 7+ Robins, 5+ Dunnock, 1 Goldcrest, 28+ Chaffinches, 1 Rock Pipit and a Stonechat. 

I didnt bump into another person at all in two hours!

It was now time for home as we were going out for lunch to Doxford Hall....

The Bathing House from Rumbling Kern

The actual Rumbling Kern, a sea cave that thunders at certain stages of tide.

The Haven view south from the Kern.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

I'm late, I'm late....but not too late for some Patchwork.

Every morning before work I have a bit of a routine to follow, as do most of us. Mine involves getting up, coffee, dog walk #1, shower, breakfast, feed the garden birds dog walk#2 and then off...

Yesterday morning I was up to stage 6 above, when I heard the unmistakable 'kuuk' of a Raven, and it sounded close. I peered over the back field as a lone Raven flew very low to the ground past me before lifting up, over the village hall and away S. I was watching where it went, when I heard another Raven call, quite softly behind me. I turned to look at the sky above the copse next to our garden anticipating a fly over, when it appeared. First behind some bare branches then, it only pitched up on top of the large Ash tree next to the garden! It sent the Jackdaws and a few Rooks into panic mode. The Raven saw me, coupled by other corvids alarm and mobbing calls, and it flew off. This only angered the other crows even more who went in pursuit until they harried the larger bird out of sight.

What great bird they are, especially when they can be seen from the garden.

Now it was time for stage 7. Peggy's second walk of the morning is usually just a quick dash out before I go. Today we were on the top coast road a few minutes from home when I caught the sound of a Waxwing trilling call. I couldnt see anything and thought I had misheard, when no, there it was again. I stared high up and picked up two birds heading south but decending too. A pair of Waxwings! They dropped straight into our village after their long flight. I could just about see them perched on a tall willow in a garden in the village and saw them drop off at a 45 degree angle.

There was only one place that would pull them down like that - Davey's apple tree. Pegs and me turned ( she had been far enough anyway) and strode back home, passing the apple tree. Its very thick and hanging with fruit so I couldnt see anything. I swapped the dog at home for bins and camera and went back out. Its only 50 yards to Daveys from home, and sure enough right in the centre in the worst viewing place possible were the Waxers, getting stuck in to their apple breakfast.

I watched for a few minutes and grabbed a few record shots before they flew off, stopping briefly and then continuing west.

As I pondered them and wondered about getting back for work, more calls over head dawned on me, this time Crossbills, lots of them. First a low flock of 13 went south, quickly follwed by 5 and then 9 more accompanied by 3 Brambling. A good movement of Crossbills for here.

Now it was really getting time to be off. I could have stood viz migging much longer to see if more Crossbills would follow but time was against me so it was not to be. Still, it was a great half hour around the 'obs' before work....     

Some record shots of the waxwings. Pity I couldnt get two in one photo. Hopefully more will arrive over the coming week or two..