Friday, 30 December 2011

The beast of Whitley Bay

Ringed Plover

Low tide at Whitley Bay meant plenty of waders at the North end. Sanderling, Dunlin, Redshank, Oystercatcher, and this obliging Ringed Plover.

Unfortunately there was also an idiot with no control over his dog. The beast chased every bird on the beach for 20 mins, while the f'wit owner stood 300 yards away on his mobile. It was a only when the dog started on me that he bothered to call it back, probably because he saw a large vets bill coming his way if my tripod made contact!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Harwood Hike

A walk from Harwood Village up to Tutehill Moss was a great way to blow away a few crimbo cobwebs. No shrike this year, so far, but plenty of Crossbill action.

Along the track into the forest I saw large flocks of Coal Tits, the ever present Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Kestrel, Fieldfares flying over, a single Grey Heron, and Goldcrests.

On returning to the village at dusk, a Starling roost of a few hundred birds was 'exploded' by a Sparrowhawk, adding a bit of drama.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Blyth Harbour Tranquility

Red-throated Diver
To escape the Boxing Day crowds at the coast, bolstered by unseasonably mild temperatures, I went to Blyth Harbour. Fantastic, just me, three Red-throated Divers, and a few Eiders.

Eider Duck

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Big Waters

Took a trip out with my mate Mick to photograph a couple of target species today, namely Dunnock and Tree Sparrow. Despite a sortie from the local Spuggiehawk, all went well.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Bitterns, Berries & Ice

There were up to three Bitterns at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve today.  Not the attention seekers that others have seen, strutting naked in front of the hide, wings akimbo. Oh No! These were the coy shy type, hiding amongst the phragmites like their supposed to.

The lake was frozen, bar an area opened up by the Wigeon. Further holes appeared as several swans 'crash landed' on the ice, only to be turfed off by the resident pair.

On the way home a large flock of Fieldfare and Redwing were found by the roadside, so a quick park and camera out the window..............

Friday, 9 December 2011

A new camera lens combo!

Tried out a new combination of the Canon 7D + Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM + Canon 2 x Extender III. The yanks rave about this combo, and I can now see why.

Very portable compared to hauling around the Canon 500mm f4, so a good option for foreign trips, or where there's a hike involved. And the Canon 70-200mm at f2.8 is superb for low light, and good to hand hold.

Could this be the end of the road for my Canon 100-400mm?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Newbiggin by the Sea - it's mainly rubbish!

Having spent 10 million on a new breakwater and beach, you'd think the local community would take care of their new asset. The beach is covered in rubbish, tons of it. Shame on you Newbiggin.

Anyhow, I did manage to get one shot of the Desert Wheatear without a pop bottle, or plastic bag spoiling things.

Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti