Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Flittin in the riggin

Barn Swallow

Swallows were checking out the sailling dingies at Tynemouth Haven today. Must be getting ready to leave.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Hot Spot

Spotted Flycatcher

I found a hot spot for birds today, on the footpath heading North from Earsdon cemetery. Past the cemetery, at the end of the first field, is a small stream along which the trees and hawthorn hedge provided cover for a variety of tits, warblers and a rather pleasant surprise in the form of a Spotted Flycatcher.

Long-tailed Tit
Great Tit enjoying a wasp!
Blue Tit
Willow Warbler
And feeding on thistles was this Gold Spot moth..........

Gold Spot Plusia festucae

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Holywell Pond


I missed the reported Marsh Harrier but found a fishing Heron, a fine adult Med Gull and a rather smart Ruff in front of the public hide. And I dodged the rain :)

Med Gull

Monday, 22 August 2011

Feast on the fence - Bon Appétit!

If you park in the Old Hartley car park, north of St Marys Island, check out the cliff top fence. It's covered in snails - mostly Garden Snails (Helix aspersa) and a few Dark Lipped Banded Snails (Cepaea nemoralis). If you fancy some wild food, here's your chance. Go on, and if you see some slugs, you can eat those too!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Buzzing Marmalade

Have you noticed the huge increase in hoverflies over the last week? One species, in particular, is very numerous at the moment - the Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Spotted Redshank Beehive Flash

Spotted Redshank was reported at Beehive Flash, but all I could find was this Common Redshank.
Common Redshank - showing well at Beehive Flash today

Monday, 8 August 2011

Double Take at Holywell

Black-necked Grebe

I popped along to Holywell Pond to see the Black-necked Grebe this morning, and there it was, right in front of the members' hide. For the first few minutes it sat with its head down having a snooze. Then, deciding to feed, it dived. And when it surfaced there were two of them!

Along a nearby hedgerow, a Whitethroat scolded me as waited to ambush it with my camera. A few minutes passed and it came into the open, only to be ambushed by a Sparrowhawk, some six feet in front of me! The Whitethroat managed to dodge the attack, and then did a very good job of avoiding getting photographed, save for a couple of shots taken through the undergrowth.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A new species for Northumberland

1247 Plum Fruit Moth Grapholita funebrana
Caught in my garden moth trap last night in Whitley Bay. The 1st record for Northumberland!