Monday 28 November 2011

It's not over till the fat lady sings

There's still time to register your objection to the housing development that threatens Gosforth Park Nature Reserve.

I popped there this afternoon and found this chap.

Red Squirrel
To give your objection use this link for more information.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Gosforth Park - Friends round for dinner

I'd hoped for a view of the Bittern yesterday, but horizontal rain coming in through the hide led to a hasty retreat to the comfort of the feeding station, for a pleasant hour 'shooting' the visitors and putting the world to rights with Paul and Morgan.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Introduction of offence of vicarious liability for raptor persecution in England

Scotland, recognising that those who persecute birds of prey frequently do so at the direction of their employers or others with vested interests, has introduced an offence of vicarious liability, the purpose of which is to bring those parties to justice. This petition calls on the government to introduce an offence of vicarious liability to bring to justice those who direct or turn a blind eye to raptor persecution in England. As an indication of how bad thing are, in the last year only four pairs of hen harriers successfully reared chicks in England, fourteen peregrine falcon territories failed on grouse moors in Lancs forest of Bowland, and only one successful goshawk nest was recorded in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire. Current legislation is not enough to deter those who break the law and destroy our heritage; the introduction of vicarious liability would hit those directing the slaughter.

Sign the petition here:

Sunday 20 November 2011

The Prestwick Carr Owl Show

I arrived at Prestwick Carr about an hour before sunset, and the Short-eared Owls had apparently been up for a couple of hours in good light and had just gone down. This happens to me a lot.

My luck soon changed though, and having spied a Long-eared Owl roosting in thick cover, the Short-eared Owls came out to play :)

Thursday 17 November 2011

East meets West!

East meets West!

A phone call from Tom last night, "You seen anything on your pager?"

"Er, no Tom. It's in the van. Two minutes...........*/@!..........I'll pick you up at 7.30 tomorrow."

We arrived at Holy Island, in glorious sunshine, and headed for the beach where a couple of birders had already found the Eastern Black Redstart. What a stunner!

Eastern Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros phoenicuroides

Eastern Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros phoenicuroides

It was joined a while later by an equally stunning male Black Redstart.....

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros

The day just got better as we headed to The Chare. We had Hen Harrier, 14 White-fronted Geese, Merlin, Sparrowhawk and a good laugh with a 'heavyweight' (in expertise and dimensions) group of birders trying to turn a juvenile White-front into a Bean Goose. The best decision was to go find a nailed on Bean Goose which we did in a stubble field at Dunstan near Embleton, several in fact, with Pink-foots, Barnacles and a couple of Ross's Geese just to add colour.

"They're talking b******s Tim. It's a juvenile White-Front. Let's go find a real one"

More photos of Eastern Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros phoenicuroides are on my website.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Greater Yellowlegs - First for Northumberland

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa Melanoleuca

Having dipped yesterday, an early start paid off with gripping views at Hauxley Nature Reserve. At one point the Greater Yellowlegs, accompanied by a Grey Phalarope, came within 10 feet of the hide.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Down by the swings

A pair of Ring-necked Parakeets are setting up home in Churchill Playing Fields, Monkseaton, Whitley Bay. The nearest know colony is Hartlepool. Present since last Friday.


At Prior's Park in Tynemouth. Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Fieldfare and Blackbird all together.

Also a couple of Blackcaps but no Isabelline Wheatear, yet.

The lone camper is still there.

Here's for at least 3 days. Each day the tent has moved. No resident spotted yet.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Laugh or Cry

Went to Shetland for a Siberian Rubythroat and saw....

Twitchers at the front
Ponies round the back

And the toon win 3-1 on the telly on the ferry.