Saturday 28 January 2012

Bay Watch 28/01 - Tree Spuggies Galore!

Waggonway Today
A lovely sunny day with hints of Spring; Skylark singing, Willow catkins bursting forth, and Great Tits calling from all angles. Underfoot, plenty of ice, and according to the met office there's the possibility that the mild winter may have a sting in it's tail - hopefully while I'm filling my bins with new species in The Gambia :)

Willow Catkins
In the fields between Holywell Dene and the Obelisk were unusually large numbers of Tree Sparrows 100+, along with Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings. I've never seen such numbers.

Hedge full of finches and Tree Spuggies
A frosty Holywell Dene
Black-headed Gull - taking a drink from the Brierdene as it flows
down the beach at Whitley Bay

Monday 23 January 2012

Iceland & Glaucous Gulls - North Shields Fish Quay

The number of White-winged Gulls has been increasing further North in places like Shetland, so it was only a matter of time till a few spilled further south - well North actually - North Shields Fish Quay.

A look this morning revealed nothing. The tide was out, so poorly timed. Wind on a few hours to 3pm and, with a high tide and trawlers returning, there were plenty of Gulls including 3 Iceland and 1 Glaucous.

Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull

Monday 9 January 2012

Bay Watch 09/01

The Waggonway today
More spring than mid winter, making a laughing stock of the 'alternative' weather forecasters who had this winter down as the start of the new ice age.

Hazel Catkins
Gold Finches and a Blue Tit taking a bath. No ice age this year.
Walking along the Waggonway towards Holywell Dene, I scored early with four Tree Sparrows by Whitley golf course - my first record of this species in Whitley Bay. A single Goldcrest by Churchill playing fields was also quite unusual. I rarely see these on the coast outside of autumn when they can be found in their thousands on a good year.

Tree Sparrow
Into Holywell Dene and the feeders were pulling in the crowds; Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Robin, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird......... and a Little Grebe on the Dene.

Nuthatch doing a classic pose
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Along past St Mary's Wetland, and I see there are now a number of bird tables. A lone Woodpigeon took advantage.

St Mary's - bird tables!

On passing by the Brierdene Car Park a Med Gull hung around for scraps.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Injury time mothing

Well, with 4 hours till next year, there's precious little time left to catch a moth in December. I'm not giving up easily - the trap is on full blast.

See you all next year.