Sunday, 27 February 2011

Garden Birdwatch Update

Weeking starting 20th February 2011.

Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 1
Great Tit 1
Goldfinch 9
Chaffinch 2
Greenfinch 8
Blackbird 2
Starling 8
Collared Dove 3
Robin 1
Jackdaw 2
Dunnock 2
Woodpigeon 4
Feral Pigeon 2

Mammals: 1 Domestic Cat

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed, Fat Balls and Scraps.
Water

Friday, 25 February 2011

First Moths of 2011

Today, before work this morning I found a Pale-brindled Beauty resting on the outside wall. Tonight the moth trap is out and already a Hebrew Character has been recorded. A great start to my 2011 moth year.

Pale-brindled Beauty


Hebrew Character

2011 Moth List = 2 species
2011 Bird List = 99 species

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Garden Bird Camera Capture

The Robin only visits the feeder occasionally and everything has to be very quiet. This is in contrast to the Jackdaw's that fly in and frighten anything in the tree.





Garden Bird Camera Capture

It is a pleasure watching the Greenfinches and Goldfinches visiting our feeder. Although the males and females may look very similar they certainly have different characters. Time at the feeder is precious and sometimes individuals don't get chance to grab a bite before they are displaced by another. After the recent national scare with disease amongst the Greenfinches the numbers visiting our garden is slowing increasing. The males are turning greener as the breeding season approaches and are spending more time at the feeder each day.











Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Garden Bird Camera Capture

Today, I finally managed to video capture the Coal Tit visiting the fat balls.




video

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 13/2/11

Goldfinch 12
Blue Tit 2
Dunnock 2
Greenfinch 5
Chaffinch 1
House Sparrow 12
Starling 12
Blackbird 2
Collared Dove 4
Woodpigeon 2
Feral Pigeon 2
Jackdaw 2
Robin 1
Long-tailed Tit 2

Mammals: 1 Domestic Cat

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed, Fat Balls and scraps.
Water

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Is Spring in the Air?

This week has seen three species of bird carefully prospecting possible nest sites.

15/2/11 - Male Blackbird was looking at last year's nest and also chasing away the House Sparrow, Robin and Dunnock from the bush.

19/2/11 - Male Blue Tit had a look through the nest box hole this morning.

19/2/11 - A Dunnock was visiting each tree / bush in the garden where previous nest sites have been.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

2011 Year List

Another good day birdwatching in Northumberland yesterday (12/2/11). This time I visited Cresswell Pool and Durridge Bay Pools. Despite a damp start to the day, the sun appeared to show off the beautiful landscape and seascape of the area.

2011 Year List = 98 (Grey Partridge & Red-throated Diver).

Today, the wet weather returned so I tried to beat the heavy rain by heading out earlier doors. My target was a Green-winged Teal found by Teesmouth Bird Club members at Bowesfield Marsh in Stockton-on-Tees. As I arrived the rain became more presistant and there was a chill in the wind. The bird had not been seen, so I started to search through the ducks on the pool. After an hour, there was no sign but ducks kept appearing out of the grass and rushes. I was told that the bird had been seen on another pool so I headed off slipping and slidding through the mud. There in amongst approximately 20 (Eurasian) Teal and 30 Common Redshank was the drake Green-winged Teal.

2011 Year List = 99 (Green-winged Teal)

Garden Bird Camera Capture

Since the Goldfinches have made the Sunflower Heart feeder their own. Many of the other garden birds such as Great Tit, Blue Tit and Coal Tit have to make brief visits to collect food. Generally they feed on the peanuts or fat, but a bit of sunflower seed is occasionally on the menu.

The Robin never visited this feeder until the bad weather on 6th February 2011 and an empty feeder gave it the opportunity.
video

video

Garden Birdwatch

Week starting 6/2/11

Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 1
Great Tit 1
Goldfinch 10
Chaffinch 1
Greenfinch 4
House Sparrow 8
Dunnock 2
Blackbird 1
Robin 2
Starling 5
Collared Dove 3
Woodpigeon 2
Jackdaw 2

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed & Fat Balls.
Water

Mammals: 1 Domestic Cat!

Garden Bird Camera Capture


video

A short video (slowed down x.125) showing how a male Greenfinch uses it size and aggression to displace the smaller Goldfinch from our Sunflower Hearts feeder. It is much more difficult for a Goldfinch to displace the Greenfinch from the feeder and often uses the element of surprise to help.


Here is the same video in real time.

video

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Garden Bird Camera Capture

A short video of a Goldfinch landing on to our Sunflower Hearts feeder. The speed of the film has been reduced from 1x to 0.125x.

video

Sunday, 6 February 2011

2011 Year List

Today, I went birding in North Northumberland with the Teesmouth Bird Club members and unfortunately the rain was continuous throughout the day. The first stop was Holy Island and a welcome from the Pale-bellied Brent Geese. Scoping from the coach park at the small pool we recorded Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Golden Plover, Shelduck, Shoveler and Lapwing. As we walked to the small harbour, Fulmar were circling the castle and Grey Plover were feeding on the mud near the stranded boats. Red-breasted Merganser, Eider and Common Scoter were all visible from our vantage point. Walking further around the island we spotted a Long-tailed Duck and six Slavonian Grebe feeding in the calm water.

Next stop, was Budle Bay and as we approached a small flock of Barnacle Geese were spotted in a field. On the mud at Budle Bay we saw a small flock of Pintail and a first sighting of the day of Wigeon. At Stag Rocks, they were Purple Sandpipers, Knot, Redshank and Turnstone on the rocks closeby. Offshore near the lighthouse they were 10 Long-tailed Duck, 4 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Guillemot and several Shag.

On the way to Seahouses, we stopped at a roadside pool where they were 7 Greenland White-fronted Geese in a field with Greylag and Pale-bellied Geese. There was also a large female Peregrine sitting on a fence post which was a great end to the day.

2011 Year List: 95 (Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Snipe, Slavonian Grebe, Fulmer, Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, Shoveler, Common Scoter, Barnacle Geese, Common Buzzard, Pintail, Guillemot, Shag, Grey Plover, White-fronted Geese, and Great-crested Grebe).

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week Starting 30/1/11

2 Blue Tit
1 Coal Tit
1 Great Tit
6 House Sparrow
2 Dunnock
8 Goldfinch
1 Chaffinch
1 Greenfinch
1 Robin
2 Blackbird
3 Collared Dove
1 Woodpigeon
1 Feral Pigeon
10 Starling
2 Jackdaw

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanut, Seed & Fat Balls
Water

Mammals: 1 Domestic Cat

2011 Year List

I had to venture further North today, up to Newcastle Airport. So I decided to visit St. Mary's Island, near Whitley Bay to see what birds were on the coast. I arrived to find approximately 60 Teal floating along just offshore and cluster of Black-headed Gulls resting on the grass bank. After parking the car I went along the coastal path heading towards the lighthouse spotting Oystercatcher, Curlew, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Turnstone, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Sanderling and Purple Sandpipers. There were also some Eider ducks offshore too.

With the incoming tide the birds were frantically feeding as the waves approached. By the time I reached the lighthouse the tide had turned preventing people crossing to the island on foot. As I turned inland a single Rock Pipit was feeding in the grass and a Grey Seal was looking skyward just offshore. Through my binoculars I could see his whiskers glinting in the weak afternoon sunlight. Push off the rocks, a few Turnstone and one Sanderling were feeding on the sandy shore as people walked by.

In the Wetland Nature Reserve the island in the pool was covered with Redshank and there were a few Moorhen, Gadwall and Teal present in the pool. I was hoping for a Snipe or a Woodcock, but no luck and no Mediterranean Gull either. I spent a very pleasant two hours before heading further south.

2011 Year List = 77 (Eider, Golden Plover, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Turnstone & Rock Pipit)

Mammals: 1 Grey Seal & 1 Rabbit