Monday, 7 January 2013

From Patch to Tyne

6th Jan.  Sam and I began the day once again on patch.  We wanted some better images of the Whooper Swan.  I have the ring number of the Whooper Swan on the one or two of the images so will check it out if need be although I suspect we’ll hear from others who were present with telescope before I get round to doing that. In the event the light and conditions allowed good photographic opportunities with the Mute Swans also.  Of course the other lake birds were not ignored.  One highlight was provided by a Sparrowhawk flying from the housing estate with a House Sparrow in its bill.  I make that Sparrowhawk seen each day we have been out this year.

Whooper attracting some attention.

'Now there's an attractive bird'

'Gis a Kiss Gorgeous'

Next stop was the church grounds in the village.  We had spotted the Snowdrops in bloom and wanted some images which were dully taken.  The church grounds have been alive with birds since the New Year began and today was no exception.  A flock of Redwing being the highlight here.


 Then after I had dropped off my macro lens at home to ease the weight being carried, we set off to find our next target, the Barnacle Goose at Tynemouth. I admit that this time we were on four wheels.  Thanks Malcolm.  On arrival at the boating lake it was once again brought home to us just how small Barnacle Geese actually are but not too small to prevent it having several flights at the Mallard Ducks.  We initially thought it gone.  Images taken, we were dropped of at North Shields Fish Quay.  I stopped breathing for a while and averted my gaze as we passed the fish and chip shop!  Once again it was a wonderful, almost spring like day and views down the ‘Big River’ was excellent.  I’ve not seen the quay and the path to Tynemouth so busy for a long time.

Barnacle Goose
We saw no rarer gulls, but we did add Cormorant, Eider Duck, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin and Redshank to the year list bringing that up to sixty-six.  We continued the walk along to the boating lake as the light began to fade, although the setting sun cast a light which almost made it look as though the sun was setting in the east.  We had thought about heading for St Mary’s Island, but we remain ‘laid back birders’ and save adding to our year list until another day when we may well complete our regular St Mary’s to Holywell walk.  For some reason we now seem to complete the walk in that direction rather than the other way about which means more up hill walking.  Anyhow, I shall look forward to my favourite walk.  I headed home after some laughs having enjoyed a great weekend.  The Barnacle Goose seemed to have settled any differences with the Mallard Ducks and in fact had become very friendly with one pair

'Big River'

This was a big river 
 But that was long ago
  That's not now 
 That's not now

Three Wise Black Headed Gulls
See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil

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