Sunday, 18 December 2011

Tree Huggers!

It made a nice change to see some sunshine this morning, it doesn’t seem to be melting the snow much though.

Things were looking rather grim this week as the cottage roof began to leak and I was down to my last 3 teabags. I've managed to grab a few bags from the local shop and all is well again.

Bird wise nothing special at the moment and not really any news to report.

A crisp walk in the sunshine down to the tarn this morning showed good numbers of ducks, particularly Teal 60+. Snipe also seem to be in good supply at the moment and walking in the grassy, boggy areas never fails to disturb them… I wonder how many are on the reserve at the moment and how you could survey this?

Woodland bird pics... its all about the creepers and peckers today (tree huggers).

GS Woodpecker with pinecone
Where the pinecone ended up!
Creeping in the trees
Other birds this week include…
Siskin 18E, Whooper Swan 6N (2juv), Raven 2, Woodcock 2, Fieldfare 16, GS Wood 2, Treecreeper 2 and Stonechat 4

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Desert Pics!

Few pics of the first-winter, male Desert Wheatear.. what a little treat...

Ciaran Hatsell

Ciaran Hatsell

Thanks for the pics Ciaran.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Desert in the east… Great White snow in the west!

Sorry, little news on Geltsdale today as I've been away and only got back yesterday. The only birds worth mentioning seen today are two Water Rails spotted around the screen area of the tarn.

Been away to the east catching up with the Farnes team and a good night in Seahouses was a cracking end to a cracking season on the Farne islands. 

Farnes Wardens, Ciaran and Andy at Geltsdale... I live at the end of the track!
While over on the east side it would have been rude not to go see the cheeky Desert Wheatear at Newbiggin… a stunning little chap which we observed feeding on the sand flies around our feet (no need for bins with this one).
Great White Egret
The next day and back on the west side, myself, Ciaran and Andy were treated with excellent views of a Great White Egret at Campfield. We then spent the afternoon at Caerlaverock and watched a stunning starling roost from Gretna Services. All in all a good few days.

Any guesses on numbers??

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Yet more rain...

Yep more rain, drizzle and generally crap weather this week. Despite the weather it hasn’t been dull here.

Here comes the rain, sleet and hail....again!
It’s been a week for birds of prey with sightings of Peregrine, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Ringtail and Merlin.

Other highlights came on Thu with a flyby of 14 male Black grouse at the southern edge of the reserve and a flock of 22 Bullfinch on the slopes of Geltsdale Middle.

A walk down to the Tarn flushed 14 Snipe from a recently flooded field (peak winter count so far). Nothing too special to been seen on the Tarn but good numbers of all the common ducks, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Teal, Mallard and Pochard. The Whoopers seem to have moved on and a Little Grebe is now showing well by the screen.

A visit to the plantations in search of Woodcock proved unsuccessful but revealed a nice mix of Coal Tits, Long-tailed Tits, a Treecreeper and 2 Jays.

Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been great for photogrophising but heres a dull photo and some sketches.

Black Grouse.. can you tell..


Away for the next couple of days, heading east for some end of season Farne’s festivities. Facing the joys of public transport on a Sunday when you live in the middle of nowhere is a treat! (3 mile walk to the train station at 7am).