Thursday, 31 October 2013

Illuminating York

Last night I went into York to watch the light shows in various parts of the city. You have to pay to get into the ones at Cliffords Tower, Museum Gardens and the minster. St. Helens church is free and worth a visit, whatever you do dont miss the railway museum. Not only is it free but the atmosphere is brilliant. The rest of this blog is just pictures that I took from several places. Difficult taking pictures due to people walking in front of me, plus a delivery lorry in York.!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Birding around Hartlepool.

I do not know what kind of a tree this is but I along with Chris and other birders spent a long time today looking at it. We were looking in the tree in the hope of seeing a special bird. We saw a chiffchaff, a blue tit and then fleetingly our target bird a Western Bonelli's Warbler . Names after an Italian birdwatcher this bird breeds in south west Europe and North Africa, and is a rare visitor to this country.
Chris and I spent the day in the Hartlepool area, looking for a black redstart, lapland bunting and a dusky warbler, but we were unable to find any of them.
We did however manage to produce a day list of 57 birds.

After spending time along cemetery road, We decided to go to the headland.area, where we saw the warbler, plus a large ship leaving harbour, plus a local chap!!

 Our next stop was newburn Bridge, where Chris found a med. gull along with some black headed gulls. Ringed plover, oystercatchers, dunlin, redshank and sanderlings were also present.

The road to North Gare was our next destination where we added curlews and greylag geese to our list.

Our last port of call was Skinningrove, where our bad luck continued with no sign of the redstart we had hoped to see.

Another good days birding thanks to Chris.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A glossy start to half term birding

Those of you with incredible eyesight might just be able to make out a brown mark on the far side of the water. It is a bird, taken with the camera I got soaked in Lincolnshire. My plans for this afternoon changed at the last minute and Chris came to the rescue with a plan. he took us to Hartlepool where I thought that we were going to look for some whooper swans.
As I walked along this muddy path towards a group of birders, I was trying to work out where were the swans  and what was everyone looking at? One chap was busy taking pictures, but what was he t2aking pictures of? Then I saw the bird, a glossy ibis. It was the first time that I had ever seen one, and here it was only a few feet away. Chris was able to get some good shots with his camera, so please visit his website.
We then went to the coast but could only find a few redshanks and oystercatchers with the gulls. Saltholme was still open but we were unable to find either the whooper swans or long tailed duck. The weather had taken a turn for the worse so we set off home. Thanks Chris for a lovely 4 hours of birding and another tick. 222 this year and 296 life list. our next outing will be on Tuesday, lets hope it is as rewarding.

Chris has very kindly sent me one of his pictures from yesterday, so here is the glossy ibis. Thanks Chris.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Half term at last

Football duties took me to Bishopthorpe today. I went for a walk along the riverbank and took a few pictures. lots of long tailed tits, mallards and grey wagtails and lots of ladybirds.