Sunday, 6 June 2010

A trip to North East Scotland & Nest inspection

Kestrel Chicks at Geltsdale

As I missed the opportunity to help ring the kestrel chicks this year I thought I would make the most of getting some good pictures of them before they have grown enough to take off. I could see 4 chicks on the branches, there is supposed to be 6 in total but I didn't stay long to check as I didn't want to disturb them too much.

Close to Fledging

Kestrels seem to be thriving in the area the last few numbers as sightings have increased year by year and long may that continue.

Spot the eyes??

With vole numbers exploding due to decrease in livestock numbers it has paved the way for the likes of Kestrel, Buzzard and the Owl species to take advantage.

Pied Fly Eggs

went on an egg/chick count around all the woodland boxes to see how numbers have fared this year. Found a couple of boxes with Pied Fly eggs with a clutch of 6 in each. John Milo did a count on returning adult birds last month and got 7 males and 3 females so there seems to be good numbers compared to last year.

Female Pied Flycatcher

Great Tit Chicks

Plenty of Great Tit chicks counted but not a great variety of other birds. We discovered two new Badger sets as we were making our way through the woodland. Found a clutch of Blue tits eggs as well as a nest containing failed Bluey chicks with lack of food been the predicted downfall of the them.

Another Brood of great Tits

After checking all the boxes making our way down stream it was time to head back for home and the options were to either go back on our self through the woodland or to take on the stepping stones across the river Gelt!...stepping stones it was! and we also had the dogs with us Woody and Suzie which made it more of a challange. John Milo led the way and did pritty well considering he has a bad knee and made it across with Suzie, I had to carry Woody cos he was scared of water and got half way across and stood on an awkward shaped stone and had to bail off and step in the shin deep water trying to hang onto Woody and not land nastily on my bad ankle. its only water at the end of the day, it only goes skin deep so not a big deal, i just had squidgy feet on the journey home and you could of heard me coming a mile off.

Bluebell Woodland

Farmland Scenic Shot on Geltsdale

Nice agricultural shot for all my farmer crewe members...Laurie will like this as he is a closet wildlife lover even though he never says it i recon when he is in his 50s he will be birdwatching cockahoop!

Brown Trout up Geltsdale New Water

Another wonder around my patch of Geltsdale and you never know what you are going to find on each day that comes, thats the beauty of it! Managed to get some nice Brown Trout shots from under the bridge with the sun on them. I was snorkling with them as well at High Hynam waterfall, I think I mentioned it in my last blog but it was briliant to do and makes you want to do it on a larger scale in the oceans which would be the real deal.

Buzzard Nest

Nice discovery that afternoon when I noticed a Buzzard taking off from a high faced banking so I had a closer look from above and discovered a Buzzards nest with two chicks! great to experience and see, we were off sharpish though because we didnt want to outstay our welcome as the two parents were cirling overhead and mewing.

2 Chicks

On the way back walking through the rough untouched grass we had voles moving around our feet which shows the positive effect it can have on the whole ecosystem and we also came across this Mipits nest that eagle eyes John spotted...

Meadow Pipit nest

Meadow Pipit nest nearly stood on it

A trip upto Aberdeenshire to see family happened in the second week of June and a chance to visit the brilliant reserves that are Loch of Strathbeg and Forvie NNR.

Marsh Harrier! - Loch of Strathbeg

Headed up their at 6am to make the most and I got treated with an instant Marsh Harrier when I arrived at Strethbeg. Two females were showing really well and I also got a Great White Egret out on the wetlands. No Spoonbill which I was hoping for and Found out later in the day that a Black Kite was seen on the reserve in mid afternoon which would of been a real treat to see!

Close to a v good picture!

Marsh Harrier on the thermals

Shellduck at Forvie NNR

I moved onto Forvie for a quick look their before my game of Golf at Murcar Links that afternoon. Nothing special their just nice closeups of Shellduck and Oystercatcher on eggs.

Oystercatcher on eggs at Forvie NNR

I would just like to give a final shout out to my Birding Buddies Gary and Cain and their excellent blogs: -

The Holywell Birder -

Rowlands Gill Birder -

I understand that my blog is viewed globally by millions (Ignore the 6 Followers bit) so I just thought I would give my friends a helping hand....done