Wednesday 17th April following

April 22, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

1: And I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!

Well, it hasn't done that yet but I am honestly tired of wind - it seems to have been blowing for ever. Maybe the prophets of doom are right and the world is getting windier. Just wish it would hold off for a while!

Went to Old Moor on Wednesday 17th April to look for terns: saw common tern and a willow warbler was singing loudly by the first hide. Eventually I tracked him down deep in the scrub. First one of the year.

Willow Warbler

2: What colour is a polar bear's skin?

It's one of those old chestnuts isn't it? Something to impress your friends or maybe bore your colleagues with. Like what does a banana share 40% of its genes with? Answer: human beings! I expect every living thing shares about 40% of its genes with every other. Not just bananas.

Oh well, anyway, on Friday 19th April I went somewhere new to me: Scorton Lakes near Catterick. It is a series of gravel pits that are being converted to wetlands. They are still very raw but I saw little ringed plover and, after a lot of searching, an arctic tern. When I arrived a birder said he had been watching the tern fly around the far end of Banks Lane lake but had lost it. I found it resting on a rock in the sunshine by slowly scanning my way round. The vantage point is very good but you need a telescope: it's a large area - with promise for the future! Car park at SE242995 called Scorton Walk car park.

Chaffinches accompanied my walk back.Chaffinch Celandines were flowering in the sunshine.

Celandines I went on to Saltholme where I had distant views in the heat haze of drake garganey and brief views of sedge warbler [singing loud and clear] but skulking in the brambles - perhaps still recovering from the journey.

Other birds showed well including wheatear and avocets.Wheatear Wheatear Wheatear Avocet Avocet The Saltholme fox gets everywhere and is completely unafraid as this photo shows!

Fox On the following day, Saturday 20th April I went to Deer Hill reservoir looking for twite and then on to Blacktoft. Let's start at Deer Hill. I set off on the gradual climb up to the dam - it's about three quarters of a mile I would guess. This pony needed his Dinky Rug on what was a frosty start! Memories of Uyeasound...

Shetland Pony Lapwings were nesting.

Wheatear and snipe were around too...

Wheatear ...and lots of meadow pipits.

Meadow Pipit Eventually I found the twite at SE068117. Here's my twite portfolio. Look out for signs of the red rump of an adult bird.

The twite kept retreating to the wires.


The books say twite have a quite deeply forked tail.


Twite Twite Twite Twite Twite Twite Twite Twite Twite One was bound to be ringed!Twite Swallows gathered on wires near Tiggy.

Swallow Some whimbrel flew over the water but I think this is a curlew...Curlew From there I drove along the M62 to Blacktoft. One of the perils of photography is that sometimes you don't realise what is spoiling the shot. Take for example this shot of a little grebe equipped with a new digital aerial!!

Little Grebe That's better!

Little Grebe Geese abounded.

Greylag Geese You never go to Blacktoft without seeing the harriers.

Marsh Harrier Marsh Harrier Snap!


Last lap. Sunday at Saltholme and co. A couple were showing their alpacas to the locals at RSPB Saltholme.

Alpaca Alpaca Alpaca Alpaca Alpaca I was after other things. A distant common sandpiper was target #1.

Common Sandpiper The fox turned up yet again.

Fox I had seen a whitethroat at Dorman's pool briefly earlier but was very pleased to get these photos of the black-necked grebes as they came in close.

Black-necked Grebe Black-necked Grebe Black-necked Grebe Day finished with a little tern battling the wind at South Gare.

196 UK 2013

Oh yes, the polar bear has black skin! Not a lot of people know that!



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