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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Breaking news - reprieve for countryside services

Breaking news ......... Reported in tonights Evening Chronicle under the heading
 'Hundreds of jobs under threat at Gateshead Council'

Savings will be made with the planned closures of Central Nursery and Birtley Crematorium, as well move to switch off or dim street lights.
However, there is a reprieve for countryside services, with the council supporting the countryside team by keeping two posts. A controversial plan to get rid of the countryside warden support will be held off for another year.

Gulls in their various guises

That White-winged Gull was at Stella yesterday. It sneaked into Gateshead in various guises, such as Iceland Gull, Kumlien's Gull, Herring x Iceland Gull hybrid but appears to be a leucistic 1st winter Herring Gull.

That white-winged Gull [Steven Fryer]


Lamesley - 1, possibly 2 Jack Snipe behind Ravensworth Arms
Stella - 1 possible "Viking Gull" (Herring Gull x Glaucous Gull hybrid) and a colour-ringed Herring Gull

'Viking Gull' [Steven Fryer]

Ravensworth Fell - 1 Little Owl, 2 Curlew, 9 Teal, 27 Golden Plover and 1 singing Skylark.
Kibblesworth Grange - 2 Oystercatcher.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Med again

Shibdon Pond - The second-winter Mediterranean Gull was again present.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The second-winter Mediterranean Gull

Shibdon Pond - The second-winter Mediterranean Gull visited the pond today.

The second-winter Mediterranean Gull at Shibdon

Saturday, 23 February 2013

23rd February 2013

Shibdon Pond -1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Snipe & 1 Sparrowhawk.
Watergate -2 Teal, 36 Tufted Duck & 2 Goldcrest.
 Birtley Reedbeds -1 Peregrine, 3 Water Rail, 2 Snipe, 1 Shelduck, 3 Bullfinch & 1 Reed Bunting. 1 Dipper on river.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Oystercatchers and that white-winged Gull again

Shibdon Pond- 22 Shelduck, 1 Pochard plus a white-winged gull again. 2 Oyster-catcher later in day. In the reserve Tree Creeper, Water Rail, Reed Bunting, Dunnock  Goldfinch , Greenfinch , Bullfinch  and Redwings

Birtley reedbed pools - 2 Oyster-catcher and 4 Shoveler

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Roosting Kites

Decent numbers of Red Kites roosting in the Derwent valley at the moment, with up to 30+ the last few days.

Today 6 off Hollinhill Lane in a tree and another tree with 5 at Victoria Gareside, 6 at Barlow Fell and 1+ at Far Pasture, the latter with a Common Buzzard

The full crop bird is the top most one of the group of 6:

Red Kites -[Both pictures - Derek Bilton]
Shibdon Pond- 2 Oyster-catcher

Monday, 18 February 2013

Nutty Woodmouse

Saturday 16th  - Woodmouse & Siskin in a garden at Ryton

Woodmouse at Ryton [Paul Davidson]

Yesterday  - 6+ Tree Sparrow at Bradley Fell and 18 Wigeon at Bradley Hall.  4 Goosander, 5 Goldeneye and 13 Tufted Duck at Sled Lane.

Tree Sparrow at Ryton [Paul Davidson]
Shibdon Pond - 2 Oyster-catcher

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A couple of raptors showed well

Clara Vale LNR - Virtually all the usual suspects plus Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk & Yellowhammer in main reserve.
Thornley Woodland Centre - 2 Sparrowhawk & Common Buzzard overhead, plus 2 Roe Deer, Red Kites  Jay,  Great-spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Nuthatch and surprisingly not that many Grey Squirrel.

Sparrowhawk and Buzzard showed well today [Derek Bilton]

Saturday, 16 February 2013

White-winged Gull at Shibdon

Shibdon Pond - A juvenile white-winged Gull seen at this morning.

Watergate -2 Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lamesley -1 Wigeon & 1 singing Skylark.
Burdon Moor -6+ singing Skylark
Follingsby Lane -1 Common Buzzard & 20 Redwing

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A hybrid gull

Stella - A Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid on the Tyne at Stella today

Monday, 11 February 2013

Monday 11th February 2013

Ryton - Siskin on a garden feeder

The Siskin at Ryton [Paul Davidson]

Watergate - 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull & 1 Green Woodpecker.

The Lesser Black-backed Gull at Watergate [Rob Stonehouse]

Lamesley Water Meadows - 200+ Teal, 102 Curlew, 1 Wigeon, pair of Goosander, 1 Shelduck and 35 Redwing.

Some pictures from yesterday

Yesterdays Mediterranean Gull in flight [Paul Davidson]

Yesterday at Clara Vale LNR - Good selection of the usual birds coming to the feeders ie Robin, Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Willow Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Wren, Moorhen, Mallard, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Buzzard, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant & Grey Heron.

Wren at Clara Vale [Derek Bilton]

Kingfisher at Clara Vale [Derek Bilton]

Willow Tit at Clara Vale [Derek Bilton]

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A New Med

Shibdon Pond - An adult summer Mediterranean Gull on the pond this morning with a report of 7 Nordic Jackdaw, rising to 12 late afternoon. 

The Mediterranean Gull at Shibdon [Steven Fryer]

Winlaton - 7 Waxwing by  the car park yesterday.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Chiffchaff and Pink-feet

The Nordic Jackdaws, there now seems to be 3 of them are being seen off and on at Shibdon but otherwise its been quiet during the week.

A little more activity today with a Chiffchaff at Far Pasture again and 3 skeins of Pink-footed Geese totalling about 450 birds headed west over Swalwell early afternoon

Monday, 4 February 2013

Stoata up a tree

Derwenthaugh - 100+Dunlin on the Tyne with 50+Curlew on the Derwenthaugh meadows 50+Curlew
Shibdon Pond - 1 Kestrel and a rare occurrence of  a Stoat climbing a Hawthorn bush looking for birds nests?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Nordic Jackdaw ...perhaps

A potential 'Nordic' Jackdaw at Shibdon Pond - opinions seem divided on it's credentials - what do you think?

Potential 'Nordic' Jackdaw [Steven Fryer/ Paul Davidson]

Also at Shibdon today was a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull, perhaps the bird seen last month at Lamesley.

Meanwhile if you haven't already signed the e-Petition to save the Gateshead Countryside Team then do it now. 

The link to the reasoning of sacking and closing down is now [click link]

Note this has changed from earlier (We can't make things easy to complain can we?) 

'What impact will this proposal have on the Council’s statutory duty to address;
  • Crime and disorder   - Neutral 
  • ……. Mitigation … Countryside volunteers could provide valuable support in providing feedback to the council of adverse behaviour / activity. . 
  • [What the xx are they serious?. They are asking away beyond what is surely expected from a volunteer, they are already having to do more as it is with the last cuts]

  • They acknowledge that 'Groups affected by Proposal = everyone in Gateshead'

Sign it now ..... please.