Tag: Jay

Not quite what I had in mind

by on Dec.17, 2009, under Birdwatching, Choppington Woods, Northumberland

The hoped-for wintry weather did make an appearance this morning.  As I sat in a school governor’s meeting, reviewing all of the school’s policy documents (you have no idea…), a series of snow showers passed over – each one depositing a thin white layer on the ground outside.  Almost as soon as it had settled it thawed, so the picturesque landscape didn’t materialise.  Back at home just after lunchtime and the sky was getting darker.  As the birds attempted to consume eight feeders worth of food in a day (they fell just short) they were joined by two birds that often pause briefly in our garden, as they work their way along the edge of Choppington Woods, but rarely stay.  That all changed today though as two Jays decided to assault the feeders and then start tucking into the windfall apples that are still lying beneath the tree.  They were joined by a couple of stunning male Bullfinches as well.  Sadly, photography wasn’t an option.  Partly because it was incredibly dark for early afternoon, but also because having hailstones the size of garden peas bouncing off your head isn’t much fun 🙁

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Out with the old…

by on Dec.01, 2009, under Birdwatching, Northumberland

OK, it isn’t 2010 just yet but the NEWT website has been replaced by a new(er) one.

The only big cosmetic change is the blog.  We’ve opted for a contemporary look, and it adds a lot of functionality that we didn’t have access to previously.  Embedding images and video clips is just one of those functions, so we’re going to make the most of that whenever the opportunity arises.

Much of the last few weeks has been spent at my desk, writing content for the website and checking links etc whenever Daniel has uploaded a new set of changes. 

The NEWT office window bird

The NEWT office window bird

This means that most of my birdwatching has been focussed on one small section of southeast Northumberland; our back garden with it’s apple and ash trees, tangles of bramble, ‘wild’ allotment and ever-growing selection of bird feeders.  Jays, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Bullfinches, Willow Tits, Redwings and Fieldfares have all visited in the last few days and the cold spell we’re in currently is accelerating the bird visits to the garden.  I still keep having this dream about Siberian Accentor

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And now…

by on Aug.26, 2008, under Wildlife

I’m sitting in my office, catching up on paperwork (well, that’s what I should be doing anyway, what’s actually happening is I’m watching a Red Squirrel in our Ash tree and counting Jays as they fly past) and planning tomorrow’s Druridge Bay Safari.

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And we’ve also…

by on Aug.26, 2008, under Wildlife

Had several very successful tours with clients. August 11th saw us venturing across to the Farne Islands on one of our Seal Safaris, excellent views of the Grey Seals were had by all, as well as brief views of two adult Puffins flying by and a Puffin chick that had only recently entered the water. The Cheviots were a little damp on August 18th but a break in the rain produced Peregrine, Merlin, Buzzard, no less than six Black Grouse and a Hare. August 19th saw us visiting the Grey Seals on the Farne Islands again before heading up the coast and across onto Holy Island to search for more seals and wading birds, then back down the coast as far as Amble. 20th involved an early start (for some…) and a walk along the Blyth. Heavy overnight rain had left the river as a raging torrent the colour of milky coffee and the highlight of the morning was a Red Squirrel making it’s way through the trees on the opposite bank of the river as Jays screamed at us from their hidden vantage points. Druridge Bay trip later the same day and we were treated to large roosts of Lapwing and Oystercatcher as well as a mystery mammal running across the roof of the hide we were sitting in at Hauxley. By the time we raced outside it had disappeared into the trees…
August 21st and we were back in Druridge Bay. Highlights were a Common Toad that was walking up the path ahead of us, Noctule Bat flying past (and picked up later on our bat detector) and, due to the incredibly clear sky, excellent views of Jupiter and it’s moons through the telescope – leading to an impromptu astronomy extension to our evening.

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