Neil Pont
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November News

Posted on 18 November, 2017 at 3:30 Comments comments (0)

I can't believe it is 4 months since I posted on this Blog! No wonder no-one follows it... Excuse? I've been posting pictures to my Facebook page (and had forgotten about this page if I'm honest).  But for all 'non-Facebookers' here are some November pictures.

A Grey Phalarope stayed next to South Shields pier for quite a while; Snow Buntings were also there (which was handy); I had good views of a group of 5 Snipe at Shibdon Pond; a male Sparrowhawk (unsuccessfully) dropped into the feeding station at Big Waters: and the Willow Tit the Sparrowhawk was trying to catch!
















Lindisfarne Lepidoptera - part two

Posted on 14 July, 2017 at 5:35 Comments comments (0)

Also seen:

Dark Green Fritillary
Small Tortoiseshell
Six-spot Burnet Moth
Red Admiral








Lindisfarne Lepidoptera

Posted on 14 July, 2017 at 5:20 Comments comments (0)

Gosh - can't believe it is April since I posted here.  Back in May we visited the Holy Island of Lindisfarne with our bird-watching group.  I got a picture of a 'woolly bear' - the caterpillar of the Garden Tiger Moth.  Last weekend Julia and I were back on the island with our choir as we were singing in the island's music festival.  We made time for a walk around the island as well.  We saw a Garden Tiger Moth in exactly the same place as we saw the caterpillar.  Coincidence - or not?  We also saw quite a few other moths and butterflies...


Mellow Yellow

Posted on 25 April, 2017 at 10:50 Comments comments (0)

First day of the bird watching class's summer course today.  Summer? There was a whistling North wind that made 'long johns' the order of the day. However we were rewared for our persistence.  Lots of Avocets on Cresswell Pond with a really bright Yellowhammer on the boardwalk as we approached the hide.

Near the causeway were the first Wheatears of the season and from the hide at Druridge Pools we saw a vagrant Green-winged Teal.  All the usual suspects were there too - including: Shoveler, Red-breasted Merganser, Snipe, Pintail, Gadwall and 5 Little Egrets.

The real bonus was a very good view of a Yellow Wagtail.

Julia and I lingered a bit after the class dismissed and saw Sand Martins and a Common Swift.  A pair of Reed Buntings also posed for the camera.








Down in Durham

Posted on 13 April, 2017 at 11:40 Comments comments (0)

I took a trip to Rainton Meadows in Durham today - haven't been there for ages.  Totally dead - apart from Mallard, Mute Swan, Coot etc.  I came back via Washington WWT which was a bit of a mistake because a LEGO event meant that it was overrun by CHILDREN!!

However the Avocets are a delight.  There was also a good group of Godwits - which I am struggling to identify.  After much perusal I've gone for Black-tailed (until someone tells me I'm wrong).  

I also heard a strong song which I thought I recognised - Blackcap I thought... And blow me down, I was right!







Beautiful Barney

Posted on 11 April, 2017 at 6:25 Comments comments (0)

As mentioned in the previous posting I had wonderful views of the Barn Owl at Cresswell.  Here is just one picture - to encourage you to look at the gallery elsewhere on this site..



Closing in on 150

Posted on 11 April, 2017 at 6:15 Comments comments (0)

I've been to East Chevington/Druridge Pools/Cresswell a few times recently and have been able to add to my year list with some unexpected birds - particularly Water Pipit and Spoonbill.  I have also had good views of the breeding Marsh Harriers and a spectacular sighting of the Cresswell farm Barn Owl (he gets a whole page to himself elsewhere on the site).

These pics are definitely 'record shots' - they do what it says on the tin - record that I DID see the bird... (146 this year now)






Riverside Falconry

Posted on 6 April, 2017 at 0:10 Comments comments (0)

John James, the owner of Riverside Falconry at Newburn, kindly offered a day's photography with his birds of prey via his Facebook page.  All you had to do was nominate someone who you thought would enjoy this experience and he would pick the winner at random.  My friend Chris Bland nominated me - and I won!

So, on Monday 3rd April, I went down to see him and his beautiful birds.

Here is a shot of each of the birds we used:

Harris Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk



Barn Owl



Brown Wood Owl



American Kestrel



Bengal Eagle Owl




A good day out - by rail..

Posted on 3 April, 2017 at 3:10 Comments comments (0)

Recently Julia and I visited friends at Raughton Head, near Carlisle.  We took the opportunity to call in at Caerlaverock WWT.  As expected we saw a good variety of birds - 45 species.  There was the normal huge flock of Barnacle Geese and still some Whooper Swans in attendance.  All the ducks were in lovely breeding plumage - and it was goood to see Yellowhammers too.

The best bird was, however, a Water Rail.  As the light was starting to go we headed back to the car park and just had time to call in to the Peter Scott Walk which is near the entrance.  Another birder, who was just leaving, told us that he had seen a Water Rail quite clearly by the small pond.  We hurried down the path and were rewarded by our best ever views of this somewhat enigmatic bird - often heard but seldom seen.



What a Wally

Posted on 17 March, 2017 at 5:30 Comments comments (0)

Until my friend Chris Newman told me about Bramblings he had seen at Wallington National Trust, I didn't even realise that there was an excellent wildlife watching hide there.  I've been to Wallington many times - but have always been to the east end of the site where the walled gardens are.  When I visted yesterday I went west - discovering the ponds and woodland walks - and the hide.


I found the Bramblings easily - and a lot more besides as you can see...













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