Friday, 22 July 2016

Female cuckoo tanfield

Had the pleasure to watch this quirky bird again in the same spot,  thus time i noticed a whitish underside.
Sadly i also noticed 2 fields which had reeling warbler, skylark, meadow pipit, reed bunting has been mowed down such a shame as these meadows are usually left to grow all year.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Cuckoo 20-7-16

Got out the house at 8:45pm and headed to the quail spot,on the way had good views of a gropper which was reeling and quite a few whitethroat families,when I arrived almost straight away a bird flew up from the wheat field 50feet to my left and up into a small tree where I  see it through the binoculars, this very thing happened the previous night and I had it down to a sparrowhawk with a kill,however tonight I found it very odd that it did it again I was trying to get a decent view but it was partially obscured by a branch but then it flew out in front of me to the right I got the  on it and instantly recognised it as a cuckoo white tip to the tail slimline,long tail with angular wings but with a very raptor like flight but this one was dark brown it then landed in a dry mudded area of a wheat field where it was obviously aware of me and was keeping an eye on me and its distance, it was acting weird it was hoping around and would occasionally jump as it was going to fly but then would land again. I had it thru the bins and it was definately brown so female or juvenile? ,it eventualy flew left again and literally landed in the exact same spot as where it took off from in the wheatfield ididntt want to disturb it again so I left it alone as it was getting dark,the question I left asking myself was was it a female trying to find a nest to lay its egg or was it a juvenile both good news. Or was it a crazy ass cuckoo? Ill definitely be keeping an eye on it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The work paid off.

After having 2 run ins with quail over the last 3 weeks I really wanted to get them again to get them recorded (audio), and it was a pleasure to have a good hour with one this evening (and I wasnt even gonna bother after walking to and from dunston with car problems) the weather was perfect.
I 1st heard it whilst I was just chilling on an old wall near tanfield railway in the hope an owl would make an appearance but my ears soon pricked up when I heard it  call, I  could tell it was coming from the wheat field beyond the trees that were in front of me so off I went ,camera in hand ready to record its call, eventually I got to the edge of the field after rushing through a wooded section where it s5arted to call every couple of minutes. It was calling until I went at around 10pm a perfect ending to the hottest day this year.
4secs, 22secs,2m22s  ,2m46s  3m36s calls

19secs, and  1min 23secs quail calling turn volume up didnt think it would turn out so quiet\!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Tree sparrow

Not much to report but there has been a tree sparrow hanging out the front of the house in a hawthorn hedge, seems to be hanging with a few house sparrows, its interesting to notice patterns in birds visiting the bird tables, behaviour a few weeks ago 2 dunnocks, 5 house sparrow and 2 collared doves were visiting the table daily, however now the house sparrows are coming less regular (maybe due to showing there young other food options. I dont know), and only 1 collared dove now coming dont know where the other has quail heard over the last week have been checking, but just grey partridge pheasant and red legged partridge. Today the weather has been fairly hot which makes a change but the wind is still 15+mph.
A evening walk produced very little alot of farm work being done in many fields walked through burdon moor and partly down bowes footpath keeping an ear out
For quail but nothing although it looks l8ke a good place.
A possible kestrel nest also seen.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Westerley winds

YOver the last week had a few walks late evening weather has been a mixed bag switching between warm cold rain and wind...had some nice sunsets and seen a few good birds.

Highlights were 3 buzzards which were all grouped up one evening, 3 buzzards seem to be the max number in the area not sure if that is due to control by game keepers but thats the most ive seen at  once.

Woodcock are roding

Grasshopper warblers are still in a few fields

Grey partridge with 8 young

A few red legged partridge.

Song thrush seem to be about most nights.

Occasional garden warbler still being vocal.

Little owls calling

Curlew calling

2 sedge warbler sing @burdon moor


Lots of kestrels.

Swifts,house martins, swallows.

Sadly no more signs of quail or red kite.

Also some kind of upgrade by local farmer on a smsll pond which seems to be for breeding ducks attracted 30+mallard (dont know if there wild or not).

Monday, 4 July 2016


27th june 2016 quail heard calling on patch.
2nd july 2016 quail heard calling on patch .

I was surprised to hear my 1st quail calling on patch while I was out looking for owls and since the 27th ive been out dusk and dawn getting up at 3am and generally listening out for them, overall the quail is winning and is remaining elusive and unpredictable as possible, so far ive only heard them at dusk however the weather which has been mainly rain and 18mph winds from the west has made it hard....its proven to be a very challenging bird to search for. the bird/s in the area are either reluctant to call and seem to be moving from field to field due to the fact that a number of times ive heard them at one spot one night and the next morning nothing. Then theyll be somewhere else a few days later.....
Ive heard that they have a tendency to move on quickly( land-call leave) but im holding onto the hope that there sticking to the area or ill be wasting alot of time lol.  not all bad though  while out looking  Ive had a LEO, little owls, a green sandpiper, curlew  and a family of grey partridglapwingspartridgim learning about being out birding at night like how bird calls slowly fade out and in certain orders and watching 100s of crows and jackdaws come in waves to roost!
Just need a sound recording.

Its all good.