Thursday, 30 July 2009


We went to mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) today. I quickly grabbed an opportunity to add a picture to my Birds and Galleries series by snapping this Moorhen on the pond outside the gallery. The Moorhens had bred and had one chick. Other species present were House Sparrow and many and various assorted Mallard type quackers + the ubiquitous Herring Gull (in my experience always present at art galleries) which I narrowly missed snapping.

Some very impressive art including "Possibilities and Losses: transitions in clay" a multi-artist installation which was scary and thought provocking (click here). Firstly a huge, precipitous mountain of crockery and secondly a dual video installation documenting the skill of those working in the pot industry paralleled with the destruction of the factory where they had worked. If you are near the Tees well worth a visit.

The fountain outside is spectacular fun as well.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


I've removed restrictions on comments, apologies Nick, if you weren't signed in to Blogger or Open ID when you made comment it went to moderation and I hadn't set up the email alert on this. Fixed now but may have to review if I get spammed.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

... appears to be the answer to yesterday's question. Indeed all have shoved off, a new female Red-backed Shrike on Deerness being the only "rare" interest remaining.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Franklin's Gull

This is a species that I'm keen to see; although I'd much rather find one; will it hang on?

This post was a bit of an experiment, to see if I could post from my mobile, which I can. I've now edited it to tidy it up ... can I send a picture? Next attempt coming up.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

GWE proof(ish)

Louise produced a very blurry picture of the Great White Egret as some sort of proof, pah!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Crossbills again and gripped off

The crossbill invasion continues. It appears that I was over-optimistic about the identity of the wing barred birds as Lindsay Cargill reckons they are most likely Common Crossbill. Wing barred Crossbills can be tricky as evidenced by these and others in the past. There are some interesting photos in the Common Crossbill section on BirdGuides of other wing barred birds. Lindsay's blog posts on this issue make interesting reading too.

Absolutely and totally gripped off ... Louise has cunningly obtained directions to the Great White Egret at Graemeshall Loch and twitched it, rubbing it in by phoning me during the observation aaaaaggghhhhhhh!!!

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Currently a crossbill invasion going on - have a look at Orkbird for info.

The birds posted on Birdguides are of interest, I suspect both of these are 2-barred xbills - but I'm prepared to stand corrected.