26 January 2008

Thornley Woods

I took this photo this morning at Thornley Woods hide. Thornley Woods is a country park, which is mangaed by Gateshead Council. The park is mid-way between Swallwell and Rowland's Gill, and not far from the Gateshead Metro Centre. The park forms part of the Derwent Valley walk, itself based on an old railway line which ran from Consett to Newcastle.
The park is a good educational resource as it has 3 distinct ecosystems; a deciduous woodland, a coniferous woodland and a meadow. If you walk over the main road from the Centre and along a short walkway you will come to the bird hide. As well as many kinds of birds such as jays, nuthatches, finches, sparrow hawkes and pheasants you can see foxes and roe deer.
The photo is of a Nuthatch. Nuthatches belong to the bird family Sittidae which is a Greek word and used by Aristotle for a bird that pecks at the bark of trees. They are a thickset, stub-tailed, nervous little bird that scurry down tree trunks headfirst, hops, jerks, takes short jumps and moves along underside of branches in the same way with their back to the ground. They fly up and down like woodpeckers. When climbing down tree trunks, nuthatches depend entirely upon their claws. They stretch one foot forward under the breast and the other back under the tail, and hitch nimbly down the trees, digging in with their strong hind toes. The reason why these birds climb downward is that they may find food in bark crevices overlooked by birds that climb upward like tree creepers and small woodpeckers.



  • Camera Olympus E500
  • Lens Zuiko Digital 200mm Macro
  • Aperture - f/3.5
  • Shutter Speed - 1/200 sec
  • ISO-400
  • Focal Length - 200mm
  • Exposure Compensation 0 step

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