Friday, 7 February 2014

At last, patience paid off.

 I didn't hold much hope out for any type of sightings 'water related' when I visited a section of the Don's banks today. Especially when I seen the water level here which was higher than my last visit a few days back,which I thought was high then!. I did a short walk along the river bank here and as I thought no signs visible on any exposed marking points to indicate fresh use by otter, hardly surprising as most of the 'regular' spots i know of were under water.   So on the return leg I stood and watched the bank side's in a few places where fresh looking holes looked to have been made by the other mammal who still lives along these bank sides and I've only had brief glimpses of over the last few years here. And then at the last spot I chose to view, Mr or Mr's Ratty came out to feed...first off seen running along a small section of mud, then 15 minutes later a bramble clump showed movement and about 10 minutes after this it ventured down the side of the embankment and showed well for about 15 seconds.
 It's called Spike....after the Gremlins character. No idea why it has a white patch on its head.?
Needless to say I left with a huge grin on my dish after this experience and wet my lips for more of the same.
 Just a couple more from earlier this week, four Snow buntings around the sand dunes area behind the fair. 17 reported around Frenchmans bay( the leas) the same day.
Best count I've had so far this winter of Pochard on Marine park lake on Tuesday gone. This female was just chilling with 8 drakes for companionship.


  1. I love your photos! Especially the snow buntings. I saw some on the dunes behind the fair back in November, when I was on my way to see the Constance Ellen. They're a lovely little bird.

  2. Thanks would-be, always a pleasure to see these buntings.

  3. Not having seen Water Vole for years and reading your post I went over to the River Don area listed as still good for these , what a great place (apart from the masses of litter), 2 Kingfisher, and a Grey Wagtail , but no sign of WV ,I will have to read up on what to look for and return with more determination .

    1. They are thankfully holding on along the Don N/birder with the help of the DWT and ST council doing a great job helping them. The shots above were taken in Station burn, but a few other areas have regular sightings also,especially the Boldon area (if you are lucky!).