Monday, 29 February 2016

A few from the weekend and more.

 I paid a couple of visits this weekend to the Hebburn area after learning about Redpolls coming to feeders at a site I've never visited before (thanks Paul! ).Polls have been pretty low on the ground this winter in our area so thought I'll give it a try. Really pleasantly surprised with what has been created at the Monkton community woods. Nice woodland type walkways in a urban area and a viewing screen overlooking a feeding area which the locals and folk looking after this site seem to keep topped up.
 5/6 Lesser Redpolls on Saturday visited whilst here, but only one yesterday on a shorter visit. More around the area after reading a report from today!

 All the usual suspects visiting the feeders - another nice place to pop into when in the area!.the more eyes the better watching this area.
 Seeing Dabchicks (Little grebes) ain't that rare a sight really in ST ....but this pair on the Cockcrow pond (ok technically it's Gateshead) is something I hadn't seen before-not that I visit much and don't hear of any reports from here.

 And the best shot I've managed of the Green-winged teal at Boldon flats on Sunday- still distant but closer than any other visit.
 And my first Water Vole sighting for the year a few days back in Station burn, a couple of ripples of water encountered along this stretch of the Don before one showed briefly.
Couple of latrines found on this visit, hopefully more to follow in the coming weeks. No luck so far with fresh otter sign on the few visits so far this year here or the Scotchy dene-hopefully other folk have had better luck.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Well it had to be done- the Fudge

 I had a half hearted attempt at trying to see the 'free flying' un-ringed Ferruginous duck at Washington wwt a few weeks back.But that just resulted in waiting for any male to get out of the water to check his legs out....nil points.
 So off I went again today after seeing reports of this bird hanging out on the reservoir lake in one of the wild sections here.
 He was still there when I arrived and stayed there for about 20-30 minutes. In that time he hung
around mainly with the Tufties but never seemed settled with his companions here .Three times he swam to one end of the lake and took off to fly to the other end- into the wind. Then he finally done a one heading off towards the enclosures.
Plastic fantastic or not...great to see.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Only the second time I've had the pleasure of Shore lark.

 Set out yesterday with the better half and the dog in tow. First off we thought we'd have a look at Hawthorn dene woods since it's been about a year since we last visited this site.The parking area by the farm was packed when we arrived here,must have been some sort of ramble going on? When we eventually reached the small feeding area the signs didn't look good- no evidence of anyone keeping up feeding the birds here now. We put down seed and waited a canny while before deciding to wander a little further as no birds came down-returned later and sadly the same result...zilch. Hopefully it was just wor luck on this visit.

So it was head scratching time after this...where to try next? Saltholme did appeal for the obvious reason/s but alas no, not with the dog in tow. So the next best thing -some place in Hartlepool that I've only heard of in reports. Found the Spion kop cemetery (eventually) and about 6 cars were parked up with birders etc. all scanning the scraped off area just to the south of here. Five Snow bunts flitted around but it hardly surprising they kept disappearing due to the disturbance from the motor X types that use this area. Gave up after a short wander with the dog....Gave it another go a while later- this time it was quiet and after scanning the ground the reason for the visit was found feeding at the southern end of the barron area.

Cracking! only the second sighting we've had- the first being the Trow bird a few years back.

Not the best pics but went away happy just seeing them.