In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leo food-pass image copyright Michael Brady, Newcastle.


Sunday, 28 February 2010

28 Feb - wet end to wet weekend

1pm Sunday & it was looking like a bird-free weekend . . .

wasnt so bothered having managed to see this "belter" during the week

3rd winter Bittern
(another edit of an endless supply of crap pics & worse jokes)

but, seeing as skin's water-proof - it was plenty skins on & off out rambling.
Standing water everywhere - "see how many puddles we can jump in dad" set the tone for the afternoon.

Surprised to see the burn at the edge of the estate had dropped a foot or so & along with the flotsam & jetsom were plenty of tracks & trails. Moorhen, Heron, Mallard, Horse, Stoat & Rat.
Not very productive for birds but we saw Dipper, Stock Dove, Heron, Kestrel by the 3km half way point - thought he'd be getting fed up by now, but none of it.

A Ket shop stop, a couple of chocolate frogs & tins of pop scoffed in the cover of the bus stop & off again.

We cut across a few rough fields as the weather closed in, noting pairs of Lapwing on territory, kicked up a pair of partridge & headed onto the reserve.
Jack was intruiged by remains of a goose, picked clean by the scavengers, he inspected the bones with his stick, trying to work out which bit was which. We put the skull back together, but he seemed quite unconcerned about its demise "its gone in heaven".

Its a sh@te hide, absolutely sh@te - no door, no shutters.
"The Freezer" as its affectionately known - the photog lads go outside to get a warm when theyre doing a big sit !
But this afternoon it was very welcome bit of cover & we saw more here in a half, than in the previous 2 hours.

13 Goldeneye, 1 of the drakes had a flotilla of 10 fems with him & he wasnt letting the other 2 in on the act, no matter how much they displayed.
3 drake Pochard added colour, as did 20 or so Oystercatcher, a Redshank & 30 Lapwing. 80 odd Curlew were field feeding next door.

Picked up a white flash
another Ermine hunting the rough grass on the bank - it dashed about wildly then bounded back into view carrying its vole prey.
This had some colour coming back through, and the 2nd different white Toast me & the bairn have seen this week & 2 consecutive winters we've watched one with prey.

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