15Km anti-clockwise ramble.
walk in the park
The master-plan was one which i had forgotten to implement last year . . .
to "tick" the Washington Avocets scoping down from the top of Pensha Hill.
1mCorn Bunting, 8Tree Sparrow, 1Little Owl, 2prStock Dove, prGrey Partridge, 2Kestrel.
Ive seen Pintail with ducklings in Co.Durham, but have never seen a displaying drake.
The Pintail was paired with fem Mallard & aggressively seeing off all other suitors.
He was flicking up his head, giving out a wigeon-esque call with a shake of the tail.
He followed her in, when she came to check out the broadcasted grain, but he stayed alert & at the back of the pack.
Rang Jimmy to check Water Rail location & managed one of his 2 or 3 ?
single Tawny Owl in his roost
all by myself
mGoosander came in, 5prLapwing settling with 1 female sitting, prOystercatcher, 8Redshank, GSW drumming, 2Chiffchaff both singing, fSparrowhawk, 1Snipe, 1Jay in Foxcover - a busy spot for it
pen Mute Swan on nest, 1 of the Little Owls in reg spot.
So onwards & upwards, past the NT guys scrub cutting - hard lines LTTits . . .
As soon as i get to the top of the hill, the weather comes in from the NW.
Sheltered behind a pillar & scoped down expectantly . . .
Wader Lake was 1 Mile away, but could clearly see Teal, Redshank, LBBGulls, Tufted, Lapwing, loads of Shelduck & Heron colony in full swing - BUT - NO AVOCETS !
Gave it 15 mins to see if they moved into view, all the while the weather closing in.
A quick check of the old tatty 1:25,000 O/S Pathfinder & off downhill into unknown territory - confident that i could scope into WWWWWT & get an eyefull of Avocet from the opposite bank !
Got down there, the Wearside Golf Course area, plenty of birds & could see onto the gravel island - BUT AGAIN - NO AVOCETS !
prGrey Wagtail, 28Heron, 26Shelduck, prGoosander, 2Treecreeper, 7Lesser Redpoll.
I will be back !
Moved off upriver through Cox Green area:
2m1f Tawny Owl calling early pm, 2prGrey Wagtail, 5mCoal Tit, 3Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, GSW, Treecreeper.
6Sand Martin, Kingfisher, prGrey Wagtail, prMute Swan, 8Tufted Duck, 3Cormorant, Heron, 2Chiffchaff, 10Siskin.
A bit shelter at the edge of Lord Lambtons, Biddick Woods:
2Nuthatch, 1GSW, 2Treecreeper, 6Coal Tit, singles of Jay, Chiffchaff, Willow Tit & Goldcrest (my first crest this week)
Getting damp now, but onto the final furlong. New Lambton / Sedgeletch:
Walked the railway & stopped to look at a dead Newt
Newt underside ( this is how i found it )
havnt got a clue with newts - belly seemed quite brightly coloured - ID appreciated.
- a few moments & photos later & a single howeet from a clump of Hawthorns, down the sheltered east side of the embankment.
Probably seen/heard a dozen Chiffy today & after being out over 8 hours, wasnt gonna bother, but it burst into song !
A Willow Warbler !
Got straight onto him & watched him feeding, occassionally flycatching & singing.
My first pre-April record (though MH has had them in March in this area previously)
Switched off for the rest of the final leg, but saw 5Greylag Goose, 10Lapwing, prTeal, 10+Moorhen etc.
Close to home a cock Reed Bunting sang in the school wildlife garden/pond - its not far from
home at all - & would be a "garden tick" if only i can get this from the attic window ! ! !
73 species noted today (82 this week)