In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Friday, 2 April 2010

1 Up my Backside (List)

Late in the day, breezy & raining, but grabbed the chance to get a bit air.

Driving over, a small flash comes & goes close to the A1 at Leamside & had a few bits & bobs
pr Oystercatcher, 42 Curlew, 12 Lapwing, pr Stock Dove - not quite as impressive as the large marshy wetland (Priors Close) that was here before the motorway went through.

Pulled in at Finkle to look for hirundines in the Wear valley.
Steep & well wooded, providing excellent feeding for them in poor weather.
This afternon 100+Sand Martin with 5+Swallow with them.
Not far off a Little Owl sat on the first branch up in his Ash.

Onto a couple of old flooded claypits.
Recently Dubbed "Backside" due to poor performances.

Been visiting on & off for 30 year - But still always a sense of expectancy here
There was a time when this was my daily haunt - even when it involved a 6km walk to get there.
Later when a car made life easier, i could sometimes do 3 visits a day.

As such my list here for a inland deep, steep sided clay pit (& surrounds) doesnt have too many obvious gaps:-

5 Grebes
2 Divers
5 Owls (in 24 hours)
Fudge Duck
Long tailed Duck
Common Scoter
Red Breasted Merganser
Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull
Yellow Legged Gull
Med Gull
Little Gull
Red Crested Pochard
Ruddy Shelduck
Bean Goose
Bewicks Swan
Black tailed Godwit
Jack Snipe
Wood Sandpiper
Little Stint
Red Kite
Honey Buzzard
Arctic Redpoll
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Blue Headed Wagtail
Ring Necked Parakeet
Turtle Dove

and seen by others :-
Night Heron, Marsh Harrier, Arctic Tern & close by Subalpine Warbler

A decent list - could i add to it in a "one off" visit this evening . . ?
Not likely . . .

10 Swallow, 25 Sand Martin, 4 Chiffchaff, 26 Cormorant, 24 Mute Swan, 4 GCGrebe, 5 Goldeneye, 5pr+Dabchick, 5redhead Goosander came in late pm for their overnight roost.
A fem Green Woodpecker & Little Owl, both scoped in regular spots from pool side path.
Treecreeper singing inspecting likely nest site, Nuthatch, 45+Goldfinch, 2alba Wagtail over, fem Sparrowhawk.

Onto an owl site close by.
First thing i looked at was on a rooftop of a disused munitions &
it was a Little Owl.
It looked a bit long &belly low to the ground . . .

Through the scope it transformed into a surprise Un-block !

Red legged Partridge!!! feeding on the rooftop.

This ones been evading me here for a good while.
Great to get a new bird on the list.
The last one i added here was a passage Nighjar 3 year ago.

2 more Little Owl, 2 calling Tawny, 1roding Woodcock over.
Finished off with a Barn Owl hunting in the drizzle from 19:40, after 10 mins it landed on a round bale & was still there when i left 20:15 - the light all but gone.

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