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

Friday, 28 May 2010

Segiston Heugh

Another old stomping ground

A long area of wood on a steep slope stretching for @4 linear Km

Parts dominated by Oak, with a good diversity of birdlife

Heugh area:

Tawny cavity

Tawny owl & young in Oak cavity -

she was fully visible, but id noticed the cavity too late & she slunk back to hide, revealing at least one large youngster.

The female ever so slowly peeked out with one eye to check if i was still there

- crafty old so & so.

Down a deer track i bumped into the male, he had been watching, flying off into cover only to be mobbed by the smaller woodland residents, plus a Jay - who in turn was mobbed after the owl moved back towards his family.

Quite blustery on the woodland edge, but a fair selection nevertheless:-

Treecreeper & GSW both with fledged young,

2mGarden Warbler, 2mRedstart, 1Spotted Flycatcher, 1mLesser Whitethroat,
singing Cuckoo.

A large exposed rootplate

Had a Woodcock come in at dusk on several consecutive nights to roost on these exposed roots. It was winter 92 i think - W
e had a lot of deep snow & the bird had presumably been field / ditch feeding by day, before returning to this safe roost (out of reach of the Fox) by dusk.

Green Woodpecker bounding across & male Lesser Redpoll in display flight at former Charlaw coll'y site.

The woodland edge ajoins the reclaimed pit heap here -

The Sycamores on the RHS are stag-headed & in decline, this being due to their root plates being damaged / suffocated by change in ground level during reclaimation.
The closest tree shows signs of mechanical damage, presumably from excavator etc.

The young Scots Pines LHS on the shaley pit heap provide excellent habitat for ants -
This coupled with the declining Sycamoes make this, as are many of the former Durham City area colliery sites, superb areas for the Green Woodpecker.

Another patch yr tick on the way back - a rain & hail shower had just died off so called in on an of chance.
a firey red adult Black tailed Godwit circled Spuggys Flash, before continuing north.
Right place right time, it did off towards The Gate.

Pleased i didnt go hunting the rare on the coast.

cant remember the name of this ? Copper? Heath? dunno?

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