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


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

monday meander

the week began in fine style with a morning scan resulting in a Hobby chasing House Martin over centre of Town !!
( thats it on the garden list in 2 consecutive years. )

a sure sign of a good day to come
so off out along the Burn.
Difficult at times,

in the open with a cool N'ly breeze - Swallows & House Martins fed in a frenzy, the Swallows especialy sweeping along the path just past our feet.

out of the breeze, with a bit of sun & what a difference.

A fair old selection as expected, but no real surprise ( suppose id already used my quota of luck for the day ) other than a Green Sand - i allways wonder which way June Green Sands are headed, North or South ? are they late or failed breeders or even none breeders who aint travelling any further ? who knows.

Banded Demoiselles were a feature of the day
Previously id only seen a single last year, at The Floaters with Spuggy.
although today there were more than a dozen at 3 spots along the burn, with the first being 5 or 6 at Sedgeletch.

I-phone - binned (should have been binned full stop.)


Now i would have thought these were Dragonflies -
But, a quick check with everyones favourite Roker-based gull watcher & he put me right.
Obvious when you know:-
When Dragonflies rest they hold their wings open
When Damselflies rest they hold them closed over the top of their body.

Thanks again Martin.


Reg Kes perch


A selection of those seen includes:-

The Burn:
Sparrowhawk, Dabchick, Mute Swan, (h)Water Rail, 6+GSWoodpecker, 10+Treecreeper, Coal Tit, 1Dipper, 2Spotted Flycatcher, 2Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Bullfinch, 1Jay, etc

The Gate:
7Shelduck, 48Swift, 1Buzzard, 1Redshank, prCurlew, 36+ loafing Lapwing + sev other breeding pairs.

Spugland:
66Lapwing mostly fledged young, 1Little Owl, Tree Sparrow pr with fledged young, 35House Martin sev collecting mud, 2prShelduck, 1Curlew, 1Redshank, 1Green Sandpiper, 120Starling, 2prStock Dove, juvChiffchaff.

Rainton M's:
2pr Willow Tit with young, 3m Lesser Whiethroat singing, prStock Dove, 1Little Owl, prBullfinch attending nest with young, mTeal, 1Common Tern, 1mLittle Ringed Plover.


Interesting today were the Lapwings,
A couple of post breeding flocks with decent nos of fledged young.
Also found a nest with 4 eggs right at the pathside in a field which had incubating birds right at the start of the season (late March).

Peewits only 8' from path; never got so close to one, she only came off at last moment.

we've been attempting to "persuade" Tree Sparrows into the reserve area at Rainton & are seemingly a little closer, with a family party only a few hundred metres away from a cluster of boxes - maybe they'll move house for the next brood ? ;-)

only had one fledged Kingfisher (& 1adult), i stopped to look at a brood of Mallard only to see it frozen beneath me only yards away

- after a good look i continued - it flew giving a strange yaffle-raptor like call as it went upstream.

I-phone - binned

Lots of grass getting cut as the day dried out - giving good short term hunting opportunities for our long-winged owls - with Herring Gull, Meadow Pipit, Curlew & Oystercatcher all coming in as soon as the field was cut.

along one of the final stretches a noisy Crow irritated me.
He had come up off the track & was in the tree top waiting for me to move & me waiting for him to shut up so i could listen for Quail.
Round the corner, all became clear - a half eaten meal of Partridge eggs.
Along the next 300m or so, i counted 18 brocken shells of either Pheas or Partridge.

RMs was excellent for passerines, considering the time of day, Willow Tits stil doing well here, Bullfinch went to a nest with noisy young, 3 male Lesser Whitethroat sang regularly.
On a less positive note we have lost several breeding species over this year or two, namely:- Redshank, Common Tern, Short-eared Owl, Cuckoo, Ruddy Duck, Barn Owl.
Heres hoping the drake Teal thats hung on has a mate tucked away close by.

Smashed anothor digi-camera - thats 4 ive gone through in 2 year
I reckon i can manage with the fone-camers ok, if i get some practice in . . .

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