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

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


A fifteen year old Amish boy and his father were in a shopping mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and then slide back together again.

The boy asked, 'What is this Father?'
The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, 'Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life,

I don't know what it is.'

While the boy and his father were watching with amazement,

a fat old lady in a wheel chair moved up to the moving walls and pressed a button.

The walls opened
and the lady rolled between them into a small room.

The walls closed, and the boy and his father watched the small numbers above the walls light up sequentially. They continued to watch until it reached the last number, and then the numbers began to light in the reverse order.

Finally the walls opened up again and a gorgeous 24-year-old blond stepped out.

The father, not taking his eyes off the young woman, said quietly to his son.

'Go get your Mother.'


I was expecting a delivery at home @ noon, so a toddle round the patch was just the ticket to while away a couple of hours.

The first dusting of snow & a cold, damp northerly blow werent realy condusive to bird finding.

first snow cover on the Limestone escarpment at the edge of town
After a short spell i was warmed up & managed 10 Waxwing & 160 Pinks over at Ch.Moor.

Heading onto the reserve i spoke to a DWT staff member & let on about a couple of rails which had been removed to enable quad bikes to enter the reserve -  a short chat about birds & i mentioned i was hoping to see if the Bittern had returned to overwinter . . .

5 mins later i was in The Freezer (The bird hide) & low & behold the first thing i see is the Bittern right on the reed edge !

In view for 40 mins untill a Grey Heron flew in & the Bittern climbed up the Typha out of the way.
Here he indulged in a spot of neck stretching- its 'bitterning' posture, as if looking for the Heron, before creeping back into the cover of the small Phragmite bed.

No sign for rest of day, untill later on when it was on view for 'Foghorn Leghorn' & 'Mick The Heron' for at least half an hour  from 3:15

The Bittern - digiscoped by one of our very few keen young local birders - Andrew Kinghorn.

There was a nice selection on the main pool, with the juv Whooper looking as content as ever, 5Pochard, several hundreds of large gulls in after a hard shift of sifting through the rubbish on the landfill.
The recent work to install the sluices has resulted in a very low winter water level, this attracting  several dabbling ducks with drake Shoveller, 20+Wigeon, 10Gadwall, 25Teal.


had a drive out through the late night shop, to see how our little car copes in the snow
sadly it handles like a settee being pulled through a paddyfield by a three legged ox,
although on the plus side, the heater is very warm

Winter is here

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