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

Thursday, 23 December 2010

NB: Christmas Panto Cancelled / Two more for the OFFH List !

The Christmas panto "Jack and the Beanstalk" has been cancelled in the following towns:-

Bedford, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bradford, Burnley, Coventry, Leeds, Leicester, Luton,

Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

The giant couldn't smell the blood of an Englishman!


Set out into the frozen night or was it morning at @06:30

Early doors - optics icing over today
 headed down Cox Green, in the Wear valley near Washington Duck Zoo to have a look at a young male Long Tailed Duck reported yesterday.

A Mars Bar, bottle of Water, 11 miles & 2 OFFH yearticks later i was off (picked up at the roadside with no chance of a coffee or dry socks...)  to shove a trolley round Tescos.

Some great birds along the way - Little & Barn owl very early on, later on a couple of day hunting Tawny inc 1 with a Blackbird.

Nice surprise with a Lesser Black Backed Gull on the Wear at Fatfield, -

ive seen more of Yellow legged Gull over the last few winters,

whilst i was watching it a Kingfisher flew up into view,

saw 2 maybe 3 here, with 2 on the Burn at Sedgeletch on the return leg.

5Sparrowhawk seen including 1 repeatedly hunting Lapwing & Redshank at the Washington swg wks outlet - this bird seemed to repeatedly harassing one weakened Lapwing, eventually the hawk got hold of it only to recieve a good whallop from a second Sparrowhawk ! - they flew off chasing, the plover return again to the waters edge.

2Waxwing over, 5Roe, 5Goldeneye, 5Heron, 5Cormorant, 60Teal, only 2 Dabchick, 7Goosander, 1Gadwall, 5Redshank, just about had my fill of looking at Woodcocks now - 4 watched on the ground in wet ditches / stream in one wood although the Snipe with them was seriously out of habo.

One of the Woodcocks must have had a good nights feed, as he was roosting in a small stream bed by 08:30


Woodland species well represented with small nos of Nuthatch, GSW, Treecreeper & Goldcrests in the estate Yews. Surprised to hear a handful of both Great & Coal Tits singing, but a Marsh Tit was the one that caught my eye - a new one for the On Foot From Home yearlist.
Must have walked past the Long Tailed Duck,
so i continued on to WWWT,

but found it tucked in on the bank with the 'menagerie' at Cox Green as i walked back,

although it quickly followed 2 fem Tufteds onto the water where they dived togther.

young female LTDuck

On the return leg, (slightly more hurried as i had an appointment with a Tesco trolly) a patch of ice free water seeping from the railway embankment at Lambton held an unusual assortment of feeding birds with 13 Grey Partridge, 2 Fieldfare, a Robin, 2 Blackbird, a Pheasant, a Wren with singles of Woodcock & Common Snipe.

Down at Sedgeletch the snow closed in again, as i passed a bunch of terrier men digging away, i could hear a rich bubbling song - a Dipper singing full tilt, blending in superbly on the snow covered stones.

Half a dozen Siskin fed & 3 Redshank flew only a short way, 2 each of Heron & Kingfisher on this stretch where i glimpsed a Water Rail dash into cover.

About 11 mile round trip, lots of birds, but didnt see Mistle Thrush & singles only of Grey & Pied Wagtail.

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