Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sunday Blues.

A typical Sunday..........full of expectation for a full day out and about, then down comes the rain and the wind picks up. Went over to Nosterfield to try out some new 'Bins' as mine are about past there sell by date. Not much on the reserve Common Sandpiper was about the best bird there. An astonishing amount of hirudines were present ......but no Red-rumped Swallow.
Called in to Foxglove Covert on the way back. The Lesser Redpoll flock was still present with good numbers seen along with an odd Siskin. The highlight yet again was a long staying Brambling which showed very well, all but very briefly.

 Lesser Redpoll


Saturday, 27 April 2013

What a difference a day makes.

Mick's birthday today so we went out for lunch at Fletchers Farm cafe in Great Ayton.  It is only open on a Saturday and Sunday but the food is great and it is well worth a visit.  By the time we came out the sun had appeared and the sky was clearing so we decided to go and visit the moors again. 
Pied Flycatchers
Willow Warbler
Red Legged Partridge

Sun, hail, snow then Flycatchers, all in one day!

Mick finished nights and went straight to South Gare, clear blue sky but unfortunately not many birds.  A few wheatear, Linnet, Ringed Plover and a total lack of seabirds.  We had already decided we would go up onto the moors to see if the Redstart were back when I got in from work but little did we know there would be an almighty hail shower but we still decided to go in case the sky cleared after.  Up onto the moor when it started to snow which turned to rain.  As we parked up the rain began to ease off so we sat in the car and then true to form within 5 mins. a male Pied Flycatcher appeared followed shortly by the female.  We had a glimpse of a Redstart in the same location but it flew and we could not locate it again.  There were however plenty of warbler around too.  All photos taken from the comfort of the car as it was so cold, poor birds they don't know what they have come to!!
Pied Flycatcher
 Meadow Pipit

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Garden Tick.

Thursday - eventually caught up with a Blackcap that I had heard but not seen over the last couple of days. This is a first for one of these in our garden.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A quiet weekend.

The weekend has come and gone with little excitement on the migrant front. The numbers of summer birds continues at a trickle but lots of resident birds seen to have evaporated and raptors seem to have disappeared. A run over the Durham moors and a visit to the Barnard Castle area was only steady to say the least.

Grey Wagtail 
Pied Wagtail 
House Martin 
Red Grouse 
House Sparrow



Friday, 19 April 2013

Warming up slowly.

Summer migrants are starting to steadily filter through the area, Swallows, Sand Martin and House Martin numbers starting to build. Heard my first Sedge Warbler at Dormans and caught up with Willow Warbler today. A couple of Black-necked Grebe were at Saltholme today but didn't come close enough to get good pictures.

 Black-necked Grebe

 Willow Warbler
 Red-legged Partridge

White Wagtail

Friday, 12 April 2013

Foxglove Covert

After speaking to a couple of gentlemen yesterday who were telling us about Foxglove Covert we decided to go and check it out for ourselves today.  Although the weather was pretty miserable it was still better to get out in the fresh air than stay at home.  Especially as it is back to work on Monday!!!! If only I could get an outdoor job.
Well back to today if you have not visited then I would recommend you do.  What a brilliant reserve with impressive facilities.  Would be good to get a club outing there.  The visitor centre has very good facilities, the hides are excellent and the whole varied habit is superb along with the numerous feeding stations.  
We had Siskin, Brambling and Lesser Redpoll at the main feeding station at the visitor centre along with the more common species.
Greater Spotted Woodpeckers seemed to be everywhere and at the Lake hide we had numerous Goldcrest and a warbler which we think was a Chiffchaff although it was not calling.  There were Buzzards over the moor and would have liked to have spent more time there to see what else we could find but as Mick was on nights we had to come home. 
Going to Egglestone Abbey near Barnard Castle on Sunday with RSPB so if anyone in the Hartburn Stockton area is going then give me a ring if you need a lift to save on petrol. (Weather permitting of course)

Lesser Redpoll

Long Tailed Tit

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Chiffchaff at last (Swallow and Sandmartin a bonus)!!

Started the day by visiting Bowesfield Marsh near to home, we were very pleased to spot a Swallow flying through. A walk around marsh gave us Shoveler, Pochard, GC and Little Grebe, Redwing and a Sparrowhawk sitting in a tree by the River Tees.
A trip down to Nosterfield produced a Chiffchaff (at last!!), in the LNR carpark with Ruffand Dunlin on the lake edge, A welcome fly past of a Sandmartin was an added bonus. At Lingham Lake another Chiffchaff was around the carpark and Avocet, Barnacle Geese, (Greylag with 6 goslings!!) and at least 2 Little Ringed Plover. All in all a productive day ..............pity the weather wasn't a bit better, cold and a bit of drizzle (roll on the impending heat wave!!)