Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Had a couple of frees back to back this morning so borrowed Grandma's car and went down to the Sluice to check for waders and early migrants. Stop at Briardene car park on way but no sign of the Med Gull.

Got down to the water and was pleased to see 8 Redshank, a patch tick for this year, also on the water were a few Black Headed Gulls, and I could see a Song Thrush on the far bank. I walked up to the first bridge and didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but the noise was unreal, the amount of birds singing was amazing, with the Rooks taking central stage, nests are still being added to with a couple of new ones popping up.

On the way back to the car I was joined by a flock of Long-tailed Tits. Due to the lack of time I drove to the car park up the road at Old Hartley, lazy I know, I walkd along the burn hoping for the Kingfisher as my neighbour seen it there the other day. No joys so off back to school.

When my dad got in a biked down to the Pond, the handles missing from the outside of the door, making it difficult to get in. I was hoping that the Little Gull from earlier on had returned, Northumbrian Birder was in the hide, he had no joys and nothing out of the ordinary. Quick scan and decided to bike down to the North Pool and the wagon way, hoping for Yellowhammer and some more waders. Along the track from the Public hide to the wagon way I was stopped by three toads, first for the year.

Picked up 2 Oystercacther, 2 Redshank and a lone Drake Shelduck on the North Pool.

Bike to the avenue but no luck with Yellowhammer, although I did see a Mistle Thrush on the wires. On my way back to the hide I heard some Linnets and then clocked them, there was 10 in total, and behind them was a Yellowhammer, another patch tick for the year.

Back at the hide for a tally up on the water there was 32 Tufted, Pair Great Crested Grebes, 8 Mallard, 5 Pochard, Pair Mute Swan, Pair Canada, 6 Greylag, 4 Coot, 7 Moorhen, and 14 Wigeon. 2 Grey Heron were saw flying South past Obelisk. A Stock Dove flew over the top of the hide, at 18:05 a large No. of Gulls descended onto the pond mostly GBB and Herring with 1 LBB amongst them. Roughly about the same time I saw the Kingfisher fishing from the far post, another patch tick for the year. Other birds around included 1 Song Thrush at gates, House Sparrow flock in hedgerow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, 5 Long-Tailed Tits, Blue Tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Wren and Pheasant.

As I reached the Meadow Field next to the Beehive I heard 4 different Grey Partridge calling, 2 in horse field 2 in plough, they were accompanied by 8 Curlew.

73 for the patch list this year.

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