Last night my dad and I had a close encounter with an Otter on the Tyne, but that's another story, today ...
My first visit back to Holywell in a long time. Picked my Grandad up at 10:00 and we headed down to the pond. It was a cool overcast morning, at first the pond looked empty, but on closer inspection its was teeming with wildfowl, particularly in the NW corner. 13 Gadwall, 1 Female Shoveler, 44 Teal, 4 Wigeon, 8 Mallard and 1 Grey Heron were all feeding along the reeds, keeping out of the wind.
67 Greylag, the Mute Swan family, 1 Male Pochard, 4 Coot, 4 Moorhen, 5 Tufted accompanied by 1 Female Scaup, and a single Cormorant were also present on the pond. 6 adult Whoopers had been seen early in the morning, so I wasn't surprised to see 6 Whooper Swans approaching the pond from the East, I was surprised to find that 4 of the birds were 1st winters, the other 2 adults, so I presume this must have been another 6 Whoopers, as usual they didn't stop long, due to the aggressive behaviour of the resident Mute Swans, a great shame.
The mobbing calls of 2 Carrion Crows alerted me to the presence of a immature Female Sparrowhawk over the North wood. Large numbers of Woodpigeon, joined by 2 Stock Dove were also present in the North wood. The feeding station was reasonably busy with 8+ Greenfinch flitting between the ground, feeders and the pond edge to drink, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, 1 cock Pheasant, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird and a lone Robin.
As we left the gulls began to build up predominantly Black Headed Gulls with Herring Gull and Great Black Backed Gull. 8 Skylark were also heard, then seen flying West over the pond, presumably coming off the coast.