Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

Birdwatching in & around Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, County Durham.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Jack Snipe et al - a beauty Spring day


Way, way behind.....
theres been some superb birding locally - its looking like a record year already !
guess i'll have to go back & fill in the gaps retrospectively.....

So heres the highlights from last Monday - a sunny, calm, warm Spring day...

hadnt been in the RMs hide 5 mins when this flew in:-

duck Red Breasted Merganser
 A site first (there has been one on Joes Pond next door), & presumably the same individual that i saw fly in at dusk at Brasside the previous week (4th record in last 20 yr there), GaryC quickly arrived as did JimmyW before the bird made a sharp exit, so that was a good start.

Took a stroll round with Jim, he hadnt seen a Jack Snipe on the ground, so we set off to try to pin one down...
digi-binned shot of the JS....
Can you see him ?


This was our initial head on view when we first found him (Nikon scope x 30)

zoomed in on the iPhone touch screen:-


moved position to get this side view:-


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So that was a good result
The rest of the morning was equally pleasant,
Amphibians were much in evidence, a couple of large clumps of frogspawn & dozens of Toads around the place, a small pool held 4 Palmate newts
An unusual one was a Water Boatman i spotted flailing about on the path :-
Water Boatman in my hand
After releasing him into the water, another one flew in to land close by - fortunately this one didnt crash land on the ground...

A couple of Chiffchaffs were already in place & 3 Sand Martin went through
We watched several pairs of Long tailed Tits busy building - fascinating structures :-

further birds included Goldcrest & Treecreeper both singing

Several day flying moths, Small Tort & Peacocks on the wing & a Hare.

Jim clocked a Little Owl

& I managed a Long-eared
in a very open location - perhaps ousted by a noisy gaggle of school kids, although they weren't noisy enough to drown out a sharming Water Rail.

 My first full day birding for some time, a pleasant & productive visit.

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New species for the Sunderland area coming in almost daily at present.....

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