Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

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

Friday, 12 August 2011

Scarce breeder flooded out.......

Big Johns on perm-a-watch, or is that permafrost, down at the Freezer....

So, with coverage like that, it would be rude not to take advantage....
that presence leaves the coast clear for the rest of us to high-tail it out off the patch to bathe in the splendid Summer weather.

With several owl families yet to gain independance & indeed several passerines with fresh clutches, i found myself on the trail of 2 of the regions less common breeding birds in the exalted company of none other thana local M L 5  Field Agent code-name:- 'The Chin-strap Whinger'.

It used to be a long drive down to the Tyke border... they must have moved the County line nearer as we were there in no time at all, or was it simply down to the driver wearing grit big pit byuts....?

Any road up, as they say down that way, the recent cool wet weather was consistant & remained cool & wet - not very condusive for locating our quarry - but we gave it a go.....

Sadly no sign of target #1 Woodlark....

but evidence of target # 2 was all too obvious :-


A sorry sight indeed,

No this isnt a grebes nest.....
but a Nightjars - this second clutch of eggs flooded out after the recent downpours....

The eggs were floating, so obviously well on, a real crying shame - mother nature is a cruel mistress at times.

The species is quick to fledge after hatching at @ 17 days, had it been a few days quicker to lay it may have hatched them out & got them out of the wet hollow onto drier ground literally inches away.....

So a bit of a wash out all round - but we took solice in knowing the first brood of 2 got up & away no problem...

Heading north, we dashed back to make sure JBee hadnt nodded off in his chilly second home....

We neednt have worried he was warming himself with a fresh flock of Teal - always a good sign & he helped cheer us up no end with his tales of female drakes, moulting tertiaries, pruning, as well as recounting details of all 3 of his 2011 'self-founds' etc, etc etc
 
The end of the afternoon fared up & i managed singles of GSW, Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Greenshank SW, a roadside Gropper on the fence beside the car park was a pleasant surprise, also a Small Copper & a Speckled Wood drying out on my passenger door , a skein of 30 Greylags whiffled down onto II -

the battle between Summer & Autumn continues.... there can only be one winner....



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