Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

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

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Woodcock Wanderers 6 - Snipe Utd 6

Reasonable results from a Wednesday afternoon in the Pelton / Chester-le-Street area

3 very active & noisy Red legged Partridges, 80 each of Curlew & Tree Sparrow
Bullfinch , Song Thrush & Goldcrest in song

A total of 6 Woodcock, with singles lifting  from 3 widely spaced locations during daylight,  with 3 more noted flying out over a bog at dusk, including a calling pair going over in tandem.
( i generally record my first roding birds by the end of January... if the weather stays like this it may be even earlier this year )

Generally Common Snipe numbers would whop Woodcocks on an average day out
but today they didnt...
A miserly 3 Common Snipe, with singles flushed during the afternoon & only 2 up off & out at dusk

However, when totalled up with their small cousins, that number doubled - 3 Jack Snipe, 2 flushed at a large Typha swamp- 1 right off the end of my boot, should have seen it !
Jack Snipe prints & probe marks
the second Jack flicked up 10 mins later from thicker cover, but there could have very easily been half a dozen more.....
The third was watched in flight, arcing round as it dropped in to feed in a bog at dusk.

Played cat & mouse with three Roe Deer then followed some of their slots
Here one has stopped to take a drink from underneath the bottom strand of wire fencing

A couple of Tawnys called briefly as the light went & the breeze picked up - time to go.

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