Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

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

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

7 Up

Two consecutive days off patch.
After 5 Jacks yesterday north of the Tyne it was South today into the wilds of NZ33 with blue skies, warm sun & some excellent rural birding.
Highlights. 7Jack Snipe, Peregrine, Green Woodpecker (*), Red-legged Partridge, 3 Woodcock, 2Little Owl, Dabchick, Buzzard, Willow Wit 6 singing.

First port of call was an rushy field ive driven past 100's of times over the years.
Id never noticed the old public footpath sign, so safely parked, and in on the path.

A dozen Commons lifted in 1's & 2's as I slowly made my way over - I knew it would have Jacks 100% & slowed to a crawl.

One tipped one up within 5 mins, 200metres it went & landed on the edge of the field under a straggly Blackthorn hedge.

Several more Commons went up from range, so the little fellas would be well aware of me.
A Welly-Ninja approach had me look down over the rushes to see one just a foot away - blades of dry grass criss-crossing over its back played tricks with my eyes...yes, no, YES !
Surrounded & shielded by grasses on 3 sides & obviously happy with his position as it stayed put.

A shuffle round & views were clear from the opposing side - moving to the side of a clump to get an unobscured picture when number 3 popped up beneath me ! - id looked & looked, the spot seemed perfect... -just hadn't seen it. It went 200m too, over the boundary & into next field.

Number 2 was happy - bombproof - there was no way he was moving.

I was keen to see where #3 had flown into - perhaps another nice piece of habitat, as I approached #2 went up & away at 35' range. More often than not flushed birds vanish without a trace.
There was no sign of #1 & attention turned to a clump of white splash in the thorn copse - as I stopped to see if  anything was in the trees, #1 sprang up at my feet from the edge of Bramble & thorn and made off onto the edge of a Rape field.....Sneaky little things !

Side on - phone held to binoculars.

The car (swear word sorry) was 100m away so I marked my spot with my Hazel stick & went to collect the telescope.

Through Nikon Fieldscope X30
What a great start, 3 Jacks at a new site.

That takes my personal Tally well into the 80's since December.
A couple of Birdwatchers have 2 & 3 to add...

We'll have to keep.....

.......... an eye open.......

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