It certainly felt like a Spring morning, clear bright sunny, with a Chiffchaff singing away.
Mixed fortunes with the Jack Snipe hunt -
A prospective search of a disused industrial site yielded 4 birds, but a former tip site which regularly produced 3 or 4 was empty.
From an elevated position I could see a new water body in the middle distance - closer inspection revealed a subsiding cereal field.
The wet half has been taken out of production - some new habitat in the making.
Sedges were beginning to take hold & deer slots were visible in the soft mud.
Nature is so quick to reclaim its own back from us.
20 odd Snipe came up, but no Jacks despite a thorough search - utterly frustrating as there will certainly have been birds here. Well worth another look....
Another spot I remember finding birds with ease was along a boggy stream to the rear of a well known pub.
Some years ago, the Council, In their infinite wisdom planted phragmites, fenced off a good section & removed livestock... the result is very depressing.
Why are conservationists obsessed with replacing natural habitats with ranks of phragmites ?
& dug out the natural marsh & meandering stream to replace it with a steep sided deep 'duck pond'.
very little of anything within the choked reeds & deep duck pond.
Chalk & Cheese - the grazed marsh RHS - as the whole of this site once was - full of life,
Anyway, took a wrong lane & ended up at a gorgeous Burdon Plain - again another location ive never seen in daylight !
Between here & Pockerley / Beamish 12:00-15:00 saw 2 Red Kite, 30 GoldPlover GreenWood 14 Teal Tawny Owl vocal, GSW drumming, 3Jacks, Nuthatch singing, 2 WillowTit in song, 2pr GreyPart, 2 Roe doe, 3 Hare.
An Old Burr Oak Ravensworth
Hidden pond nr Beamish, Teal, Snipe, Heron, Buzzard & Yaffle calling here.
The Jackometer was rising & I reckoned I was on 98.
Down the road was Tanfield Lea Marsh - somewhere else id never visited in daylight... (pattern emerging here)
What an amazing place !
Its like Stanleys version of RSPB Leighton Moss. Brilliant looking site.
Straight away a Roe doe watched browsing in the wood edge, 1 + 3h Water Rail, 11CSnipe the water looked high & I couldn't see any sign of Jacks, 2pr Teal, Willow Tit in song, Sparrowhawk.
This is somewhere I will be returning too.
A tot up at home - i'd added 2 in error but forgot another , so -Ouch, I got home with 1 less than I thought.
Jumping in the van & travelling 20 mins feels like going on a birdwatching holiday !