Tuesday evening, went with John up to Rising Sun to try and spot an Owl, failed miserably but eventually got to see the magnificent Stag that John keeps seeing, quite a memorable beast to say the least.
Thursday morning at work arrived early to listen to the ever increasing number of Mistle Thrushes, there must be about 7 or 8 dotted around now but havent seen the Red Wings since Monday. This Mistle Thrush is just a few yards from the main door to the office and is always being hastled by a Blackbird.
Had Friday off so headed up to Far Pastures at 06.30 but had been beaten there by another John and his sidekick from Scouserland. A lovely Little Grebe was going around in circles just outside the hide, it looks like a donut with a head stuck on it.
Went for a wander into the Car Park on the offchance of seeing a Goldcrest, but my tick list failed to increase, although I did spot this little fellow and its mate running around for a while.
Also spotted were several Bullfinches, Great and Blue Tits with a small flock of Long Tailed Tits which kept moving around during the time I was there. There were also several Red Kites which soared around although for the first time for quite a while the Coal or Willow Tits were conspicous by their absence. Mind you the absence of a lot of birds could have been due to the several vehicles including a JCB trying to fix the road which was damaged by a truck a couple of days earlier. Everytime a birder or someone came from the Sewage Works the vehicles had to retreat all the way down to the Sewage Works and then head all the way back. The one bird that continues to impress me is the Dunnock although no pic can ever do it justice (and this one certainly dosent) you just have to see and hear them in the flesh.
Back in the Hide that well known game of "How Many Snipe" was coming to a conclusion as a Moorhen decided to wander into the area where we could see at least 5 that were in training for the UK Allcomers Camouflague Championships and up came 8 of them and they immediately dropped down about 3m closer although within 30 seconds we could only see 2 with this one being the definite 1st round loser
Also on the pond were several Teal, Mallards, Coot, couple of Canadas and a Grey Heron.
A couple of pics of some of the others I saw starting with an amazing lithe looking female
and the inevitable Robin
To round off my trip out I went for a walk round Shibdon, normally I just wander down look onto the pond and a 5 minute scan then leave but I decided to wander round the boardwalks and met a nice chap called George Simpson who took me on a full guided tour of the place and down to Derwenthaugh Meadows also - thanks George learnt quite a lot and will definitely be spending more time there later on in the Spring. Did see a couple of impressive looking Lesser Blacked Backs who seemed to have laid down Squatters Rights on the little island