Sunday, 30 January 2011

2011 Year List

Today, I did BTO Atlas square NZ42G in Norton. A good start at Tesco car park with 11 species recorded - Pied Wagtail, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Carrion, Blackbird Rook, Robin & Great Tit. Then onto to Basselton Lane where an old hedgerow near the school gives us the first opportunity to record House Sparrow and Dunnock. Then onto to Norton in particular Station Road which leads down to the railway line and then to the fields.

The recreational sports ground holds plenty of birds eventhough all the sports fields were in use with a good number of supporters. Robins were singing loud from the Beach hedge and the Common Gulls still found a spot to roost in area of the fields. The railway line once again proved to be a wildlife corridor with birds flying up / down and across the tracks. We even spotted a Grey Squirrell jumping across the lines.

On to the fields, past Calf Fallow Farm and a male Sparrowhawk was on patrol from gardens. A small section of grass nearby held 18 Redwings, 16 Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush and a Great Tit. The hedges, scrubs and trees were full of birds, so we finished our 2 hour count with 27 species.

2011 Year List = 70 species (Mistle Trush)

Saturday, 29 January 2011

2011 Year List

This morning I did a BTO Atlas square walk (NZ42L) at Norton. It was cold, but with blue skies overhead we started at St Mary's Church in Norton. This is a wonderful churchyard for birds and today was no exception as a Goldcrest dropped into a Holly tree about 5 foot away from where I was standing. The Rooks were sitting high up in the tops of the trees whilst the smaller birds searched nearer the ground. Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Robin, Blackbird and Redwing were all present in good numbers.

After leaving Norton Church we went to Mill Lane and walked to Billingham bottoms. Two more Goldcrests were added to the list and alongside the beck we found Bullfinch and Siskin feeding in the hedgerow.

The last stop of the square included the railway line near Crooksbarn Estate, Norton. As we approached the railway crossing I spotted some Brambling and a male Blackcap which were wonderful to see. I estimated 10 Brambling in the flock feeding in the scrubs alongside the line and we finshed the count with 30 species.

2011 Year List = 69 (Goldcrest, Siskin, Brambling and Blackcap)

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 23/1/11

Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 2
Great Tit 2
Goldfinch 12
Chaffinch 2
Greenfinch 5
House Sparrow 12
Dunnock 3
Robin 2
Blackbird 4
Starling 10
Song Thrush 1
Collared Dove 4
Woodpigeon 3
Feral Pigeon 1
Magpie 1
Jackdaw 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed & Fatty Balls
Water

Mammals: Nextdoor's Cat!!!

Big Garden Birdwatch

Today, I decided to do my Big Garden Birdwatch count for our garden. It had been a cold night and when I woke it was still -2.5C outside. I watched from the window from 08:20 - 09:20 and recorded the following birds:

Jackdaw 2
Blackbird 4
Blue Tit 2
Chaffinch 2
Collared Dove 4
House Sparrow 12
Goldfinch 9
Robin 2
Dunnock 2
Starling 3
Song Thrush 1
Woodpigeon 3
Coal Tit 2
Greenfinch 2
Feral Pigeon.

This was one of best BGBW since the count began. Usually the birds disappear from the garden for this weekend.

Monday, 24 January 2011

2011 Year List

Yesterday, Open Country from Harrogate visited the Teesmouth Field Centre. We went to the Hartlepool Power Station hide overlooking Seal Sands and had a great couple of hours watching the birds and seals. A Black-necked Grebe in winter plumage was feeding about 40 feet from the hide and then a Peregrine put on an aerobatic display that the Red Arrows would be proud to undertake. As the tide turned a flock of 60 Knot flew past and out of Seal Sands.

At the end of the day, I took the group to Cowpen Marsh car park to look for a Barn Owl. After 10 minutes, the Barn Owl started hunting in amongst the cows a wonderful sight for the group to see.

2011 Year List = 65 species (Peregrine & Knot).

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 16/1/11

3 Blue Tit
1 Coal Tit
10 Goldfinch
3 Greenfinch
2 Chaffinch
7 House Sparrow
2 Dunnock
2 Robin
3 Blackbird
12 Starling
2 Woodpigeon
3 Collared Dove
1 Feral Pigeon
1 Jackdaw

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed, Fat Balls and a few scraps.
Water

Saturday, 22 January 2011

2011 Year List

Today, was the first Seal Watch of the year at the Teesmouth Field Centre. Twelve visitors came along to enjoy 16 seals and a good variety of birds.

I managed to increase my year list to 63 with
Pink-footed Goose
Shelduck
Red-breasted Merganser
Black-necked Grebe
Oystercatcher
Barn Owl

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Frosty Conditions

After an overnight low of -2.5C, the frost still clung to the fallen leaves at lunchtime.


2011 Bird List = 57 species (Canada Goose)

10 birds were feeding on the grass near work at lunchtime.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

7-spotted Ladybird


I found my first ladybird of the year on Saturday, asleep on the wall of the house.

Full Moon

There was beautiful full moon showing lastnight.

2011 Year List

I had a walk during my lunchtime at Belasis Hall Technology Park and managed to see 10 Goosanders on the lakes. 7 females and 3 males were swimming together in the centre of the pool. It was good to hear the birds, such as Great Tit and Robin singing as I walked to the towards the pools.


video

2011 Year List = 56 species

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 9/1/11

3 Blue Tit
2 Coal Tit
6 Goldfinch
2 Chaffinch
2 Greenfinch
8 House Sparrow
2 Dunnock
1 Robin
4 Blackbird
1 Song Thrush
6 Starling
4 Collared Dove
2 Woodpigeon
1 Feral Pigeon
4 Jackdaw

Feral pigeon was a new visitor to the garden since we joined Garden Birdwatch.

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Fat Balls, Scraps
Water

Sunday, 9 January 2011

2011 Year List

This morning I did a BTO Tetrad survey for NZ42E. Twenty-three species were seen which also added Song Thrush, Bullfinch and Stock Dove to my year list.

In the afternoon, I went to Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park to see a drake Ring-necked Duck and whilst we were watching a Sparrowhawk flew over and flushed the gulls trying to catch a meal. The visit to Cowpen Bewley also added Pochard, Gadwall, Sparrowhawk, Tree Sparrow and Yellowhammer to my year list.

Year List = 55.


video

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 2/1/11

2 Blue Tit
1 Coal Tit
7 Goldfinch
2 Greenfinch
1 Chaffinch
1 Robin
9 House Sparrow
3 Hedge Sparrow
5 Collared Dove
2 Blackbird
2 Woodpigeon
1 Jackdaw
3 Black-headed Gull
8 Starling
1 Song Thrush

2 new species recorded in the garden this week - Song Thrush & Black-headed Gull.

Food: Seed, Peanut, Sunflower Hearts, Fat Balls, Scraps and Suet.
Water

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011 Year List

2nd January 2011.
Added 14 species to my year list, so the running total is now at 46.

Good start to the day, with 13 Waxwings in Billingham and other birds such as Redwing, Long-tailed Tit, Pied Wagtail and Curlew seen whilst searching for the Waxwings. A lunch-time stop at the Teesmouth Field Centre to top up the bird feeder yielded a Stonechat and a Great Black-backed Gull. Then whilst driving to North Gare I saw a Pheasant, Rook, Grey Heron and Magpie. At the end of the day, I stopped at Dorman's Pool to try for Short-eared Owl, but no luck although I did see a Little Egret flying off to roost.

The larger pools are still frozen, covered with a thick layer of ice so the waders are feeding around small temporary pools left behind by the melting snow.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 26/12/10.

3 Blue Tit
2 Coal Tit
1 Great Tit
2 Chaffinch
4 Greenfinch
8 Goldfinch
8 House Sparrow
3 Dunnock
1 Robin
1 Wren
3 Blackbird
4 Starling
1 Jackdaw
3 Collared Dove
2 Woodpigeon

Mammals: 2 House Mice and 1 Domestic Cat

Food: Seed, Sunflower Hearts, Fat Balls, Suet, Peanuts
Water

New Year Bird List 2011

The 1st January is the start of a new bird year list and after watching our garden birds during breakfast. I went to RSPB Saltholme and wasn't disappointed. Two Long-eared Owls were roosting in the scrub and two Water Rails were feeding close to the Wildlife Watchpoint.


At the end of the day, my year list is 32 species. Many of the pools are still frozen, so the waders were hiding.