Today's lunchtime walk produced a new patch and year tick for me. Starting at Wilton Lake which is now completely free from ice, so the birds look a lot happier. Goosander x3, Mallard x4, Pochard x3, Tufted Duck x4, Moorhen x4 & Coot x2. As I approached the Wilton Village sign a Treecreeper flew on to the trunk of a nearby tree. What a nice surprise, and a new 'double' tick. Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Robin and Wren could all be heard as I walked through the village. Near the Church, in a tall fir tree were another two Treecreepers and a Long-tailed Tit.
Walking down the golf course road, Pheasant, Mistle Thrush, Great Tit, Herring Gull, Carrion Crow and Blue Tit were seen along with approximately 4 Grey Squirrels.
The walk around Wilton today was very pleasant. There was a sharpness to the air and the birds were busy feeding as I walked by. On the lake, the pair of Goosanders were still present along with Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot and Moorhen. In the trees, I spotted a Collared Dove and some Coal Tits to add to the patch list.
This afternoon I went for a walk around Coatham Stob near Longnewton. The wind was quite strong with a cold bite, but the temperature was still mild so the walk was pleasant. The purpose of our visit was to hopefully see a Great Grey Shrike. After heading for the Oak plantation and searching with binoculars the bird was located sitting on a small sapling. What luck, others earlier in the day had search for hours before seeing this normally not so elusive visitor. Whether the wind was causing extra disturbance for the bird, but instead of sitting on the top of the highest tree it was keeping low with the saplings. A view of a beautiful male Bullfinch and a Kestrel made a very enjoyable afternoon.
A lunchtime walk yesterday around Wilton after the frost had disappeared was again full of bird song. No new birds to the patch list so far this week, but Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Robin, Nuthatch and the tiny Goldcrest were all seen.
2012 Year List Birds = 70 (Common Buzzard) Mammals = 5 Moth = 0 Butterflies = 0
Today, after the wind and rain had disappeared I went out at lunchtime. The birds were in full song again and I spotted a Goldcrest looking for food in between the leaves of an ivy covered tree. The Goldcrest is a welcomed double tick.
On my lunchtime walk today, I decided to start recording wildlife on a new patch around Wilton village. As I walked up Wilton Lane the bird calls and song filled the air. A tit flock of approximately 30 birds were feeding in the trees along the lane and it included Blue, Great & Long-tailed Tit. A Great-spotted Woodpecker was calling from the top of a large mature tree and as I walked through the village past the Church the first Daffodil leaves were seen growing near the path. So is Spring coming early or is this the calm before the storm?
On the return path through the golf course, Pheasants were feeding on the ground under the tress along with two Grey Squirrels. Three Song Thrushes were seen too as I approached Wilton Lane. Near the A174 road a pair of Wrens were calling for the 2nd day running.
On Wilton Lake, they were a pair of Goosander, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard. Coot and Moorhen.
I had a good birding day along the Tees coast today. First call was Seaton Common for White-fronted Geese and there were 8 (7 European & 1 Greenland race). Whilst looking for the geese, I also saw Common Snipe which I sadly flushed when getting out of the car.
On to Hartlepool Headland and in particular the Pilot Pier following reports of Red-throated & Black-throated Divers in the harbour mouth. After scanning the water, I found several Red-throated Divers, Guillemot and Cormorant, but no Black-throated Diver. A look on the shoreline, recorded Purple Sandpiper, Curlew, Common Redshank, Knot and Turnstone, plus a fleeting glimspe of a Rock Pipit.
A quick call into the Fish Quay at Hartlepool to look for a Glaucous Gull which had sadly moved on, produced a Shag.
A stop at Newburn, near Seaton Carew produced a beautiful Black Redstart, so my year list totals are as follows: