Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Birds so far

I've had 59 species so far in the square. It was easy to add them up retropectively because I put them all on Birdtrack.

The best I suppose was Waxwing when a flock of 45 appeared in some trees further down the street. By the time I went for my camera they were gone. There had been up to 200 in the Riverside Park earlier, which I saw, so presumably these were part of that group. I have just checked my records as the Chester-le-Street area does seem to be particularly good for this species and sure enough I've had them in 8 out of the last 10 winters and five times actually in the garden since I moved here.

Common Buzzards are doing well and I see them in the square frequently, often over the house. The photo below was taken just yesterday,  from the garden,  as it soared and called for some time gaining height

Common Buzzard - probably the commonest raptor - this bird was over the garden

The winter has been fairly mild again and the two pairs of Stonechat on the fell have survived

Stonechat - 2 pairs present but can disappear for periods

and it's been a decent year for Redwing hanging around as opposed to moving through.

Redwing in Brass Castle Meadow - a good winter for them

Two species of owl on the list so far (with Barn Owl seen in the adjacent 1km square) but Tawny Owl has not been heard as often as in the past presumbably due to the tree felling in Hermitage Wood. Little Owls are still at their 2 favoured spots though  are often not on show. I did manage to catch this pair last month .

Little Owl - Who can't love these birds

The fell has again had a regular flock of Redpoll, all Lessers by the look of things with one male being particlarly white underneath but far too dark above for anything else in my opinion. The best photo I managed to get of it is this rubbish shot.

Lesser Redpoll - rather white underneath but still a Lesser in my opinion

Last time I did this square bash in 2013 Green Woodpeckers were still fairly common and heard at on most ventures. Like some other areas on lowland north-east they have now virtually diappeared. I have not had one here  for 2 years now and the only record seems to be one seen outside the square at Daisy Hill early this year. I've spent some time looking for this one without any joy. Great-spotted Woodpeckers are of course still common.

Great Spotted Woodpecker in South Burn Wood

So that was a little run down of the birds so far, I'll do plant-life tomorrow and hope someting appears in the moth trap tonight, unlike last night.


  1. Thanks George. How is Shibdon this year, as I've heard very little? Not sure whos checking it these days though I know Paul was going to call in earlier today. How's the water level?