Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Wednesday 15th December 2010

Sightings today from Farnless Farm thanks to John Olley.

Farnless Farm
Corn Bunting crop walk through.

20 Corn Bunting, 250 Linnet, 100 Yellowhammer, 60 Tree Sparrow, 40 Skylark, 120 Reed Bunting, 2 Brambling, 32 Grey Partridge, 30 Pheasant.

Other species 80 Greylag Geese, 2 Pink Footed Geese, 30 Mallard, 200 Rook, 150 Jackdaw, 500 Wood Pigeon and Peregrine.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Monday 13th December 2010

Another walk from Hardwick Hall CP to Castle Lake and back via Fishburn Lake today produced a good selection of birds.

Highlights were a female Merlin low and fast over the A1 Flashes heading south-east just before midday, a Green Sandpiper on the wet grassland at Low Hardwick Carrs and a Kingfisher flying along the River Stell.

A (not very good) picture of the Kingfisher perched above the Stell this afternoon.

Hardwick Hall CP;
27 Mute Swan, 36 Wigeon, 3 Gadwall, drake Shoveler, fem. Pochard.

Tile Shed Plantation;
Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, GS Woodpecker, Jay (heard). 

Low Hardwick Carrs;
Grey Heron, 4 Mute Swan, 50 Greylag Geese, 4 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 20 Mallard, Sparrowhawk, 11 Curlew, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Reed Bunting.

Castle Lake (still frozen);

A1 Flashes/River Stell;
fem. Merlin low & fast heading south-east @11:55, 2 Mute Swan, 8 Mallard, 8 Tufted Duck, 5 Coot, 8 Redshank, Kingfisher, 6 Pied Wagtail.

Railway Bridlepath;
Kestrel, 150+ Blackbird/Fieldfare/Redwing, Song Thrush, Goldcrest, 11 Long-tailed Tit, Willow Tit, 2 Bullfinch.
Fishburn Lake/Island Farm/Alan's Pool;
Kestrel, 9 Grey Partridge, Snipe, 400 Woodpigeon, 4 Stock Dove, GS Woodpecker, 200+ Jackdaw/Rook/Carrion Crow, 100 Starling, 3 Tree Sparrow, 2 Yellowhammer, 20 Reed Bunting.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Castle Lake remains completely frozen.

Willow Tit

Willow Tit near Low Hardwick today.

Sunday 5th December 2010

A walk today from Hardwick Hall CP to Castle Lake and back, with the following birds seen along the way.

The lake at Hardwick Hall was virtually completely frozen, the only ice free area was full to the brim with Mute Swan, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot and 3 Wigeon. Other birds around the estate included Kestrel, Mistle Thrush and Nuthatch.

A crowded scene on the only ice free area of the lake at Hardwick Hall.

At Low Hardwick Carrs two Sparrowhawk (one female and the other a juvenile) were seen along with a Common Buzzard and two Great Spotted Woodpecker together.

Along the railway embankment/bridleway were a mixed flock of 100+ Blackbird/Fieldfare/Redwing feeding on berries, a Song Thrush, 2 Willow Tit, 2 Bullfinch and a Woodcock seen flying towards Fishburn Lake.

Castle Lake remains totally frozen, 30 Wigeon flew over, 12 Grey Partridge and singles of Snipe & Redshank were the only birds seen.