Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Gannet, Inland Durham!

Inland sightings of Gannet in County Durham are incredibley rare (though coincidently two were seen recently near Houghton-le-Spring) so imagine my surprise and delight when shortly after arriving at Castle Lake this morning a juvenile should appear circling over the lake before heading off in an easterly direction with two Grey Heron in close pursuit.
At the time I was stood on the hill at the north end scoping the waters edge trying to count the Ruff when I noticed most of the birds had gone up, not an unusual occurance of course, but when I got my bins on the reason a Gannet was the last thing I was expecting.
I hadn't noticed where it had actually came from but on reaching the hide I was greeted by another early riser Tony Eadsforth who not only informed me the bird had been sat on the water but he had some photo's of it as well.
I unfortunately only managed to get a very poor photo as I only came armed with my digiscoping camera which doesn't focus on what it considers is a tiny speck....

...zoomed in you get this...
Might be able to post one of Tony's photo's soon.

After that everything else seemed a bit of an anti-climax though there was still a decent selection on offer including 23 Wigeon, 6 Cormorant, 2 Little Egret, 100 Golden Plover, 11 Ruff and 2 Dunlin.
Some of the hundred GP's.

Bishop Middleham Yearlist Update;
123. Spotted Redshank
124. Lesser Whitethroat (Patch tick #141)
125. Curlew Sandpiper
126. Arctic Tern (Patch tick #142)
127. Black Tern (Patch tick #143)
128. Bittern (Patch tick #144)
129. Gannet (Patch tick #145)

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