Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tuesday 22nd November 2011

Sightings today with thanks to John Olley.

Castle Lake;
38 Snipe, 700 Golden Plover, 900 Lapwing, 250 Teal, 100 Wigeon, 4 Redshank, 2 Whooper Swans flew off south, 2 Scaup, Pintail.

Low Hardwick;
4 Short Eared Owls and Buzzard.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Owl Parliament

Castle Lake late morning/early afternoon produced 2 Whooper Swan, female Pintail, 2 female Scaup, and a Green Sandpiper with the 13 White-fronted Geese still on the A1 flashes.

Today's Whooper's and Pintail.

Over at Low Hardwick I was treated to a fabulous display from at least 5 Short-eared Owl.

There was also some discord between a SEO and a Kestrel (below) as well as with each other.
A fantastic privilege to witness these magnificent birds.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Pale Face

Finally added Short-eared Owl to my BM list today and in some style with six together over Low Hardwick this afternoon. One even ventured up to Castle Lake and hunted (and caught prey) around the south-east corner, allowing Tony and myself superb views from the opposite bank.
Earlier in the day Joe had a fantastic eight SEO.
Short-eared Owl has been a bit of a bogey bird for me since I started birding with very few sightings anywhere so today provided by far my best ever views.
Also over Low Hardwick was the long-staying immature Hen Harrier, whilst the 13 Eurasian White-fronted Geese where still on the A1 flashes.

Year tick #135 Short-eared Owl  (Patch tick #148)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Some You Win...

...and some you lose. You would have though that sitting in a hide overlooking a lake is the ideal place for a birder to be, but not this morning when BC entered the hide and asked if I'd seen the two Bewick's Swan that went over (behind the hide) five minutes earlier. Doh!!
Nevermind there's always a next time, isn't there? Still a good selection on offer around Castle Lake today including the following;
5 Pink-footed Geese went over south with about 50 Greylag's mid-morning, 13 Eurasion White-fronted Geese still on the A1 Flashes (two much improved on yesterday pictures);

Goldeneye, female Goosander, 11 Grey Partridge (3 pictured below);

Common Buzzard, ringtail/immature Hen Harrier still hunting over Low Hardwick, 300 Golden Plover, Dunlin and Green Sandpiper,

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Lucky 13

Down to Castle Lake at first light this morning (not that there was much light at all today) hoping to see if any interesting geese were about but after an hour in the hide only 25 Canada's and a single Greylag were seen.
Highlight was this female Scaup.

Walked down to the A1 flashes and thankfully 13 of the original 16 Eurasian White-fronted Geese were still present, my first at Bishop Middleham.

A combination of distance and the shocking light meant even a record picture was difficult.

Yearlist update;
#133 Rough-legged Buzzard (Patch tick #146)
#134 White-fronted Geese (Patch tick #147)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday 11th November 2011

Birdguides reporting 16 White-fronted Geese on Castle Lake this afternoon.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Monday 7th November 2011

Sightings in the Castle Lake and Low Hardwick area today courtesy of Dave Makinson, Mark Tyreman, Colin Walker and myself.

50 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler, f Goldeneye, 11 Grey Partridge, Common Buzzard, Hen Harrier again over Low Hardwick briefly in the morning then for ten minutes in the afternoon, 2 Peregrine over together, 100 Golden Plover over, 2 Dunlin, 7 Snipe, 4 Redshank, Green Sandpiper, GBb Gull, GS Woodpecker, Skylark over, 3 Meadow Pipit over, 45 Fieldfare, 7 Mistle Thrush, 20 Redwing, 3 Willow Tit.
Todays Dunlin in very poor light mid-afternoon.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sunday 6th November 2011

Sightings today from John Olley and myself.

Castle Lake;
f Pintail, f Goldeneye, 2 Grey Partridge, 5 Grey Heron, ringtail Hen Harrier again hunting over Low Hardwick, 2 Sparrowhawk, 5+ Kestrel, 3 Snipe, 10 Curlew, 4 Redshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 GBb Gull, Kingfisher on River Stell, 2 Mistle Thrush. 
Short-eared Owl was reported in the area yesterday.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday 4th November 2011

Many thanks to John Olley for todays sightings.

Castle Lake and A1 Flashes;
740 Golden Plover, 400 Lapwing, 2 Ruff, Redshank, 10 Curlew, Goldeneye, 6 Shoveler, 2 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel, 500 Common Gull, 400 Black Headed Gulls, 4 Lesser Redpoll and 6 Crossbill over.