Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Monday, 30 January 2012

Mediterranean Diet

First blog post for a while, mostly down to a hard drive failure but hopefully normal service can now be resumed.
Despite about 70% of Castle Lake suffering from a covering of ice this morning and accompanying light snow flurries a decent selection of birds were on offer, highlight was this adult Mediterranean Gull.

Others of interest included 2 Oystercatcher, 4 Pintail, 5 Shelduck, 67 Curlew and 300 Lapwing.
The River Stell produced flybys from Kingfisher and Green Sandpiper while a massive flock of c600 Golden Plover graced the A1 Flashes.

One of the two Oystercatcher present this morning, my first of the year.

The four Pintail together.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Thursday 12th January 2012

Highlights from this afternoon;

Castle Lake;
6 Shelduck, 7 Pochard, GC Grebe, 70 Golden Plover, 7 Redshank, Green Sandpiper, 3 Short-eared Owl.
Low Hardwick;
5 Common Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 2 Short-eared Owl.

Grey Heron enjoying a snack at Low Hardwick this afternoon.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

GCG Back Already

Highlights from today;

Castle Lake;
Great Crested Grebe, 5 Shelduck, 2 Pochard, 10 Grey Partridge, Green Sandpiper, 2 Short-eared Owl.

Low Hardwick;
4 Short-eared Owl, Skylark over, 2 Willow Tit, 9 Lesser Redpoll.
The first returning Great Crested Grebe back on Castle Lake today.

Two of the ten Grey Partridge near the hide.  

Monday, 2 January 2012

Monday 2nd January 2012

Thanks to John Olley for today's sightings;

Castle Lake and surrounds
Green Sandpiper flew in, 17 Curlew, 7 Redshank, 5 Shelduck, 8 Shoveler, 200 Teal, 3 Pintail, 100 Wigeon, 2 Kestrel, 44 Stock Dove and Grey wagtail.

Low Hardwick
3 Short Eared Owls, Buzzard, 4 Kestrel 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Goosander over.

Little Egret

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The First Of The First

The plan today was to spend an hour in the hide then have a good walk around hoping to get the new year list off to a solid start but the weather had other ideas and it wasn't until late morning that the rain relented by which time I'd seen everything the hide had to offer.
I didn't need to head over to Low Hardwick as the Short-eared Owl's today were happily hunting the south-east corner of Castle Lake, three together at one stage.
The set-aside between Island Farm and Alan's Pool is still home to a 600 strong mixed flock including 400 Goldfinch, various numbers of Greenfinch, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, 19 Corn Bunting and at least 1 (!) Linnet.

A few pictures from today;

One of the two pair of Shelduck that have already returned to Castle Lake.

Three Pintail present today including this drake.
Great Black-backed Gull's still dropping in occasionally.

Some of the Corn Bunting in their favourite tree.

Couldn't resist another Short-eared Owl photo.