Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Monday, 27 February 2012

Hardwick Hall CP

This morning I made my first visit of the year to Hardwick Hall Country Park, which is quite an admission to make as I count this as the southern boundary of the 'Bishop Middleham patch', I should therefore visit more often but there's usually too many people, prams and dogs for my liking.
As usual the lake held a good variety of species, many of which are well trained at posing for the camera.
Birds seen included 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 2 female Goldeneye, 11 Wigeon, a male Shoveler, 20 Pochard, 40 Gadwall, 2 Mistle Thrush, a Song Thrush and hoard's of Mallard, Coot, Tufties, Gull's etc.
A waltz around Low Hardwick produced two year ticks in the form of Jay and Coal Tit.
Then it was off to the north end of the patch, the DWT Quarry,

Pretty quiet would be an understatement, birds seen were about 10 Yellowhammer including one in full song, 6 Tree Sparrow and a Treecreeper, with 2 Willow Tit along the lane and 4 Grey Partridge in a nearby field.

By now the rain had arrived so I took refuge in the Castle Lake hide. Best birds here were singles of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Green Sandpiper, 6 Snipe, 2 female Goldeneye and 11 Pink-footed Geese which came within six foot of landing and then must have received the evil eye of the Canada Geese and decided to overshoot before heading south over the flashes and then eventually west.
Rubbish picture of the 11 Pink-footed Geese after their aborted landing at Castle Lake this afternoon.

And finally two very readable publications have dropped through the letter box in the last week,

Can't wait to get stuck in.

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