Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Saturday, 24 March 2012


Vicious is the only word to describe this mornings behaviour from one of a pair of very territorial Herring Gull which have been around for a few days. The presence of any other large gull wouldn't be tolerated as this Lesser Black-backed Gull found to its cost.
Miraculously the Lesser Black-backed escaped to fight another day. Looks like a ring on its left leg.
Love the way the Coot's have gathered around, they love a good scrap themselves.

Other birds around Castle Lake this foggy morning included the following;
11 Shelduck, 96 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 4 GC Grebe, Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine through east, Dunlin, 4 Snipe, Little Owl, Green Woodpecker very vocal, Meadow Pipit displaying, Corn Bunting singing.
This mornings Dunlin at a very murky Castle Lake.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tuesday 20th March 2012

Better late than never a belated report of the best birds seen on Tuesday.

Whooper Swan  two in the fields at Low Hardwick (pictured below)

Shelduck  an excellent 14 on Castle Lake
Shoveler  two pair on Castle Lake and another on the southern A1 Flashes
Little Grebe  still very few around though 1 possibly 2 were back at Fishburn Lake
Buzzard  three up together over Low Hardwick (one pictured below)

Peregrine  a male seen over the A1 flashes flew towards Castle Lake
Ringed Plover  still one at Castle Lake
Green Sandpiper  the regular still alive and well
Kingfisher  one possibly two heard on the River Stell
Green Woodpecker  a very vocal bird was seen around the A1 Flashes
Skylark/Meadow Pipit  many of the former and some mipits singing/displaying near the moto-x

Chiffchaff  two singing birds, one near the old sluice gate and the other at Fishburn Lake

And finally...

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday 18th March 2012

A couple of hours at Castle Lake this afternoon produced the following of note;

9 Shelduck, female Pintail, 2pair Shoveler, 4 Pochard, Little Grebe, 3 GC Grebe, 21 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover (pictured below), 9 Snipe, 12 Redshank, Green Sandpiper & 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Saturday 10th March 2012

Another Castle Lake circular walk this morning produced the following birds of note;

Single Pink-footed Goose hanging out with the resident Canada Geese (pictured below), 13 Shoveler including ten drakes, a female Goldeneye, my first Cormorant of the year (pic below), 3 Kestrel together over Town End Farm, at least two Coot have started nest building, 9 Redshank, the Green Sandpiper, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and another year tick with a Little Owl in the trees at the north end.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Return Of The Ringtail

After an absence of about two months a ringtail Hen Harrier was back hunting the set-aside near Island Farm this afternoon.
Fantastic bird, we've been pretty spoiled after last years long stayer and now this one.

Castle Lake yielded another year tick with this Whooper Swan  which apparently arrived on Sunday morning.

Others of note included the Green Sandpiper, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Little Grebe on the River Stell.
A few other pictures from this afternoon.