Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sunday 30th December 2012

My final visit of 2012 resulted in a cracking selection of birds, that is once I got there as the road leading into the village from the Sedgefield (A177) direction is under water as Stoneybeck Lake continues to expand and expand and...

Stoneybeck Lake - 250 Greylag Geese, 17 Canada Geese, 1 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 40 Coot, 50 Lapwing and 35 Curlew.

Castle Lake - 205 Canada Geese, c200 Wigeon, c200 Teal, drake Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 7+ Pochard, 3 Goldeneye, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Cormorant, 400 Lapwing, 70 Curlew, 18 Redshank and this strange presumed hybrid duck.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tuesday 18th December 2012

Sightings from today;

Low Hardwick; 125 Greylag Geese, 2 Kestrel, 3 Roe Deer.
Alan's Pool; Kingfisher, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Willow Tit.
Fishburn Lake; 3 Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Willow Tit, GS Woodpecker.
Castle Lake; 100 Golden Plover over, 200 Lapwing, 2 Cormorant, 300 Woodpigeon, 40+ Tree Sparrow at Island Farm set-aside.

Some of the 40+ Tree Sparrow utilising the seed-crop near Island Farm.

And again with some Goldfinch.
Stoneybeck Lake/Farnless Farm; 104 Greylag Geese, 3f Goldeneye, 85 Lapwing, 11 Curlew, 3 Redshank, 200 Linnet, 6 Brambling.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Saturday 15th December 2012

Birds seen today included the following.

Castle Lake (60% frozen); Snipe, 130 Lapwing, 20 Curlew, 10 Redshank, Green Sandpiper, GBb Gull.

Song Thrush behind the Castle Lake hide.

Stoneybeck Lake (90% frozen); 62 Greylag Geese, 68 Mallard, 8 Teal, Sparrowhawk, 4 Moorhen, 30 Stock Dove, 8 Magpie, Brambling, 50 Linnet
Brambling near Stoneybeck this morning.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tuesday 11th December 2012

The Short-eared Owl reported yesterday was present again near Alan's Pool this afternoon.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Monday 10th December 2012

Sightings today thanks to John Olley;

Castle Lake;
194 Coot, 280 Teal, 120 Wigeon, 130 Mallard, 50 Tufted Duck, 30 Gadwall, 10 Moorhen, 45 Curlew, 100 Lapwing , 16 Redshank, 10 Snipe, Green Sandpiper, 20 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush below hide, 200 Starling, Grey Wagtail and 10 Reed Bunting.
Alan's Pool;
Short Eared Owl.

Low Hardwick and A1 Flashes;
40 Lesser Redpoll, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Buzzard, 2 Green Sandpiper together, 4 Skylark and Grey Heron.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday 7th December 2012

Castle Lake about 70% frozen still today, however the remaining 30% provided some good numbers but nothing out of the ordinary;
5 Mute Swan, 10 Canada Geese, 200 Wigeon, 300 Teal, 20 Tufted Duck, 60 Mallard, 30 Gadwall, 150 Coot (my highest ever count, obviously includes a few refugees from iced-up Alan's Pool & Fishburn Lake), 52 Curlew, 8 Redshank.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Dunlin On Ice

Not content with three Dunlin at Stoneybeck Lake in November, two more put in an appearance today on a 90% frozen Castle Lake. Checking my records reveals these are the first Dunlin I've seen here in December.
Two Dunlin in centre of picture which flew in with some Golden Plover, can't help feeling these birds will struggle to survive away from the coast if these freezing conditions persist.
And if the weather doesn't get them this already blood-stained Great Black-backed Gull might.

Castle Lake also produced c100 Wigeon, c300 Teal, female Pochard, drake Goldeneye, 140 (!) Coot, 5 Curlew, 8 Redshank, 3 Great Black-backed Gull and a Grey Wagtail.

The un-freezable River Stell produced a decent selection including;

Grey Heron

Green Sandpiper (which flew off to the west of the A1M, but later relocated back to Castle Lake)

drake Goldeneye, with one of the two Little Grebe in the background

One of those day's when your not bothered there's a motorway in the background

Also witnessed some presumed weather related movement with 10 Skylark and a single Meadow Pipit over north with 3 Skylark later going south.