either working or freezing my **** off. Reports of a Bittern and a big grey raptor on the Carr last weekend have seen me out most evenings but to little avail. Not even any owls showing although I found the Little owl again on my count yesterday morning. First count not affected by weather produced 39 species including an early Curlew and five Dunlin with the Lapwing flock on the flood. That makes it 62 species on the Carr list this year after finishing on the straight ton last which was down 12 on 2008. The majority of the missing were waders so with the Carr currently flooded and likely to remain so for some while, the prospect of some long billed visitors is good. Managed to tick Woodcock as have many in the county as a bird flew onto the Carr from the garden centres at Horton Grange.
Garden visitors have included Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Moorhen and a Kestrel trying to get at my Sparrow flock which seems remarkably cheery at the moment. More than me anyway as with the work and dull weather photo opportunities have been severely limited. Was delighted to get a county life tick for Bewicks Swan last weekend and checked out the Redhead at Linton Lane NR yesterday so the year list has started well. Spent an hour in the hide at Whittle Dene Friday evening where a new diary has been provided which hopefully will avoid the attentions of the idiots present last year. A male Goldeneye displayed to three female Tufties and ignored two females of his own species feeding near the hide. Eight male Goosander were present but flew off back to the Tyne shortly after I arrived whilst the Coot flock paraded along the embankment. Managed a few peaceful moments between the traffic as the sun set with small groups of Canada and Greylag Geese flying in to roost.