Sunday, 21 February 2010


Last Friday brought up number 66 on this years Prestwick Carr list with an overflying Peregrine sending the Lapwing / Plover flock into a frenzy but the bird made no attempt to hunt. As the light faded 80 or so Greylags flew in from the north in their typical noisy, untidy formation. They landed in the horse field next to the golf course and normally I would just record them in the notebook and head off home but they were so closer to the road than usual and with all the Whitefronts and Bean Geese in the county I felt it my duty to have a closer look. Got the scope on them and started counting till I got to a Canada head a stopped to check. I've seen a couple of these crosses up at Hauxley and maybe this was one of them on a day trip. Pity it doesn't count as one for the list but nice to have the visit.
On the way home a Barn owl flew alongside the car possibly using it to flush prey before at the field end it crossed over the road eight foot above and I realised I was driving into a mini coming in the other direction. Fortunately (although he had little choice) he had pulled over.

Out first thing on Saturday in crisp cold weather after yet another overnight snow fall. Very quiet with few birds in the hedgerows but a group of four Heron were still at roost. For years I thought these were solitary birds and when feeding they are but I remember the first time I saw a roost near the standing stone at Delaval with eleven birds all lined up together gaining shelter from a hedge. Communal roost are quite common on the Carr in flood conditions but the location varies considerably. Shortly these birds will be back at the nearby Heronry preparing nest for the new season.

Three Dunlin were with the Lapwing flock the second time this year these birds, normally passage visitors, have shown up and nice to see. I wonder when the ubiquitous Redshank will do the same.

Like ipin I counted no Wrens in the first two hours so with the golf course closed I ventured into the middle to investigate the stands of pines. A Wren was singing and three Goldcrests (No.67) moved through the canopy with a couple of Long tailed tits so some birds have made it through to carry on the line. A flash on the ground just in front of me was followed by some tut tutting from above and a Red Squirrel scolded me for disturbing his foraging. Couple of shots and I let the little chap to has business.


  1. Last 3 times I visited Big Waters there has been a flock of about 90 Greylag with a big Canlag with them.

    Also the last 2 times I have visited Gosforth the 2 wrens I normally see and hear have been conspicous by their absence. I have stood for about 30mins around the stump I normally put food on for them but nothing seen.

    John (Howdon Blogger)

  2. Thanks for the info John. Must be the same flock moving between daytime feeding at Big Waters and roost on Prestwick Carr.