Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Monday, 31 March 2008


31st March 2008

I thought I would have to wait until April this year to hear my first Chiffchaffs but two were singing this morning in the Borough woods. Still late though. Yesterday morning I just had time to take a couple of shots of the Goosanders that are in the town centre at the moment. There has been a drake at Oldgate bridge for a couple of days. It appears to have paired up with the female that bred successfully last year. I hadn't seen this individual since December. She has angelwing and is unable to fly but she has found herself a fine looking partner. There were three other Goosanders on the river; a female at Oliver's mill and two females upstream at the low ford bridge. I had to go to Amble last night and on the way back a Barn Owl was sitting in a pine at the entrance to East Chevington.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Green Woodpecker(s)

Thursday 27th March 2008

Walked Bennyboy around the edge of Atheys Dene at 1700. Saw a Green Woodpecker flying from the Abbey and over the Dene. Yesterday morning I heard a one calling near the bypass bridge. This may have been the same bird. Green Woodpeckers are quite scarce in lowland Northumberland so any sighting is noteworthy. The wood was alive with birdsong yesterday as well as three Great spotted Woodpeckers drumming but still no Chiffchaffs singing yet. The river was quiet with a female Goosander at High ford the only bird of note.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Longhirst flash

Tuesday 25th March 2008

Cold with wintery showers. Very quiet down in the meadows this morning. I went along to Longhirst flash to look for white winged Gulls. Plenty of Gulls facing into the blizzard. Despite the poor visibility a first winter Glaucous Gull was right in the middle of the flock. I then called at Bothal pond to look for the Nordic jackdaw. Before I got there I noticed a large Jackdaw flock at the boarding kennels nearby. I pulled into the farm drive to scope the flock from the comfort of the car and after five minutes I came across the bird. Good but brief views as the flock was very mobile. This is the first time I have seen this race of Jackdaw. I called in to Bothal pond and the snow persisted but a nice White Wagtail was feeding along the eastern shore of the pond. Not unexpected at this time of year but usually associated with milder weather.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Weekend

Sunday 23rd March

I'm working all easter weekend so little time to spend on the patch. However, on good Friday I managed to see the Cranes near Ashington. A bit distant but very nice to see. No time to catch up with white winged Gulls as it was time to get ready for work.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Scot's Ghyll

Took Ben for a walk along the river at Scot's Ghyll. I tried to take photo of the Dipper but the overhanging trees were in the way. I had to settle for the Wood Anemone's that are carpeting the woodland floor at present. No singing Chiffchaff's yet. Earlier I was at East Chevington. Plenty of wildfowl and a beautiful summer plumaged Great crested grebe. I fed the Gulls at Amble harbour with the remains of my fish and chips. There was one Meditteranean Gull among hundereds of Black Headeds.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Athey's Dean

Tuesday 18th March

This is my first entry of my diary recording the wildlife along the river Wansbeck in the Morpeth area of Northumberland. At 10 am I did my usual circular walk along the river. There are a few signs of spring but it was very cold this morning but plenty of bird song to warm a gloomy morning. There were plenty of birds to be seen with at least 5 Bullfinches, 3 Jays, 6 Nuthatches and a Marsh tit in Atheys Dean. Along the river was a Cormorant and 2 Dippers. As spring approaches I hope to have more interesting postings and plenty of photographs to share.