Stobswood yesterday, Gorse, Coltsfoot and Frogs spawn
Two views of Tutehill moss looking towards Tod's knowe in Harwood forest
Birch Polypore in Ned's whin at Felton Lane
Remains of Barn Owl...Ned's whin
I have been visiting my favourite local places over the last week. Last Sunday 28th Feb I was on duty at Ulgham LNR doing a few jobs but nothing doing in the way of wildlife. I took my scope with me and from Ulgham park I was able to count the Geese on the old Stobswood opencast. There were 832 Pink footed and 46 Cananda Geese. The Yellowhammers and Linnets have dispersed from the stubble fields. On Tuesday 1st March I walked about 9 miles through Harwood forest from the village and onto Darden Rigg. Once again no Shrike for me but I didn't stop for long at Tutehill moss. There were at least 40 Crosbills in loose family groups along the tracks...my first juvvy birds this year. I saw 2 Goshawks displaying and 6 Buzzards with the males also displaying. One Buzzard male was undulating so close to a sitting female that he collided with her knocking her off the treetop but she soon recovered and chased him away. On the way back 6 Buzzards were soaring high above the village when they were joined by a male Goshawk. Nice stuff but I'm not a huge fan of raptors.
Yesterday I was back at Widdrington tip and in the woods around Stobswood. A nice sunny day and a bit of colour for a change with Coltsfoot and Gorse in flower. Only one Lesser Redpoll at the tip but Grangewood was full of the expected woodland birds including Nuthatch. Today I had a walk in the woods of Colliersdean and Ned's whin plantations at Felton Lane. I flushed 14 Woodcock here13 of them in a narrow 100 metre strip at Colliersdean. Plenty of woodland birds here including 3 Jays and a displaying Buzzard to the North of Ned's whin. In a clearing here I found the remains of a Barn Owl. At Morpeth there is still an abundance of Velvet shank fungi on the Ash stumps around Abbey meadows.