Osier catkin (Salix viminalis), Widdrington tip
Sightings over the last few days include dozens of Buzzards at various localities. There were five over Howburn woods at Morpeth on 29th Feb. On Saturday a walk along the beach at East Chevington and back along the track on the Eastern edge of the reserve produced loads of wildfowl but the best bird was a Short eared Owl hunting the reeds and the dunes. Sunday was a wash out but the highlight was a female Hen Harrier at one of my local patches but very few other species. By the time I looked at the pools at Stobswood the rain was coming down hard. No sign of last weeks Hooded Crow. This morning I was at Ulgham woods and meadows LNR. Lots of woodland species here, the best being 2 Willow Tits, something of a rarity these days. Barren Strawberry was out in flower here but still waiting for my first Coltsfoot and Butterburs. I have been out on the bike the last couple of days and one of the advantages is hearing and seeing birds in places you normally drive through and not notice like Curlew and Buzzards displaying at Tranwell and Tree sparrows holding territory with jackdaws at nest holes in the Ash avenue at Kirkley mill.