Recent visit over the restored opencast site at Stobswood. A few years ago this looked very exciting for a great variety of wildlife as the way it was first put back with shallow ponds and damp meadows it looked really promising. Five or six years later most of the damp areas have been drained and water has filled up the main ponds making them good for wildfowl but not for wading birds. I would estimate over 90% has been put back as farmland with woodland breaks. Most of the woodland is broad leaved and will develop into good woodland if managed. Despite this there is still a few good areas and several shallow ponds have been established in the dips of the farmland. This possibly has been through accident rather than design. You don't find many birds here but there is a good variety of water plants to be found here. No surprises but still good to see. The pics above show the plantlife of these ponds, Crop spraying could take its toll here in a few years but for now they are worth exploring further. Typical plants here are Spike Rush (Eleocharis palustris), Broad leaved Pondweed (Potamogeton natans), Common Clubrush (Schoenoplectus lacustris) and Spiked Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). Many damselflies and darters were also present while I was here.
Back at Morpeth and 2 Common Sandpipers were on the river downstream from the Oldgate bridge.