Spring for me begins now! March & April & May are spring time for me.
The month started of with seeing a Long-eared Owl and Barn Owl which where fine additions to my year list one evening. I also had good views of 2 Short-eared Owls on the same night. I always like seeing Long-eared Owls and I have seen them regular throughout February.
I dipped my first ever look for a Bean Goose at Castle Lake DBC but my patients where rewarded a few weeks later whilst looking through the Pink-footed Geese at Cresswell Pond NWT when I picked up 2 Tundra Bean Geese among the Pink-footed Geese as well as a few Barnacle Geese literally thrown in for good measure. I also had a fantastic scope views of a few juv White-fronted Geese at Woodhorn Flash.
My moaning on the 31st of January on Blogspot paid off and I flushed a Woodcock over the college holidays whilst helping my mate Stew on his tetrad. Hurray!! I couldn’t believe I had finally seen a Woodcock, just glad I found it myself before the winter was out.
Then the best two days birding of the month was the last two days of the month! On Saturday just gone I had my first Green-winged Teal and this showed well and it was easy to ID thanks to the light and the views I had. I also had fantastic views of a Bittern in flight for about 20-30 seconds! That’s long let’s face it, and it was the longest view of a Bittern I had ever had.
On the Sunday I went on the Durham Bird Club trip and had reasonable views of Golden Eagle in flight although it was quite distant. I also had fantastic views of a male Hen Harrier drifting over the road and hunting the hills. We then went onto Caerlaverock WWT where I had cracking really close views of the American Wigeon which was another life tick for me and what a fantastic bird! I was also rewarded with good views of Peregrine sitting on a distant post. Then………………………………….. of course…………………….. I can’t believe I am saying this but………………………….good views of Merlin! It sat on a few posts and what appeared to be a drum of some sort. I had fantastic scope and bin views of it as it sat on the fence post and when it flew off past the hide as well. I took some terrible photos but I rushed them as I just wanted to look at the bird as much as I can! I had about 1-2 minutes good look at the bird and that satisfied me, what a fantastic month.
Obvious best highlights:
(American Wigeon - Derek Charlton)