Friday, 9 April 2010

Up the Durham Dales

I have had an interesting first week of college to say the least. Was up the dales on Wednesday and Thursday for some uplands birding. My target birds of the day was Ring Ouzel as I have never had a good view of this species in the field, I have only ever seen 1 and it was toward dusk and it was a female and the views where quite bad.

I had a cracking day on Wednesday and most of the activity happened around Waskerly Reservoir as well as Bollihope Quarry. I started of the day at Waskerly Reservoir were I picked up a Red Kite in the distance which is a nice bird to have out west in Durham. I also headed toward Langdon Beck and had brief but reasonably good views of 1 male Black Grouse. Then we went to Bollihope quarry and sadly we didn’t have what we went for. We arrived and we flushed a Woodcock! I had no idea what it was for the first few seconds but as it flew off its long bill and pot belly were apparent and I was overjoyed to say “Woodcock!”, only my second ever bird. We headed down toward to entrance of the quarry and say quietly and we only had a couple of Wheatears. The other lads headed off toward the entrance to the quarry and I followed. Stew said I had just missed a male Merlin come over the hill and flush 2 Black Grouse! Drat! I turned around to see a bird sitting ontop of a foliage free tree……bins up….RING OUZEL! I had a good idea what it would be as I didn’t expect to see a Blackbird staring back at me at this site. I had fantastic scope views of this bird and it was a real treat to see.

Thursday was raptor watching day and I had 2 very interesting birds but I am afraid for their safety I am not going to mention the species of their location. However I had other raptors and these were: Buzzard, Kestrel, and Sparrowhawk, as well as loads of Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtail, and Grey Heron. A jet got me very excited into thinking it might be a White-tailed Eagle but then I realised I was just being very hopefully!

Till next time……


  1. WTE seen just north of York at lunchtime today (Stockton on the Forest)...

  2. Hi James, I am currently following the movements of this bird. It appeard to be heading North but has now headed South again. :)