Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Best Till Last

First thing down to Teesside to catch the tide in at Seal Sands. The walk out gave Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, 2 grey Plover and 19 Black-tailed Godwit on Greenabella marsh.

Greenshank & Spotted Redshank
Black-tailed Godwit
The flooded Seal Sands held just 4 birds, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and the target Velvet Scoter in a distant corner.
Velvet Scoter
After a quick look at the gulls on Seaton Common I headed north.
Houghton Gate had 2 Pink-footed Geese, 300+ Curlew, 40+ Wigeon and 7 Shoveler.
Lamesley was quiet with just a male Wigeon .There was no sign of the Jack Snipe.
Watergate held a Water Rail, but very few ducks.
Burdon Moor was wind-swept and covered in dozens of black sheep. The only birds of note were 2 Red Kite and a Skylark.

As soon as I got out of the car at Chopwell Woods a small flock of Crossbill were heard and seen disappearing into the wood. Also here were many Coal Tit and 2 Nuthatch.
With no sign of the Siberian Chiffchaff at Far Pasture I moved to the hide. As I sat down a small duck moved out from behind the large island at the back of the pond. Green-winged Teal, get in! I think, just the second record for Gateshead. Although staying distant, the bird showed well, disappearing into the reeds every now and then.
Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
A Kingfisher also put in an appearance and the Gateshead Pochard was in residence.