Sunday, 8 March 2009

Woodland Weekend

The three hours birding time I had this weekend I've spent trying to catch up some of the resident species I'm missing from my county year list with mixed results. Yesterday morning due to delays in getting out I abandoned my plan of going to Linton for Pintail and possibly jamming a Glaucous in favour of stopping off at a nearby woodland site for Willow Tit and possibly Jay.
A walk through the road that runs through this particular stretch of woodland was very unproductive until I reached the far end when I pushed first one then another Common Buzzard into the air, the second mewing loudly suggesting that I had disturbed it from a nest. Sure enough a quick search revealed a large nest a few yards in. A Treecreeper did it's stuff nearby and I quickly retreated back the way I'd come.
I just had time to drop into Amble and check the little harbour, both regular Med Gulls about with one showing almost full summer plumage now.
Today with two hours available I was really wanting to go to Newbiggin but a strong West wind probably means diddly squat on the sea so I thought I would head up to the woods around Mitford & Newton instead. Plenty here to keep me occupied with Marsh Tit, Jay, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker all absent so far this year.
I parked at Highford Bridge and walked to Mitford and then on to Newton and back. The woods were still very quiet, a single Marsh Tit, singing toward Newton lifted the gloom. A single Great Spotted Woodpecker was the only other bird of note here.
With a half hour left I parked again near Mitford Castle and did a quick loop around the ruins.
A pair of Jay screeched their displeasure at me from within the ruins as they flipped over the other side. A Common Buzzard lifted from the back of the wood as I completed my circuit.
With the rivers quite full and fast flowing I had pretty much abandoned any ideas of Kingfisher but I looked upstream from the bridge here and a couple of Dipper about 30m apart looked fairly inactive to be honest.
I'm at work now composing this but when I arrived today there were people with bins and scopes wandering around Alnmouth, several older couples, although they were window shopping so I don't think it can be anything out of the ordinary (famous last words). A little disconcerting though.

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