So this morning found me heading for Ikea to collect a kitchen catalogue. Not wishing to pass up an opportunity and with plenty of time to wander I pushed a little further south to Derwent Park, just to the south of Rowlands Gill. A small children's play park, devoid of life on a Monday morning ensured my two could tear about and make as much noise as they liked whilst I set-up nearby and scanned the tree-lines.
The main attraction down that neck of the woods is the Red Kite activity, they didn't disappoint though this morning's action was x rated as a courting couple of milvus were wasting no time (Green 76 and untagged male) and not worried about public sensibilities, getting it on for the world to see just south of the Toddler Park.I think we had 4 in the air at one point though there were possibly different individuals further south appearing periodically so conceivably up to seven in the area. Three Grey Wagtails flew north, a year tick, whilst a Great Spotted Woodpecker put in a brief appearance.
"Dirty, Dirty Birds" (per Toby Collett who wasn't rubbing his hands on his knees a la Vic Reeves)
Post-coital chit-chat courtesy of a disgracefully ancient Iphone
After Ikea and a quick Pizza Hut lunch we headed west to an area high above the Tyne Valley just before the Northumberland/Durham recording border starts to twist south bearing away from the Tyne. A bit grey and a few spots of drizzle so not the best day for soaring raptors, however, we managed 2 more Red Kites both inside the Durham boundary sadly, a single Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk on the right side of the Tyne. Two more Buzzards soared above a small wood south of Darras Hall as we sped home.