Monday, 14 January 2013

Going the Extra Mile

With a forecast of snow I set out this morning with Bubo to try and pick up the last couple of species that I hoped I could get on foot from home. First one fell after just 15 minutes out with a single drake Pochard over the back of Bothal Pond.
Continuing east I dropped off the main road to follow a path through the big shelter belt hoping I might stumble on a roosting owl or perhaps a Woodock. I found neither though just a few minutes later 'Footing It' tick numero deux fell with a distant Lapwing in the fields east of Coopers Kennels.

 I pushed on into the outskirts of Ashington to the east end and my morning target of QEII County Park. By now I had heavy snow to accompany me but not heavy enough to prevent me picking out five Gadwall around the south end of the lake. I headed over to the 'feeding station' at the entrance following reports of both Marsh & Willow Tit. I drew a blank on that front but did manage a huge bonus with a single Treecreeper feeding on the ground and some of the pines running along the roadside. 
A full circuit of the lake added a fifth and final new bird with a drake Goosander on the west side of the south bay. I broke the long walk back with a brief rest at Mcdonalds where I think the young girl at the counter thought I was a tramp as I tried to order via the drive-thru window on foot.

With the On Foot List standing at 70 I think realistically there might only be one possibly two species at best that I can manage between now and the end of January. I covered a smidgen under 11 miles today and I can feel it tonight, despite traveling light with only bins and Iphone.

With falling snow continuing I grabbed a photo opportunity in Ashington, I guess you could call this 'Colliery Snow'.

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