Sunday, 5 December 2010

Return of Two Deeply Frozen Birders!

Some sunshine, and a great morning to be out and about.
Yes, a mill pond!

Maybe that taxi driver was correct after all!

A desolate and frozen pond at Holywell

4th Dec. With Martin Kitching’s Seal and Seaduck Special having been postponed until next weekend (fingers crossed for a thaw) and icy roads a dodgy weather forecast for Durham ending thoughts of a trip to Saltholme and Teeside, Tom and I decided to return to our walk at Holywell and St Mary’s Island. As it turned out it was a wise decision as a number of unexpected bird species were thrown up as was another atmospheric walk amongst the snow and ice. I’m going to let Tom tell you about the birds in his relatively new blog at This is a kind of, read two get one free offer! :-) You may have to wait a day or two as I know Tom is busy and I don’t want to pressure him……honest! :-)

What I will tell you was, it was flippin’ cold at times, although not as bad as last weekend. There was no wind at the coast what so ever and the sea was like a mill pond. Oh, how I’m hoping it will be like that next weekend. Knowing my luck there will be fifteen foot waves to contend with!

The sun greeted us as we arrived at St Mary’s and even the wetland was unusually lively. Yes we did the walk back to front. We like variety! Another good choice as the tide was quite a way out but on the way in. Icicles hung from some of the cliffs ledges, reflecting out mini ice age of the past few days. Vey few people were about at all in the morning. Even the fish and chip shop at Seaton Sluice was almost empty. The walk was really enjoyable, but quite a trudge through deep snow and ice at times. Icicles hung in Holywell Dene too and Holywell Pond was frozen solid. By the time we reached the dene it seemed that a few people had begun to think it safe to venture out. Anyone not out earlier had missed a really nice morning.

Nothing from me this time about the birds, only mention of the fact we did hit the heights of three score and ten plus with the day list. Our taxi driver on returning home seemed to think that we will have minus degree temperatures until March and said that he had been told that if there is another four winters as cold as this it will be the beginning of a new ice age. I resisted the temptation to place a bet with him that he would be proven incorrect.

Another great days birding and one of many moods and no falling snow, except when it dropped on our heads from branches during a slight thaw! Note to self……..must try and get around patch this week.


  1. Hi Brian,
    Two frozen peas in a pod again, eh.
    Called by Killy Lakes on weds.
    No Goosanders but there were 4 Goldeneye on larger lake. Also had 5 Snipe on school field beside smaller lake along with 2 Lapwing. There is a few small areas of ground where the snow is not lying so they were taking advantage.

  2. Hi John
    One advantage of this weather is there is the chance of unusual birds turning up. I'll be taking a look around patch over the next day or two. Brian