7th March. Despite the sun which drew me out onto patch today it was deceptively cold as I made for the wagon-way. I noticed on the way that a very nice area of scrub and bush which attracted birds has been dug up and flattened. I guess we have more brick and concrete to look forward to! The noisy Long Tailed Tit I found in the hedge along the pathway took thoughts of concrete from my mind.
Once onto the wagon-way proper I spent sometime taking in a very good sighting of two Grey Partridges feeding along by the hedge-way, both in excellent light. At least three piles of pigeon feathers give away that a predator had been around recently. A little bit further along the path I found another headless pigeon and suspect disturbance had interrupted the meal!
I found the Greenfinches especially loud this afternoon, and in the trees just before hitting the roadway again there was a large party of feeding and calling Goldfinches.
Once over the road and onto the wagon-way leading to Holystone I found three Mistle Thrush and several Stock Doves in what had initially looked to be a deserted field. There was no sign of any Lapwings which I seem to remember had been around in numbers this time last year. I got my eye on two waterfowl in the distance down beside the small flash. They looked ‘different’ even at distance so I made off to take a closure look. They turned out to be a new patch tick. They were definitely tundra Bean Geese. I took special note of the dark colouring, the bill marking and structure, and I also had a brief sighting of one of the bird’s legs which was showing well in the sunlight and it was distinctively orange. Whilst I was taking in the sighting I heard a Kestrel calling. There were no other waterfowl or waders in the area. I noticed another guy taking a look at these birds from the wagon-way opposite. I had first seen the birds shortly before 15:20 and they flew off towards the Tyne area at around 15:45. I’ve been keeping an aye on this particular area since watching the Short Eared Owls here almost two years ago. Up until today I hadn’t found anything I could say was out of the ordinary here. I’m very pleased with this sighting however.
On my return walk a dog disturbed two Skylarks and they took off in front of me. I checked out the pylons and found a Kestrel on top of the tallest steel pylon. The bird soon flew down to a lower level. Gulls flew in number in the distance over what I think is a landfill area. It gave the effect of grey and white objects in the air as the birds manoeuvred.
As I neared the end of the circular walk I listened to the song of Song Thrush and watched another Song Thrush feeding on the ground. Another party of Goldfinches fed and called in the trees. I found a Lesser Black Backed Gull in the distance. Temperatures were dropping by now so I made for home.