Sunday, 27 January 2013

Thaw Sets In

27th Jan.  Such was the quality of the birding at the Rising Sun Country Park yesterday Sam and I decided to return again today and not bother going further afield.  A thaw had set in and walking on melting ice and snow was difficult.  In one particular area the flooding was so bad that we had to retrace our steps or face water coming over the wellingtons!  It really does underline how such flooding can suddenly take people by surprise.   On arrival breaking ice provided a nice picture.

There were a good number of birders about today again, but the birding was not as spectacular as yesterday.  We saw none of the star birds of yesterday today, but do believe that at least one Short-eared Owl had been seen early in the day and I note that the Bittern was recorded today, but not by us.

On arrival it was Stan the Red Deer Stag that was drawing the attention of photographers.  Good to see that mention is made of this stag in the NHSN book on Northumbrian Mammals.  He seems well used to having photographs taken now, but I would recommend that dog owners do not allow their dogs to approach him!  In the sunlight it was impossible to get decent sightings of the Fieldfare, but that was remedied later in the day when we watched a flock of forty with a few Redwings in amongst the flock.  We’d seen neither species in the park yesterday.

We checked the area for Little Owl once again, and once again failed to find it.  A flock of thirty-five Stock Doves were found and a flock of maybe twenty Linnet.  Again neither species had been seen by us yesterday.  A single Cormorant flew overhead and that again was a species not seen on the previous visit.

I’m thinking we have walked a good number of miles this weekend in very difficult conditions and I’m feeling cream crackered, but very happy to have enjoyed such a good weekend just a short journey from home.  The walk up the hill was enjoyable and we were almost alone up there with the crowds of yesterday no longer interested as the snow no longer provided a track for sleds.  The Fieldfares ended our day very nicely, especially as they took to flight and perched in the tree beside us.  It would have made a great image had the light not have already faded so much.  In fact it did make a great image anyway, just not possible to show a copy of it.


  1. Hi Brian,
    Nice to see you enjoyed your birding at the Risiung Sun over the last couple of days. I have been wrapped up with moving back home after the floods for the last few days and theres still stuff to sirt but at least we, if not our cats, are home. Internetr been intermittent since reconnected so first chance to comment. You've probably had enough of "The Sun" for now but Little Owl/s, when about, are viewed in the small window type openings of thebrick outhouse looking out across the chicken runs from beside the centre next the farm. The Jack Snipe is only viewed when lifted from the reeds usually to the left of Dukes Pond. I lifted it once accidentally but have seen it twice when people wa;lk round the pond with dogs. Redpoll of various species are seen when about on the pit heap in the Alders up there or directly behind the hide on the main waggonway. Also worth a walk out to Scaffold Hill Farm which is behind the centre with the cafe. There are 2 tracks out there either side of the centre and there is also lots more land and a third pond if you head in a southerly direction then you can come back round south of Dukes Pond into the main area of reserve.Just a few ideas if you pop down again. I laughed out loud when i saw the snowman and comment.

  2. Hi John.
    Glad to hear that your home again after all this time. Hope you get settled quickly.
    We did indeed have a good weekend in the Rising Sun CP. I think we just missed the Little Owl today as we spoke to someone who had been down there around the same time and found it! Not to worry there's another day and we can't complain. Aye, there are paths I still need to explore John and will take the time to do so.
    I'm afraid that all that was left of you today...........errr I mean the snowman, was his hair and hat! ha ha. Cheers. Brian.