A cycle ride from Morpeth up to Harwood forest today, heading back via Wallington and Bolam lake gave me a total of 40 species for the day, with several new birds for the 2012 list including one lifer for me.
Conditions were quite harsh to say the least, with weather starting and finishing with sunshine, but going through sleet, rain and hail in between, and always with a strong, icy wind coming from the north/north-west.
After a first stop at Dyke Neuk to shelter from the sleet, I picked up a willow tit in trees by the road, but the first list-bird of the day was
102 Red-legged partridge
just before Longwitton. Also had the first of 6 or 7 buzzards here, and a couple of churrrring mistle thrush. Then soon after the Rothley Crossroads, I was surprised to find a small group of geese in the fields right near the road - 2 greylag and 17
103 Bean goose
Reaching Harwood forest, I ventured off into the trees on one of the tracks, and was immediately rewarded with lage numbers of chaffinch, siskin and
104 Crossbill - a lifer for me
...and the sun had come out to add to the general feeling of wellbeing!
Heading back to Morpeth, I took a more southerly route, calling in at Wallington, where the highlights were GS woodepecker and nuthatch, and then on to Bolam lake, where there were a large number of hirundines over the lake, including barn swallow
105 House martin
106 Sand Martin - only one seen
Also, a very confiding treecreeper and around 30-40 mute swan
Last edited by lazza : Sunday 15th April 2012 at 17:37.