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Old Sunday 8th March 2015, 19:27   #22
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,594
Out with my two girls in Choppington Woods on 1st March, where there were several signs of Spring, including lots of frog spawn and plenty of frogs {1}, and plenty of territorial displaying among the birdlife. Also, over neighbouring farmland, 2015's first singing:

91. Skylark

Finally, this weekend, a long ride out on my bike on Saturday, up to Amble and then back down the coast calling in at a few of the reserves along the way. Also a lot of mammals about with rabbits seen in many places, a startled brown hare in a lane near Tritlington, two good sightings of stoats [6] at Maiden's Hall lake and Druridge bay, the latter animal carrying a squealing field vole[7] along the coastal path!

As for birdlife, there was lots to see too. In Amble, the harbour was full of a-oo-ing eider, and there were plenty of curlew and oystercatcher. On the rocks near the harbour mouth was my first:

92. Rock pipit

of the year, while the grassland south of the town held lots of gulls, oystercatchers and a couple of linnet.

On the beach at Low Hauxley, I added:

93. Ringed plover

Low Hauxley reserve itself was also quite productive, with plenty of greylag and Canada goose, along with a good mix of waders (including a pair of bar-tailed godwit) and ducks (lots of gadwall, tufties, goldeneye, wigeon and teal).

At East Chevington, the northern "woodland" hide didn't produce the hoped-for redpoll, and not much was visible into the sun (mute swans and goldeneye). Moving around to the waterside hide on the east side of the lake was slightly more productive, with good views of more goldeneye, coots and gulls, and after almost giving up, I finally located the:

94. Red-necked grebe - my 100th species for 2015 (as it was in 2014, bizarrely!)

Finally, heading along the coastal path past Druridge pools, I finally found my first:

95. Stonechat

- first a female on low bushes, followed soon afterwards by a male on a fence post.
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)

Last edited by lazza : Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 09:51.
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