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Durham Birding

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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 19:58   #1
Skelly
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Thumbs up Durham Birding

Thought I'd create a new thread for those Birders in and around the Durham area, it'll probably go down like a lead balloon though.
Waldridge Fell was my birding choice for last night and tonight. Managed to get Green Woodpecker (1st for the year), Linnet, Yellowhammer, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Grey Partridge, Mallard, Swallow, Swift and a pair of Wheatears.
I had a solitary Red Kite last Tuesday at the Fell, flew off towards Gateshead.
I'm going to try Chester le Street riverside tomorrow, to see if I can get Kingfisher, Dipper, Goosander and Grey Wagtail.
I did have a Wheatear at the Riverside Sports Complex the other night, it was sitting on the skip next to the running track which was a pleasant surprise.
I will try to update every day, that's if I get the chance to get out birding.
Please feel free to post your sightings and words of wisdom.
Til the next time.
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 20:28   #2
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about time somebody started a durham birding thread. didnt want to start it myself, seeing as im from gateshead and already have my thread up and running (not that i get too much time to visit my own patch at the moment!).

any news on the goshawks in durham? - are they still frequenting hamsterly?
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 20:43   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skelly
Thought I'd create a new thread for those Birders in and around the Durham area, it'll probably go down like a lead balloon though.
Waldridge Fell was my birding choice for last night and tonight. Managed to get Green Woodpecker (1st for the year), Linnet, Yellowhammer, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Grey Partridge, Mallard, Swallow, Swift and a pair of Wheatears.
I had a solitary Red Kite last Tuesday at the Fell, flew off towards Gateshead.
I'm going to try Chester le Street riverside tomorrow, to see if I can get Kingfisher, Dipper, Goosander and Grey Wagtail.
I did have a Wheatear at the Riverside Sports Complex the other night, it was sitting on the skip next to the running track which was a pleasant surprise.
I will try to update every day, that's if I get the chance to get out birding.
Please feel free to post your sightings and words of wisdom.
Til the next time.
Good Idea Skelly to create a durham birders thread, I for one would be intersested to know what is around the area, I have not frequented your neck of the woods, the nearest I have been is Rainton Meadows and Joes Pond my local haunts which usually has a few surprises this time of the year, mind having said that I am finding it rather difficult at the moment with work commitments. Keep up the good work, I will watch with interest your observations and like wise I will try and post what sighting I record.

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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 21:01   #4
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It is a good idea though the County by County Index was a better way to organise things. There are several Durham site listed there - not sure if they're still accessible as they were getting archived.

I was intending posting a report of my trip out yesterday, but it will have to wait until tomorrow now.

Salty, the Goshawks were displaying over Hamsterly last Friday and Saturday and one was seen the weekend before as well. Just anecdotal from what I was told by other birders. Haven't seen them yet myself this year.
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 21:31   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanF
Salty, the Goshawks were displaying over Hamsterly last Friday and Saturday and one was seen the weekend before as well. Just anecdotal from what I was told by other birders. Haven't seen them yet myself this year.
cheers Ian. just fancied a little trip over there soon, as i have been doing too much birding away from home recently.
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 21:56   #6
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Great idea Skelly

I'll be moving back to the north-east in a month or two so plan to get across the water into Durham a few times...it'll be handy for me to know what sites are around and what I'm likely to see.
Didn't realise Goshawks were in Hamsterly...thought Kielder was the only site!

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Old Thursday 5th May 2005, 18:47   #7
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Good numbers of Swift, Swallow and Sand Martin swarming over the river Wear at Chester le Street this evening.
Also, good numbers of Goldfinch and Great Tit.
Cracking views of a Kestrel hunting over the the grassland towards Lumley.
There was a solitary Grey Heron on the opposite side of the river to where the Mallards and Mute Swans come to get fed.
No birding for me tomorrow night, as straight out on the drink in Newcastle after work.
Sunday will be the next birding day, probably get across to Houghton Gate, Barmston and possibly Rainton Meadows, stopping of at Sedgeletch on the way.
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Old Thursday 5th May 2005, 21:16   #8
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According to Bird Watching Magazine, and other observers, Gelderdale is the place for Goshawk in the county. Also, Skelly, do you refer to Durham City & immediate area, or Co. Durham itself?

I assume everyone checks the Durham Bird Club website, with it's wealth of info and site guides etc. As well as Durham RSPB & others?

Can anyone explain to me more about Sedgeletch/Fencehouses and where specifically to look?

Steve
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Old Saturday 7th May 2005, 15:34   #9
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[quote=Quacker]According to Bird Watching Magazine, and other observers, Gelderdale is the place for Goshawk in the county. Also, Skelly, do you refer to Durham City & immediate area, or Co. Durham itself?

Co. Durham, although the City and immediate area are good locations, especially the riverbank walks and Houghall/Shincliffe area.

I've only been to Sedgeletch once, to see the Siberian Chiffchaff, I parked at the end of Sedgeletch Ind Estate and walked across the field. Stevie Evans is probably your best bet for further info on the site. Firecrest, Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper and Peregrine have been seen there.
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Old Saturday 7th May 2005, 15:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacker
According to Bird Watching Magazine, and other observers, Gelderdale is the place for Goshawk in the county. Also, Skelly, do you refer to Durham City & immediate area, or Co. Durham itself?

I assume everyone checks the Durham Bird Club website, with it's wealth of info and site guides etc. As well as Durham RSPB & others?

Can anyone explain to me more about Sedgeletch/Fencehouses and where specifically to look?

Steve
Steve Evans is a regular there. I keep meaning to go, but haven't yet.
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Old Sunday 8th May 2005, 10:45   #11
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Managed to get a couple of hours birding in this morning, despite the bad weather.
First stop was Houghton Gate, there wasn't much to see apart from Redshank, 3 Shelduck, Lapwings, pair of Oystercatchers and a few Chaffinch's.
I then popped along to Barmston pond, where there was Ruddy Duck, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Greylag Goose with young, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Swift, House Martin, Mallard, Coot and Dunnock.
Along the road from Barmston is James Steel Park, nice woodland and riverbank walks. Several Long Tailed Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Bullfinches, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Robin.
I then dropped in at Sedgeletch, where the hailstones came down. There was a couple of Grey Herons, Sand Martins, Pied Wagtail, Swallows, Mallards, Coot and the Kingfisher was reported as been seen earlier.
On the way home I went via Pelton Fell, where I managed to get a White Wagtail on Farmland just before the Moorings pub.
Hoping to get down Brasside Pond sometime this week, but that will depend on the weather.
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Old Sunday 8th May 2005, 11:33   #12
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Gelderdale....?
Never heard of that one...

Nice idea Skelly,

Waldridge Fell - a lot of people put off by dog walkers, but very good variety of species & habitats. The edges of the site are often the most productive.
Tree Pipit, Redstart, Stonechat, Yaffle, Willow Tit, Grasshopper Warbler, Redpoll, Lesser Whitethroat etc, etc.
Superb for watching Woodcock display flights, also the best place i know for Cuckoo. Mealy Redpoll & Jack Snipe are annual in winter. Have seen all 5 owls there/adjacent land.
Theres a small phragmite reed bed in the far N.East corner.. may attract a Reed Warbler soon.
Had a female Marsh Harrier there this week in 1994.... so keep a look out!!

(We'll have to be carefully as regards confidentiality for some species, where info isnt already in the public domain. Unfortunately we still had an active contingent of egg collectors in Co.Durham )

PS. 3 dead dogs have been found nr Sedgeletch, thought to be due to cyanide in waste ground.
If that hasnt put you off, you could try looking near the Scrapyard, the sewage works, the Pit Heap, the Waste Transfer Station, the rundown factory, the council house gardens, the derelict railway line.
Weekends are best for Terrier men & Lurchers, Airgunners chiefly on Sunday(like the Alamo sometimes), Goshawks flown at various times...
Its a dump .......KEEP AWAY !!
SE.

Last edited by StevieEvans : Sunday 8th May 2005 at 11:40.
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Old Sunday 8th May 2005, 11:50   #13
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Question BiRD RACE Sat 14th May 05

At least 2 Durham Teams are doing a 24HR BiRD RACE next Saturday 14th MAY.

The aim is to see as many species as possible in one day.

The County Durham Record is held by The Durham Blackcocks Team with 146 recorded.

In 1992 the record was merely 126, increasing to 129 in 1993.

The Blackcocks (Nice name) are hoping to achieve the magical 150 !

If you would like to help on the day, forwarding info or perhaps being a "spotter" then PM me.
(im not a Blackcock member...., we havnt decieded on our Team name yet)

There should be approx 168 species in the Vice - County on the day, so the target may be achievable.

StevieE.
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Old Sunday 8th May 2005, 18:49   #14
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keep us posted on the bird race results. how about a few pics from the day too!
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Old Sunday 8th May 2005, 19:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieEvans
Gelderdale....?
Never heard of that one...

SE.
Don't know where i plucked that from, I think it's the more like (and possibly accurate) Dryderdale.

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Old Sunday 8th May 2005, 20:10   #16
Skelly
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PS. 3 dead dogs have been found nr Sedgeletch, thought to be due to cyanide in waste ground.
If that hasnt put you off, you could try looking near the Scrapyard, the sewage works, the Pit Heap, the Waste Transfer Station, the rundown factory, the council house gardens, the derelict railway line.
Weekends are best for Terrier men & Lurchers, Airgunners chiefly on Sunday(like the Alamo sometimes), Goshawks flown at various times...
Its a dump .......KEEP AWAY !!
SE.[/quote]
Didn't stop long, partly due to the weather and the location of my car. I think Dave B was down braving the weather, I only had a fleece top and didn't want to get wet.
I'll keep my eyes open for you next Saturday, at least Herrington CP will be available after this weekends Radio One event.
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Old Monday 9th May 2005, 18:41   #17
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" keep us posted on the bird race results. how about a few pics from the day too!
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Hi Richie,
Pics !
We'll think ourselves lucky if we find time to eat...
May take a snap or two, now you mention it as a momento of the day.
I'll certainly post totals.

Skel
Been working in Durham City all day today, (no machinery) but only saw 2 Swift & a single House Martin in 8 1/2hrs.
Cuckoo singing in snow shower at Hetton yesterday eve.
Otter & Kingfisher reported this morning at a central location.
Leo with juvs calling last night.
Might try Hamsterley for Nightjar later in the week.
(PM me your mob no as i cant find where i wrote it down)

SE.
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Old Monday 9th May 2005, 19:03   #18
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Skel
Been working in Durham City all day today, (no machinery) but only saw 2 Swift & a single House Martin in 8 1/2hrs.
Cuckoo singing in snow shower at Hetton yesterday eve.
Otter & Kingfisher reported this morning at a central location.
Leo with juvs calling last night.
Might try Hamsterley for Nightjar later in the week.
(PM me your mob no as i cant find where i wrote it down)

SE.[/quote]
You'll have to delete some of your PM's as your inbox is too full.
I'm going to have half an hour at Waldridge now, seen as the weather's improved.
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Old Monday 9th May 2005, 23:03   #19
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Visiting the relations....

An hour this evening saw:-
A Seo perched on the top of a 5metre Alder.
There was a Fox in the field behind, with an adult Hare & a well grown Leveret.
I thought it was these that the Shortie was watching, as he twisted & turned his head but no.
I put down my bins to discover the subject of his attention was a hunting Leo!
He was so close i didnt have to bother with bins, as he floated past effortlessly.
The seo waited till the leo was out of sight before he left his perch to hunt.

Very little else (air very cold) Lapwing brooding recent chicks, 1 roding Woodcock & a Gropper heard.

SE.
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Old Tuesday 10th May 2005, 06:43   #20
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Waldridge Fell

Good views of Cuckoo last night at Waldridge, also a few Jays.
Two deer came belting past me, nearly knocked me over.
Good numbers of Yellow Hammer and a few Swifts.
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Old Friday 13th May 2005, 06:31   #21
Skelly
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Year tick

Managed to get a Garden Warbler at Waldridge Fell last night, haven't seen one for a few years so it was a nice surprise. Also managed to get good numbers of Yellowhammer, Linnet, Mpipit, Skylark, Long Tailed Tit, Blackcap and a pair of Stonechat.
There looked like there was a few waders on the ponds towards Pelton Fell, but without a scope I couldn't make them out, possibly Common/Green Sandpiper.
I'm off to Brasside Pond tonight for an hour or so, will also have a look along Low Newton NNR as you can usually get Green Woodpecker.
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Old Friday 13th May 2005, 20:03   #22
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Brasside Pond

One of my favourite Durham sites and one of the least known Durham sites.
Decided to spend an hour down there tonight before my tea and managed to get:

Canada Goose with young
Great Crested Grebe
Ruddy Duck
Herring Gull
Cormorant (Up to 15 birds roost here)
Mute Swan
Coot
Moorhen
Tufted Duck
Pochard
Chiffchaff
Blackcap
Willow Warbler
Reed Bunting
Swallow
Swift
Sand Martin
Mistle Thrush
Grey Heron
Chaffinch
Blue Tit
Dunnock
Mallard
Robin
Jackdaw
Rook
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove

Haven't decided where to go this weekend, will probably decide when I wake up on Sunday morning.

Good luck to Stevie Evans in the Durham Bird race, lets hope they get the magical 150.
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Old Friday 13th May 2005, 20:06   #23
Keith Reeder
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Hi Skelly,

is this the "Brasside" that people fish on (Durham Angling Club) across the road from the prison, or is there another?
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Old Friday 13th May 2005, 20:42   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blythkeith
Hi Skelly,

is this the "Brasside" that people fish on (Durham Angling Club) across the road from the prison, or is there another?
Keith

I think the 'birding' Brasside is over the road from the DCAC Brasside - up some footpath alongside Frankland, but I've never wandered along myself.

Alan
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Old Friday 13th May 2005, 21:02   #25
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Brasside Pond

Skellys Brasside is to the south east corner of Frankland Jail.
NB.This is a Private Site with No Public Access.

The smaller Angling Club water is on the north side of the Jail, again Private.
SE.

Bird Race.
Yesterday, Very Cold & Breezy day & that didnt help much.....our team total was 123 (midnight till 16:30)
I continued alone till 22:00 & totalled 136
The experienced Blackcocks triumphed with 137 (reporting the day as enjoyable but poor as birdraces go)
More details later.
SE.

Last edited by StevieEvans : Sunday 15th May 2005 at 15:52.
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