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Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park, Billingham. UK (2 Viewers)

Another sunny day yesterday made for a pleasant look around at lunchtime.

Car park area - Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Water Rail, Wren, Dunnock, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel.

Lake - Goldeneye x3 (2m,1f), Pochard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Little Egret, Heron, Cormorant. LTT x11 in trees & Redwing x6.

Cycleway - Sparrowhawk, LTT x6, Redwing x32, Fieldfare x6, Finch flock mostly Goldfinch plus a few Chaffinch & Greenfinch c.40.

60+ Blackbirds seen all around the park today - around 60% black billed.

Goldeneye video - http://youtu.be/DICumjuMpu0


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Things have remained pretty much the same over the last couple of weeks. Nothing new really and pretty much the same birds seen each visit though sometimes in different areas of the park.

I had a walk around this morning. Starting off from the car park I headed along the cycleway to Cloff Bridge. The only notable birds were a pair of Jays flying across towards the lake and a handful of Redwing and Blackbirds feeding on the hawthrorn berries alongside the path. Whilst they're 80% gone now, there's still a good few left to hold the birds a while longer.

I followed the path down alongside North Beck not seeing a great deal part from a flock of around 25 Goldfinch feeding on teasels and a Kestrel hunting over the field.

The lake was pretty quiet today. A single Goldeneye was present and a single Little Grebe, a pair of Pochard and Gadwall and a handful of Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot and Moorhen. Just after a Cormorant flew in a Sparrowhawk skimmed the trees on the far side of the lake flushing around 60 Fieldfare I'd not seen until they took off.

I followed the muddy path to the hedge by the visitor centre which contained lots of birds still, probably not disturbed this morning as that path is very wet and muddy. At least Redwing x25 and maybe 20 Blackbird were feeding on the berries. Near the end I came across of flock of Long-tailed Tit x12 accompanied by two Goldcrest all moving together through the bushes. Several Wrens were in the scrub as well.

Back at the car park the bushes above the tables held a few birds - Yellowhammer x3, Tree Sparrow x6, Bullfinch x2, plus the usual tits. The trees above held a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.


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A nice sunny morning for a wander around the park.

Not a lot to see entering from the west side and then turning north along the cycleway. In the trees around Cloff Bridge were Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit and quite a few Blackbirds. Up to that point I'd not seen any Redwing or Fieldfare probably as the hawthorns have all been stripped of berries now. However in the fields by the bridge there were Redwing c.30 plus a few Fieldfare. A male Great Spotted Woodpecker was low down in a tree clinging to the trunk.

Not a lot to see following the path down North Beck and then onto the lake. Even the lake was pretty quiet. The most notable birds were Goldeneye x4 (3m,1f), Little Grebe x2, Cormorant x4. Also present handful of Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall plus a few Moorhen, Coot and Pochard.

The field by the railway held Jackdaws c.150.

As usual the car park bushes held quite a few birds with Yellowhammer x6, Bullfinch x4, Tree Sparrow, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Dunnock & Blackbirds. Moorhen were rooting about below.


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A bit of a dull day for a walk from home around the pond and back but it remained fine and the temperature was pretty mild. In fact by the time I was heading home the sun was trying to break through.

There was nothing much to see walking down the path beside the A1185 to the car park. The car park tables were pretty busy again with the usual selection of birds.

From the visitor centre to the pond via the railway the bushes held a few Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Wren and Robin. Of late there's been little to be seen away from the car park area so it was nice to see birds spreading out again.

The lake was pretty good for ducks today. Tufted Duck x34 were together in a raft with a few Pochard and Shoveler x6 mixed in. Goldeneye x5 present with three adult males a female and an immature bird. Only one Little Grebe seen today plus half a dozen Moorhen and Coot. Four Cormorant were feeding/resting on and off. I saw one catch a whopper of a fish which it struggled to swallow. Best sighting though was of an immature Scaup. It was resting on the wooden platform. By the time I'd got to the other side of the lake to try for photo it had moved off again. It was probably still there but I couldn't relocate it.

The bushes around the lake held a few Chaffinch, Great and Blue Tit. A flock of LTT x12 drifted though the bushes around the edge of the lake but were a little too active to keep up with.

The only other birds of note seen were Bullfinch x6 (4m,2f) in the bushes by the A1185 as I headed back home.


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A revisit yesterday on a fine but even duller day than my last visit. I'm glad I did though as shortly after entering the park from the A1185 on the west side I came across of Siskin c.40 feeding on alder cones. A thorough look through them all revealed Goldfinch x5 but no Redpoll. It was too dull for photos really but I still gave it a go. whilst lingering there another similar sized flock flew in to join them. That group remained around 20 minutes before flying off again. Another nice sighting there was a Grey Wagtail flying down the beck.

I then headed down towards the car park coming across Bullfinch, Jay and several Great and Blue Tit plus Magpie.

The car park feeders were busy again. I followed the track over to the lake sticking to the hard core path as the grass tracks are still pretty much just soft wet mud.

Pretty much the same again on the lake though no sign of the Scaup today. Cormorant x4 still present and Goldeneye x5 again. One male was chasing around a male and female displaying as it did so.

A single LTT came through the bushes. A Sparrowhawk flew by checking out the hawthorn bushes around the lake.

With rain threatening I decided to head back along the hard core track. The only birds of note were seen as I reached the small hill when a flock of Siskin c.40 flew into the alders there.

Siskin video - http://t.co/b7g9lvU9Az

Goldeneye video - http://t.co/MCdzQOtze8


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A decent morning yesterday for a wander around the park. Things have been pretty quiet here the last few weeks with very little change or note but yesterday was a definite improvement.

The morning was dull starting off both for the weather and the birds with overcast skies and very little to see. The car park tables were very quiet when I arrived with Yellowhammer x2, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Chaffinch. A Moorhen kept appearing below the feeders and then disappearing back into the undergrowth.

Heading over to the lake there wasn't much to see. The lake itself was fairly quiet though it was nice to see Canada Goose x6 back on the lake. Ducks wise thigns weer quiet with a half dozen each of Tufted and Pochard plus a few Moorhen, Mallard and Coot. Only one Little Grebe seen. A Swan was asleep on one of the islands.

In the bushes around the lake were Chaffinch, Wren and Magpie. As I reached the hide I heard several Chiffchaffs calling from Faith Wood plus at least three Blackcaps. Best of all though was a Green Woodpecker yaffling from the direction of the sewage works. Rather than following North Beck as I'd intended I headed back over towards the sewage works. Half way there though the Green Woodpecker flew over head and disappeared over the hill where I could hear it calling so I backtracked.

The yaffling was quite deceptive as regards distance. It sounded quite distant but after crossing the hill and following the path onto the railway embankment I almost stepped on the Green Woodpecker as it fed on the ballast beside the railway. Luckily it didn't disappear altogether, it flew about 100m into some trees beside the railway and remained perched there whilst I took a few distant photos. It then flew back into the park and then over towards the sewage works.

Rather than follow the path to Greatham I headed back over the hill towards Faith Wood where I found Chiffchaff 12+ and a Willow Warbler and then another and then another. As soon as one started singing the others mobbed it. Again and again it happened. Meanwhile the Green Woodpecker in company with another flew back towards the railway. Rather than look for them again I carried on looking around Faith Wood coming across a few more Chaffchaffs and another three Blackcaps singing plus a Sparrowhawk, two Jay, several Goldfinch, Bullfinch x2 and a Kestrel. One Green Woodpecker few back towards the sewage works whilst the other remained by the railway. Both were calling, often at the same time.

After that I just headed back along to the car park seeing little else apart from one GSW.


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Despite a dull foggy start to the day the skies soon cleared and we had a lovely clear sunny morning. I spent a good couple of hours having a slow wander around the park seeing what I could find. I was in the main hoping to find at least one Grasshopper Warbler as there's been several in the marshes - but there was no sign of any yet.

There were however lots of singing warblers well spread around the park with doubles figures of Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Other species seen in the wooded areas included Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Wren, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch and Robin.

I watched a pair of Kestrels mating on the pylons they've nested on the last few years.

The main lake held a good few more birds that of late with 40+ Tufted Duck, a few Pochard, Coot, Moorhen, Canada Geese and even Shelduck x7 which are an unusual visitor here.

No sign of the Kingfishers today and a walk along the cycleway towards Greatham only yielded one pair of Yellowhammer and a few Tree Sparrows back in the usual nest trees.

There were certainly plenty of butterflies around today with Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip, Speckled Wood in decent numbers. Peacocks were were 20+ quiet often in large groups feeding on dandelion flowers.


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A nice sunny morning for a wander over to the lake and back. Plenty of birds around today. It was nice seeing a drake Goldeneye on the lake especially as it gave close views. Very similar to one that over wintered here the last couple of years. As with the other ducks it seems to like peanuts!

Lots of Redwing (c.50) around the lake side bushes and along the beck back to the car park. Only a few Fieldfare though. A male Sparrowhawk did a nice fly-by over the lake.

A Little Egret was seen a few times as it moved along one of the becks.

Car park area was very active with Yellowhammer x5, Bullfinch pair, Reed Bunting 12+, Tree Sparrow c.10 being the most notable. A small flock of Long-tailed Tit were in the bushes by the car park entrance.


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Yesterday was a fine bright sunny morning if a little chilly. The ground was frozen solid which was just as well with the way the paths have been so muddy.

Car park area - usual Tree Sparrows, Bullfinch, Yellowhammers etc. Peregrine flew south over car park. Two Jays by the visitor centre. No sign of the Stonechat that's been around the last few days either here or on the railway.

Main pond - mostly frozen but with a small ice free area way over the far side from the railway which was packed full of ducks. It was nice to see amogst them that the Goldeneye were m&f back again. Also Shoveler x8, Pochard x6, Cormorant x6. Sparrowhawk male perched in tree and two roosting Herons. Report of an otter on the pond seen last week.

Kingfisher female feeding from various perches along Claxton Beck/North Burn. LTT flock & Bullfinch pair in trees beside beck.

Very few birds seen away from the car park area.


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