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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Durham Birding (2 Viewers)

Trip to Saltholme and surrounding area today was pretty poor to be honest..

Started at Cowpen Bewley car park and had pretty much all of the common birds at this site within a 20 min spell - namely Reed Bunting, Blackbird, Magpie, Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Robin & Tree Sparrow..

Headed to Saltholme - A178 closed due to flood damage caused the other day so that ruled out a trip to Greenabella, Zinc Works & Seaton Common - So an extended sit in the Phil Stead Hide for a couple of hours with pretty much nothing of note ensued - although a very very distant Peregrine chased a few gulls for a while - nice to watch but miles away for pictures. Great to have a natter with Dave Pearce and Hilary Chambers :t:

Walked to Saltholme Pools hide and the highlight there was a landing Widgeon and Redshank :eek!:

Back to Phil Stead for the last hour of light - 10 mins of sun and a flushed Little Egret due to a runaway Lurcher was the highlight..

Couple of pics from a very very quiet day out..


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Not a great deal about, no sign of the Iceland Gull.
Porpoise seen from the Heugh Pier.
Only thing of note was 5 Pink Footed Geese at Zinkworks Road, and they were fairly distant.


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Four Med. Gulls seen this morning - one on the Headland, two at Newburn Bridge and one at Seaton Carew in the car park behind The Almighty Cod.

A 1st winter Iceland Gull was still on the Headland mostly hanging around the fish quay though readily coming to bread - almost taking it out of the hand!

Not that many waders on the beach compared to some days as the tide was well in - Purple Sandpiper x6, Knot c.40, Oystercatcher c.25, Bar-tailed Godwit x1, Turnstone. Also on the beach Rock Pipit, Reed Bunting and Grey Wagtail.

Seaton Common - Pink-footed Geese x5 though another 54 reported early afternoon.

Video - Iceland Gull - http://t.co/544duGacvM

Video - Pink-footed Geese - http://t.co/31eJxSyv4D


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Four Bewick Swans reported at Sadberge this morning north side of the Dogs Trust. Very distant to view. They look to be three Whopper Swans (1ad,2juv) and maybe a Bewick (2nd photo).

Tilery Wood was quite good for birds today. Mostly it's been pretty quiet the last few weeks. No sign of any Crossbills though I've seen a half dozen on and off over recent weeks, always as fly overs.

It was nice to see a flock of Siskin c.12 which have been in short supply around my area. Other notable birds were Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Woodpecker x2, Long-tailed Tit x8, Bullfinch x3, Marsh Tit and Jay.


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Great Grey Shrike

A trip to Bradbury paid off finally after the fog cleared, I found this Shrike near the railway line south of the village, and with a bit of patience it flew closer, but it was very wary.


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Red Kite Roost Watch

Attached is a poster/flyer for our next Roost Watch, on Saturday 18th January 2014.

Details and a map diagram are on our website.

Happy New Year!


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2014 Red Kite Survey - your help is needed

2014 Red Kite Breeding Survey

Friends of Red Kites (FoRK) are planning a survey of breeding red kites in the north east of England next spring and early summer. The aim of the survey is to establish the number of breeding pairs of red kites in Durham and Northumberland, including the areas of North and South Tyneside and Cleveland. FoRK already have a very strong monitoring team but would like to enlist the help of additional volunteers to carry out a more comprehensive survey.

Ideally, the survey will involve visiting potential breeding sites at least twice a month from the beginning of February to the end of June, although once evidence of breeding has been confirmed, visits will reduce significantly, and be made from a distance, to reduce disturbance.

Where possible, surveyors will be allocated a location close to their home patch.

Survey guidance notes and training, which will include a field visit to a local territory, will be available for those who require it.

Contact Ken Sanderson, mobile 07779413471, or email [email protected] for more information and to register your interest.

If you are interested but feel you cannot commit to the full survey then please still contact us, as any help, however much, will be greatly appreciated.

Ken Sanderson

Chairman & Kite Officer
Out & About

RSPB Saltholme
First opportunity to start off my year list today, resulting in 41 birds seen. RSPB Saltholme produced the following sightings:- 2x Long-tailed Duck at East Saltholme pool along with Goldeneye, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Grey Heron, Pochard & Wigeon.

Crossing the road to check on Back Saltholme Pool produced 2x Pintail, 200+ Golden Plover, 50+ Barnacle Geese, 1500+ Lapwing, Mute Swan, GBB Gull, Curlew, Canada Goose, Shelduck & 1x Peregrine. Where the Viewing Screen once stood offered up Little Egret & Redshank. Felt very fortunate to see a fantastic sighting of Water Rail from Visitors Centre which was one of the highlights of the day!

The Great Grey Shrike was still showing intermittently from the railway bridge at around 15:00 - although was disturbed whenever a train went by!

3x Whopper Swan & 1x Bewick gave a good opportunity to observe the difference between the two species.
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Low Barns

Throughly enjoyed a walk around the reserve on a cold but dry January day & managed to see 34 different species in and around the reserve area.

The feeding station offered the best opportunity to get up close and personal to many of the woodland species including Sisken, GS Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Coal, Blue & Great Tit, Goldcrest, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch & Pheasant.

It also allowed compasions to be made between the Marsh and Willow Tit, with the Marsh far more of a frequent visitor to the feeders. in 35mins of observing the birds - the Marsh was showing on the table top feeders on a quite regular basis with only one/two incidences of a Willow being seen!

A Treecreeper was spotted close to Coot Pond & also in the trees running along the footpath near to the River Wear. Marston Lake produced 2x Goldeneye (females), Cormorant, Tufted, Teal and Mallard ducks.
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Can anyone tell me exactly where to view the Whitefronts at Houghton gate or where exactly Houghton gate is?

Hi Adam,

Houghton Gate pool is at NZ301511. Viewed from Forge Lane, off the junction of the A1052 and A183 next to Lambton Estate, between the A1 and Bournmoor. You can view the main pool from the roadside, but the geese have been getting on rough pasture to the west side of Forge Lane, best viewed by taking the small track off which goes over the A1(M) and looking back from the bridge towards Lambton Estate. Hope this helps.

Hi Adam,

Houghton Gate pool is at NZ301511. Viewed from Forge Lane, off the junction of the A1052 and A183 next to Lambton Estate, between the A1 and Bournmoor. You can view the main pool from the roadside, but the geese have been getting on rough pasture to the west side of Forge Lane, best viewed by taking the small track off which goes over the A1(M) and looking back from the bridge towards Lambton Estate. Hope this helps.


Thanks Mark, I had a rough idea so went for a look this morning and managed to find them from the A1052 on the east side of Forge lane(I could see other people looking from Forge lane as well), The Geese had been right next to the main road opposite Lambtons but they got up just as we arrived and flew over towards the main pool. The main flock of Geese seemed very flighty but luckily the 2 Whitefronts stayed on the ground with a handful of Greylags.
Jarrow Waxwings

A few shots, taken yesterday.
Waxwing, mistle thrush, bullfinch, siskin and rewing seen.


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