• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Gill Osborne's 2024 List (1 Viewer)

Gill Osborne

Well-known member
It's been a while since I was last able to properly get out birding...the past two years especially being very much 'eventful' in my personal and working life with, amongst other things, the breakdown of my 24 year marriage, losing the job I loved more than anything then, in 2023, finding another job and moving to a different area after living in Alnwick for 19 years. Oh, and moving house three times in 18 months!!!

But finally I'm getting myself back to the happy chilled Gilly I used to be so this year is the one in which I return to my birding and nature properly after far too many years away.
I really need to STOP making plans cos something always pops up to nobble them! :rolleyes:

It is Wednesday 31st January (where HAS the month got to???) and today was my first chance to actually dust off the bins and get outdoors...albeit at the very late start time of 2pm! This past few weeks has been just one thing after another with work and at times my work life balance has been waaaay off kilter.....and I've noticed it this past week as I've been like a moody bad-tempered teenager. At first I thought I was just getting to that funny stage in my life but no.....it's lack of nature and fresh air and open spaces - the lack of which is no good for anyone! So it was out for a couple of hours birding in the fresh (aka strong winds and rain!) air and it certainly worked as I felt a million times better afterwards :giggle:

So to start off my birding list for 2024 it was a quick pop up the road to Cresswell Pond for me and the ex-hubby.

1: Feral Pigeon
2: Jackdaw
3: Herring Gull
4: Wood Pigeon
5: Common Gull
6: Shelduck
7: Pheasant
8: Carrion Crow (no sign of the Hoodie tho')
9: Mallard
10: Teal
11: Robin
12: Moorhen
13: Grey Heron
14: Whooper Swan ~ 8 (4ad, 4juv)
15: Gadwall
16: Little Grebe
17: Tufted Duck
18: Red-breasted Merganser ~ a single male
19: Redshank
20: Lapwing
21: Goldeneye
22: Black-headed Gull
23: Oystercatcher
24: Kestrel ~ very soggy & windblown male perched on telegraph pole at entrance to reserve
25: Eider ~ a few offshore on sea

Pics to follow once I suss out how to load them onto computer o_O

Working for next two days but with an ok forecast on Saturday (ie no storms or gales or weather warnings ;):ROFLMAO: ) I might head inland to see what I can find.IMG_1483.JPGIMG_1484.JPGIMG_1486.JPGIMG_1487.JPGIMG_1488.JPGIMG_1489.JPGIMG_1490.JPG
Last edited:
Oh how lovely to see you back Gill but so sorry to hear of your troubles over the last couple of years. I'm glad you appear to still be friends with your ex-hubby... that's really nice to know.

Cresswell Ponds... remember going there on one of my visits to Northumberland!!
Thanks Delia :) Yes, it's been a funny few years but I'm over the mentally head-battering rubbish now and looking forward to a few years of enjoying life and getting out amongst nature as much as possible. And looking forward to a walk around the National Trust property at Wallington Hall tomorrow too.
Saturday 3rd February 2024
Wallington Hall, National Trust

First of three days off work and as the forecast was dry I decided to head inland and spend a few hours at Wallington Hall which is a National Trust property just ten miles or so from where I live. It's been quite a few years (5+) since my last visit so I was looking forward to seeing (I hoped!) a few Red Squirrels, Stock Doves etc as well as how the woodland was looking after the damage caused by Storm Arwen in November '21.
The main house was still closed for the winter but the gardens and woodland areas were open so I headed to the woods to escape the hordes of screaming children and parents shudder....I'd forgotten how much the general public annoy me :rolleyes: Which is crazy considering that I work in a shop and deal with them every day!!! :LOL:
But, thankfully, the noisy creche areas were soon left behind and I was in amongst the trees and walking around the first pond. A movement on the path ahead caught my eye and I was thrilled to realise it was a female Siskin! She was completely unfazed by me and continued to hop ahead just ten feet or so in front...only flying away when a couple came along in the opposite direction.
The wildlife hide was empty and I was soon able to relax and enjoy the bird feeders in front and to the sides of the hides. The commonest birds were easily Blue & Coal Tits with good numbers of female Chaffinch (only a couple of males however....which a couple who came into the hide a few minutes after me id'ed as Bullfinches), a couple of Nuthatch, 6 Moorhen below the feeders and a Great Spotted Woodpacker. No sign of any Red Squirrels however but, upon talking to the assistant in the gift shop later on, it turns out they do still have a good population at Wallington but after Storm Arwen blerw down a lot of trees the squirrels moved to other parts of the site. Apparently they can occasionally be seen behind the Walled Garden area and on the outskirts of the estate and the staff are trying to encourage them back to the areas in the woodland around the wildlife hide.
There were two bits of excitement whilst in the hide - the appearance of two Marsh Tits which had me thrilled to bits because I cannot remember the last time I ever saw one (possibly at Leighton Moss and that will have been in 2009 or before!) and then the sudden disappearance of all the birds from the feeders! A couple of ladies next to me seemed puzzled until I explained there was probably a sparrowhawk around and then sure enough, seconds later, a female dashed past the front window! They were well impressed with my knowledge......though I did explain I saw this behaviour of silence and birds suddenly disappearing a few times on my own feeders when I lived next to a wood in 2004. It's still nice to be proved right now and then though ;)😄

Moving on to the Walled Garden it was a lot quieter with just occasional groups of Blue Tit, Robin singing at regular stretches and a very active Goldcrest in a shrub against the back wall.

Only a couple of hours or so but very enjoyable and a site I'll visit a few times over the course of the year and the changing seasons - for both the gardens and the varied wildlife. Probably next time it will be during the week so, hopefully, not as busy.

29: Magpie
30: Rook
31: Chaffinch
32: Siskin
33: Blue Tit
34: Coal Tit
35: Marsh Tit
36: Great Tit
37: Nuthatch
38: Great Spotted Woodpacker
39: Goldcrest

Wallington Hall hide is on my list of places to visit this month - it's known as a good site for Marsh Tit - although I don't often get lucky there!
Last edited:
A few quick updates....

Tuesday 13th February
Greenside, Ryton

40: Collared Dove

Osborne House, Wallsend

41: Ring-necked Parakeet ~ lifer no. 236 😄

I was unloading the car at Osborne House, North Terrace (opposite Burnside High School) as I had a few things for my ex-husband. As I did so I suddenly heard calls I didn't recognise and upon looking up was thrilled to see 8 Ring-necked Parakeets flying overhead in rapid flight. I've wanted to see these birds for years - ever since they reached Tyneside - so my excitement was THROUGH THE ROOF!!!!!!!!! :LOL: In the coming weeks I'll explore more places on North Tyneside in the hope of finding them again and getting some sketches and photos.

Thursday 15th February
Riversdale Court, Choppington

42: Greylag Goose
43: House Sparrow ~ a pair taking dry grass into eaves directly outside my living room window. It'll be nice to hear their cheeping again as my flat in Alnwick had none nearby.

I was pottering around the communal garden checking my plants when 47 Greylag Geese flew overhead in V formation and honking loudly. I've seen these guys regularly ever since moving into the building in August but this is the biggest flock yet. Heading in the direction of the river Wansbeck just a few streets away.
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread