Since September when I started at Teesside uni I have been getting the train home for the weekend on Thursday afternoons.
It is an hour and 20 minute journey from Middlesbrough to Newcastle which goes through a large part of the north east.
Whilst on the train I have noticed that it goes past a number of different habitats and locations and so to kill the time I have decided to start a train list, the lack of proper birding is going to my head!
The first species to be added to the list was the one footed Feral pigeon which is always hanging around Middlesbrough station.
3 Feral Pigeon
1 Carrion Crow
4 Black Headed Gull
1 Kestrel (hunting over the A19)
2 Collard Dove
1 Herring Gull
Just outside Billingham there is a small pond with a hide which the train passes although I am still not sure what it is called.
The pond was 80% frozen but I still managed to see 1 Mute Swan, 20+ Coot and 40+ Teal gathered in the open water in the centre.
The usual good views of the Saltholme area to the right were blocked, not just by the people sitting opposite but by heavy fog which disappeared around Hartlepool.
20+ Rook (on the waste ground outside the tip which had hundereds of gulls circling it)
40+ Canada Geese ( on a pond in the middle of a housing estate opposite Seaton Carew station)
Nothing new there but there were four people with scopes scanning the beach
I didn't add any more species until I saw a Pied Wagtail in a flooded field outside Heworth.
The large pools outside Boldon (Boldon Falts?) were completely frozen so nothing new added there also I didn't get good views of the north sea either today.
I got home earlier than expected today so I had a walk down to Horton Burn to check for the Kingfisher again. On the way I flushed a Grey Wagtail - Patch Tick, from the side of the burn.
I met LMcD half way along who was watching 2 Redwing and a Song Thrush.
No sign of the Kingfisher but 3 Moorhen - Patch Tick, flew from the bank side at the fire station end.
Also on the way home from Newcastle on the bus I added Feral Pigeon and Rook to the patch list as they were both around Manor Walks.
40 - Feral Pigeon
41 - Rook
42 - Grey Wagtail
43 - Moorhen
I nearlly forgot, I was woken up by the hooting of the Tawny Owl outside my window last night, the first time I have heard it this year.