I was out with LMcD this morning for a tour of some of the local ponds.
First up was a prearranged visit to the permit only site, Shasun at Dudley. After getting through security we went to the ponds at the back of the pharmaceutical plant.
You can see part of the ponds from the railway tracks, which border it, but it is surprisingly bigger up close.
Scanning from the path between the two ponds there were an impressive 25 Tufted Duck along with 16 Mallard and 1 Goldeneye.
There has been a lot of good work done at the site over the last few years with a dipping pond and boardwalk put in along with a few viewing platforms around the ponds.
Next stop was Annitsford Pond. Not much on the pond apart form Mute Swan, Moorhen and Coot but near the bridge that crosses the stream a Willow Tit was being harassed by a Great Tit as it moved through the trees between the bridge and the pond.
Burradon Pond was next. 6 Coot along with 6 Moorhen and a few Mallard fed on the grass around the pond. A Snipe flew from the edge of the pond near the reeds as we did a circuit.
All wildfowl numbers we had seen at the other ponds were tripled when we arrived at Killingworth Lake. Too many Tufted Duck and Goldeneye to count were on the lake along with 17 Pochard, 3 Little Grebe and 5 Goosander (3 Drakes, 2 Female).
Amongst the Canada on the lake were a Greylag/Canada Hybrid and an obvious escapee duck but what it was I have no idea.
Back at Arcot there were 2 LBB Gulls on the pond along with Wigeon, 3 Gadwall and 4 (all female) Goosander.