Monday, 25 June 2012

Call of the wild

Myself and Cain have been volunteering at Cramlington Learning Village over the past week. The project we have been helping with is called

As we approached the school on Monday morning a Common Tern flew west over the school.

The idea is to help the students create a piece of ambient music using bird song. On Monday we helped on campus to find what birds were around and with some basic ID skills.

With our target birds selected we set off for Arcot Pond on Tuesday. Along Beacon Lane Yellowhammer and Whitethroat were calling and a pair of Tree Sparrow flew from the horse paddock just off Beacon Lane. Despite later searches the Sparrows were not seen again, a shame as they are very rare in Cramlington.

A Garden Warbler was in full song further along the lane near the pond. 2 Little Grebe were on the pond along with the usual wildfowl. It was great to see the kids becoming more interested as the week progressed and by Wednesday Chiffchaff and Yellowhammer could be competently identified by their song. With enthusiasm growing we were back down Beacon Lane and Arcot but before we started the walk I heard and saw 5 Crossbill fly NE over near the railway bridge.

The latter part of the week was spent helping analyse and identify what had been recorded. Fortunately we were in doors for this part as the weather began to turn.

Yesterday I was out with SH and DMcK for WEBS. Common Sandpiper was the highlight at Castle Island. We had good views of a stunning full Orange plumage Ruff north of the causeway at Cresswell Pond as we passed. A brief stop at East Chevington provided my first sighting of Barn Owl this year as a bird was sitting in a pine tree behind the south pool.

No sign of the Spoonbill at Hauxley but 4 Black Tailed Godwit were seen sleeping on one of the banks. We were also treated to amazing close up views of a Cuckoo, which was hoping around in front of and to the side of the Tern hide whilst it was mobbed by Tern.

Also I have just seen that a Carrion/Hooded Crow hybrid was reported at the high school today. Me and Cain both saw this bird on the school field last monday and in the main car park on Friday but thought nothing more of it.

1 comment:

Cain Scrimgeour said...

If its the same bird, it isn't a hybrid, its just got a bad case of mites or some other condition which causes the loss of feathers. It lacked a tail and complete chest feathers, making it look grey.