I stayed local today but slightly further afield than West Hartford. I headed for Beacon Lane in search of the Little Owl which is still hanging around. I had missed it on several occasions since it was first spotted in May.
After checking the trees just past the bend on Beacon Lane where it was been most often seen, I turned back. Walking back up the Lane the Little Owl flew from a well hidden fence post next to the hedgerow and into its usual tree. Unsettled by my presence it flew to the next tree along briefly before flying towards the area of trees nearer the Beaconhill estate.
From the Lane I could still see it sitting high up in the bare branches, turning its head around and staring at me with that grumpy face only owls can master.
This was the first Little Owl I have seen in Cramlington and along with Cuckoo is my second full Cramlington patch tick of the year.
On my way home I took the long route back taking in Bassington N.R. and the gull colony on the empty factory roofs in the Nelson industrial estate. Bassington was dull with only a pair of Oystercatcher on the promising looking shallow scrapes in the NW corner.
On my way to check the gulls I spotted a Green Woodpecker on the path in front of me near Bolam properties. It flew to the other side of the road where it pecked at the gaps between the paving stones before flying into the trees nearer Bassington. As I walked along the path it kept reappearing and I could see form the amount of disturbed moss in the gaps that it has obviously been using this area for a while.
Amongst the gull colony I could see a few juvenile birds just starting to fledge. Although they were mainly Herring Gull I could see at least one juv Lesser Black Backed Gull along with 30+ adult Herring and 6 adult LBB.