Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bats and Dragons

Last week I spent an hour at West Hartford after dark. Not much in the way of birds but a couple of bats caught my attention. One in particular was bigger than the others and could have been what Sedgedunum Warbler had at Hartford back in the winter. After mentioning this to SH we went back on Friday night from 9:15 to 10:15.

 After dark WH came to life as 27 Canada Geese and 12 Mallard came into roost. The bats were quieter on Friday night with only a Common Pipistrelle and a possible Soprano Pipistrelle around. We also had a potential Wh first fly close past us but it was to dark to confirm. We couldn’t rule out other possibilities in the end but we both thought it was a Kingfisher that flew past!

On Saturday I was out with the family to Harwood Forest. We parked in the village and walked to Tutehill Moss and back. It was deathly quiet with only 5 Buzzards, a single Crossbill and a single Great Spotted Woodpecker seen. It got slightly better at Tutehill Moss where two juvenile Whinchat were flying around the clear fell and a couple of Roe Deer got close.

Yesterday I visited East Cramlington NWT. Along the main stretch of boardwalk a Ruddy Darter was sunning itself, this was the first three Dragonfly lifers I saw yesterday. Apart from a few Moorhen on the ponds the only bird of note was a Green Woodpecker which was yaffling near the roadside before flying across the ploughed field near the bee hives and into the trees behind Ivanhoe Forge in Seaton Deleval.

In the afternoon I went to Newbiggin with SH. The beach was too busy so only 6 Med Gulls could be seen including a scaly juvenile bird. On the way back we spotted a Little Egret on the Cambois side of the Wansbeck estuary.

The second Dragonfly lifer came at West Hartford where 3 Black- tailed Skimmers were chasing each other at the edge of the main pool. We also checked Bassington N.R. in the industrial estate where last weeks Black Darter, (the third lifer and Cramlington’s first) was amongst a group of Common Darters.

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