Myself and LMcD explored certain areas of the patch in more detail yesterday morning starting with Beacon Lane.
Everywhere I go around Cramlington of late I have been hearing Siskin and today 3 bright males were in the trees at head height over the railway bridge near Beaconhill. A brilliant photographic opportunity if only I had brought my camera.
A few Yellowhammer were in the hedgerows along the lane near the horse paddocks and 7 Great Tit were hopping along the path in one area near the crossroads on the lane gathering both food and nest material. At the crossroads a Willow Tit flew form the ground into the hedgerow and began calling, I have never had one this far along the lane before.
Great Spotted Woodpeckers could be heard drumming away on Arcot golf course and a Green Woodpecker was yaffling away between the lane and golf course.
Arcot Pond was much quieter than usual with wildfowl numbers significantly down for the first time in a few months. Also a pair of Mute Swans were attending to their new nest on the edge of the reeds.
We walked back through the fields just off the lane but didn’t see much else of interest although at least 10 Skylark were in song overhead.
Bassington NR was also quiet with a pair of Jay being the only birds we saw!
West Hartford was equally devoid of life so instead we checked the fields around East Hartford. The only note worthy birds there were 3 Tree Sparrow, which landed in a stubble field west of the village. We were going to walk along the river from the sewage works but a hail shower forced us to leave. Our last stop was Horton Burn. Nothing there apart from a singing Reed Bunting near Shankhouse Bridge the first I have had there.
No sign of Chiffchaff on the patch and in total we managed to see 53 species. Wihtout missing anything significant it was a poor toal and still seemed reminicent of winter.