Sunday, 12 December 2010


I was talking to Steve last night, and he was telling me that after his fall on the ice the other day he hasnt been very mobile as it was very painful to move around. So, I offered to take him through to Gateshead as there are a number of hides that we could sit in and we wouldnt have to do much walking. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I hadnt seen any Red Kites yet this year! Honest!!! So, the first place we went to was Barlow to see if we could see any, erm, Red Kites. It was his idea!!!!! Annoyingly, and quite surprisingly for this place, we didnt see a single one! We did though get a nice flock of around 20 Brambling fly over us. Next, we went to Far Pastures. Or at least we ATTEMPTED to. The approach road was still incredibly icy, and having spun a couple of times we decided we wouldnt risk going any further so we gave it a miss and went instead to Thornley Wood. Thankfully, we had no trouble getting there. It was very nice to bump into Derek B again, although hardly surprising as he practically lives in that hide! The birds were very active around the feeders today, with highlights being Yellowhammers, Nuthatch, Jays, Bullfinches, and a handful of Stock Doves. There were also lots and lots of the commoner birds such as Robins, Dunnocks, Tits, Chaffinches, Blackbirds etc etc. At one point a Sparrowhawk glided through, putting everything in panic mode. But best of all a single RED KITE put in an appearance, soaring gently quite low down giving excellent views. On the way home we had a quick look at Shibdon pond where the only bird of note was a Water Rail briefly, and then we had a look at Lamesley where there were NO birds of note! Still, an enjoyable couple of hours in an area I very rarely go to.
RED KITE - one of my favourite birds of prey.

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