Had a pleasant couple of hours out today, taking advantage of the recent milder weather. I finally went down to Cowpen Bewley to see the drake Ring Necked Duck that has been in the area the last few weeks. On arriving I scanned the flock of Tufties and quickly picked out their American cousin. It was very active and giving very frustrating views, as it dived, surfaced, then dived again the whole half hour I was there. Other birds of note were a flock of Pochards, a single Little Grebe and a pair of Goldeneye - my first of the year. From here I visited a site a lot closer to home and somewhere I hardly ever go to, Doxford Park. I had a lovely, slow, relaxing meander around the place. It was fantastic to hear the glorious sound of birdsong all around the park. The place seemed alive! The birds were reveling in the warmth. A lot of common birds were seen like Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Robin, Blackbird etc. I scanned a small flock of Goldcrests in the hope of a rarer Firecrest without luck. A nice surprise was my first Grey Wagtail of the year on the small stream. A Kestrel watched me as I left the park. I scanned the fields opposite the park in the hope of a day hunting Owl. There were none today but the area looks perfect. A quick check of Silksworth Lake didnt produce much, but there was a big roost of Gulls. Something to keep an eye on in the future.
RING NECKED DUCK (TOP) GOLDCREST (MIDDLE) & GREY WAGTAIL (BOTTOM)