Sunday, 10 June 2012


On Wednesday lunchtime I decided to pop over to Whitburn Coastal Park to have a quick look at how the Ponds were doing. It had been nearly a fortnight since I was last there so a visit was long overdue! The rain was coming down heavily when I pulled up, so I decided to have my sandwich in the car and hope for a break in the weather. After about 15 minutes the rain hadn't stopped but it had eased enough for me to get out the car and go for a wander. The North Pond was very quiet, with only a couple of Tufted Ducks present, and as I approached the South Pond things initially didn't look a whole lot better. That was until some movement on the left of the Pond caught my eye! I knew straight away that it was a Wader, but as I focused my binoculars on the feeding figure it suddenly dawned on me I was watching a Greenshank! My jaw dropped and my heartbeat quickened. I was totally and utterly gobsmacked. A Greenshank was on our Pond! A Greenshank was feeding on our brand new, recently created Pond!!! This was amazing. Now don't get me wrong, I know a Greenshank isn't an absolute mega rarity for Britain, but it IS an extremely scarce bird for South Tyneside. And the fact that one was here on one of our Ponds that had only been complete since March was superb news. When we were in the original planning stage of the project, Greenshank was one of the species we had in mind when we were designing the Pond. And now, after all the hard work, one was actually gracing our Pond. And it felt great. It pretty much justified everything we had done and proved something we had known all along, if we created the environment the birds would come. And for this particular species to arrive so soon after completion is the dream becoming reality. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.

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