Picture: Twite at Seaton Snook, 3rd January
1st January, 2019 – Etherley Moor
First bird of the year was Blackbird (1), followed closely by Woodpigeon (1), Tree Sparrow (3), House Sparrow (6+) and Chaffinch (2).
1st January, 2019 – Teesside
Visited Teesside for 2-3 hours during the afternoon. Spent an hour looking for Waxwings in Middlesbrough with no joy, but I did get good views of a Redwing whilst waiting. Two Green Sandpipers were at Billingham Beck. 40+ Pink-footed Geese were near Cowpen Bewley. 6 Tiaga and 2 Tundra Bean Geese were in the field to the north of Zinc Road. A Green-winged Teal was on Dormans. A Short-eared Owl was seen briefly at Cowpen Marsh.
2nd January, 2019 – Middlesbrough & Teesside
Had another visit to Middlesbrough for the Waxwings and this time managed to get half decent views of up to 12 birds. Other birds seen included Mistle Thrush (1), Blackbird (5+), Goldfinch (10+) & Magpie (2). Two Short-eared Owls were seen on the way home.
3rd January, 2019 – Hartlepool & Seaton Snook
Visited Hartlepool and worked my way down to Seaton Snook seeing all the birds I set out to see. Ring-necked Parakeet (5+) and a surprise Water Rail (1) was seen at Ward Jackson Park. Red-throated Diver (10+), Great Crested Grebe (20+), Guillimot (10+), Common Scoter (100+), Rock Pipit (1), Purple Sandpiper (2), Snow Bunting (13), etc. were at Hartlepool Headland. A single Mediteranean Gull was at Newburn Bridge. Taiga Bean Goose (6) and Short-eared Owl (1) were seen to the north of Zinc Road. Twite (100+), Grey Plover (10+), Common Redshank (30+), Dunlin (80+), etc. were at Seaton Snook. Golden Plover (200+), Lapwing (50+), Black-tailed Godwit (20+) and Short-eared Owl were seen from the bridge at Greatham Creek.
4th January, 2019 – Saltholme (am)
Barn Owl (1), Long-eared Owl (1), Short-eared Owl (2), Merlin (1) & Barnacle Geese (60+) were best birds for me at Saltholme and surrounding area.
4th January, 2019 – Escomb (pm)
Late afternoon visit to Escomb for Little & Tawny Owl (not seen or heard). A Goldeneye (drake), a Little Grebe and 7 Goosanders (5 drakes & 2 females) were on Escomb Lake. Two Dippers were on the River Wear.
Picture: Common Newt at Etherley Moor, 21st February
2nd February, 2019 – Hartlepool
A Glaucous Gull was seen flying from Newburn Bridge towards Fish Quay
9th February, 2019 – South Durham
Common Buzzard (6+), Raven (2), Black Grouse (12+), Red Grouse (6+), Grey Partridge (2), Goshawk (1 possible), Golden Plover (14+) and Lapwing (6+) were seen in upper Weardale
9th February, 2019 – Escomb
Two Little Owls were seen.
10th February, 2019 – Fishburn
3hrs at Fishburn and was eventually rewarded with half decent views of Pallas’s Warbler and Firecrest.
15th February, 2019 – Escomb
Gadwall (5), Goldeneye (1 female), Goosander (9), Little Grebe (1), Dipper (2) & Barn Owl (1) were the best birds seen during a late afternoon visit to Escomb.
16th February, 2019 – South Durham
Five Crossbill were seen at The Stang and two Red-legged Partridges were near Brignall. Otherwise, it was surprisingly quiet.
21st February, 2019 – Etherley Moor
Bit of activity around the garden pond during the evening with at least one frog and a common newt being seen. Not very often I get the chance to photograph newts, so got the lamp out and enjoyed playing with camera settings and lighting for 20 - 30 minutes.
Picture: Common Redpoll at Lockwood Beck, 24th March
23rd March, 2019 – Seaton Snook
Wheatear (3), Twite (30+), ChiffChaff (1 heard), White Wagtail (1), Pied Wagtail (15+), Meadow Pipit (5+), Skylark (2), Peregrine (1), Ringed Plover (1), Curlew (2), etc. during a two hour visit to the snook, 1:30 - 3:30pm.
24th March, 2019 – Lockwood Beck & Scaling Dam
Whooper Swan (1) and Goldeneye (3) were on the Lockwood Beck Reservoir with Brambling (1), Lesser Redpoll (4+), Common Redpoll (2+), Siskin (2+), Marsh Tit (1), Crossbill (1 over), etc. on the feeders. A Little-ringed Plover was at Scaling Dam.
30th March, 2019 – Escomb
Sand Martin (10+), ChiffChaff (5+), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), Great Crested Grebe (2), Oystercatcher (2), Kingfisher (2), Nuthatch (1 heard), Goldeneye (1), Buzzard (1), Jay (2), etc. were seen betweeen 3 & 5pm.
Picture: Spotted Crake at Saltholme, 17th April
6th April, 2019 – Sleightholme and The Stang
Good 2-3hrs around the south of the county. Raven (2 pair), Common Buzzard (3), Sparrowhawk (1), Kestrel (2+), Red-legged Partridge (5), Grey Partridge (2), Red Grouse (20+), Golden Plover (40+), Oystercatcher (30+), Redshank (2), Redpoll (3), Siskin (1), Nuthatch (1 heard), Chiffchaff (2) and Wheatear (3).
12th April, 2019 – Escomb
Blackcaps & Willow Warblers have joined the ChiffChaffs all in full song. Meadow Pipit (1), Oystercatcher (2) and Song Thrush (1) were also amongst the regulars.
15th April, 2019 – The Batts
Mid-morning walk around The Batts produced Sand Martin (10+), Blackcap (1), ChiffChaff (3), Willow Warbler (2), Tree Sparrow (2), Grey Wagtail (2), Pied Wagtail (1), Goosander (2), Kingfisher (1), Dipper (1) and Green Woodpecker (1 heard). 30 species seen between 10 - 11am.
15th April, 2019 – Bollihope
Ring Ouzel (2), Wheatear (6+), Meadow Pipit (10+), Red Grouse (20+), Raven (2), Common Buzzard (1), Mistle Thrush (4), Lapwing (6+) and Curlew (1) were seen at Bollihope, 1-2pm
15th April, 2019 – Bollihope
A Great White Egret was at Holme Fleet. Then a Spotted Crake, at least two Water Rail and a Water Vole were seen from the wildlife watchpoint at Saltholme. Twite (5+), Reed Bunting (2+), Chaffinch (2+), Goldfinch (1) and Meadow Pipit (2+) were seen from the car at Zinc Road.