Sightings 2020

Welcome to my sightings page for 2020, where I aim to display a compilation of my birding and wildlife sightings and experiences from that year.  For up to date reports of sightings, please consider following me on my Facebook, Twitter and Flickr pages.

January 2020

Picture: Long-tailed Duck at Middleton, 2nd January

1st January, 2020 – Etherley Moor
Two Tawny Owls were heard from the back garden before it got light (first birds of the year), which was when the feeders became active. Birds seen during a one hour spell included Golden Plover (20+ over), Herring Gull (3), Starling (1), Magpie (2), Carrion Crow (6+), Rook (4), Wood pigeon (2), Collared Dove (1), Dunnock (3), Tree Sparrow (4), House Sparrow (6), Greenfinch (1), Goldfinch (1), Chaffinch (3), Coal Tit (1), Long-tailed Tit (2), Blue Tit (3) & Great Tit (1).

1st January, 2020 – Nosterfield
A single Smew (probable 1st winter drake) and a Scaup were the best birds seen during a mid-afternoon visit to the reserve.

2nd January, 2020 – Hartlepool
Enjoyed a late morning visit to Hartlepool Headland watching Woodlark (1) and Snow Bunting (2) on waste ground to the north of Jewish Cemetery. Then made the short journey to Middleton for the reported Black Redstart with no joy. Consolation was a very confiding Long-tailed Duck, which was by the lifeboat station.

3nd January, 2020 – Teesside
The Black Redstart I missed yesterday was seen soon after arrival at Middleton, Hartlepool. Mediterranean Gull (1), Rock Pipit (1), Purple Sandpiper (1), Sanderling (15+), Dunlin (10+), Turnstone (20+), Ringed Plover (20+) & Oystercatcher (10+) were at Newburn Bridge. White-fronted Goose (1), Tundra Bean Goose (2) & Pink-footed Goose (1) were with Greylags and Canada Geese at Cowpen Tip pool.  A Merlin was seen on Seaton Common. Two Long-eared Owls were close to the viewpoint at Haverton.  A Common Sandpiper was with the regular Green Sandpiper at Billingham Beck.

4th January, 2020 – Prestwick Carr & South Tyneside
Nice trip out of the county for the Eastern Yellow Wagtail at Prestwick Carr, which showed very well with Pied Wagtail (15+) and Meadow Pipit (10+). At least one Willow Tit was close by. Visits to Thornley Woods, Far Pasture & Shibdon Pond produced Willow Tit (2+), Bullfinch (2), Goldcrest (4+), Red Kite (2), Siskin (2+), Treecreeper (1), Jay (1), etc. A Whooper Swan was at Stoneybeck Lake (Bishop Middleham) with a Peregrine giving close views in perfect light (no camera with me at this time).

5th January, 2020 – Lockwood Beck
Enjoyed 30 minutes at the Lockwood Beck feeding station watching Brambling (50+ in the area), Siskin (2+), etc. Despite gamekeepers burning heather on Commondale, we still managed to see Raven (4), Common Buzzard (2) & Peregrine (1).

12th January, 2020 – Greatham Creek
Spotted Redshank (1), Greenshank (1) & Marsh Harrier (2) were pick of the birds during a short visit to Seal Sands.

18th January, 2020 – Seaton Snook
50-60 Twite were seen on the fence wires.

1st February, 2020 – Escomb
A late evening visit to check for owls. 2 Little Egrets were seen flying up the river wear before dusk. A Tawny Owl and a Little Owl were heard, but not seen.

18th January, 2020 – Seaton Snook
50-60 Twite were seen on the fence wires.

February 2020

Picture: Red Grouse at The Stang, 8th February

2nd February, 2020 – Nosterfield & Bolton-on-Swale
Decided to go and visit Nosterfield for some birds, which have been seen in the area over the previous 2-3 weeks. Lesser Yellowlegs was the main target birds, which was seen in front of the hide soon after arrival. Other birds here included Peregrine (1), Common Buzzard (2), Kestrel (1), Ruff (1), Golden Plover (50+), Curlew (10+), and Oystercatcher (10+). Two drake Pintail were with Goldeneye (10+), Teal (30+) at the nearby Lingham Lake.

Bolton-on-Swale nature reserve on the outskirts of Catterick was my next stop, where Ring-necked Duck (1), Red-crested Pochard (1), Scaup (1) and Little Egret (6) were seen before the Cattle Egret came into roost at 4pm.

8th February, 2020 – The Dales & The Stang
A very quiet 3-4 hours visiting locations in Weardale, Teesdale and South Durham, which produced Black Grouse (2), Red Grouse (7), Common Buzzard (3), Kestrel (1), Redwing (30+), Fieldfare (150+), Song Thrush (1), Mistle Thrush (2) & Siskin (50+). With storm Ciara approaching, everything must have been keeping low to the ground?