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County round-up - SUN 19th NOV '17

GND image by Brian Smith

Great Northern Diver, Red Kite, 120Pink feet & 8Whooper Swan - Derwent Res (GT / GB / BS)

A small number of Whooper Swans were also on the move today with 4 East over Middlestone St.George & a dozen were noisily heading South over Copt Hill Houghton towards dusk 16:16 (SE)

Its this time of year when scarce migrants become a fading memory, that the inland local patchers reap their rewards.

A great selection of local patch birds & excellent days birdwatching in the Mid-Wear Valley with , Redpoll, Siskin, Willow Tit, Nuthatch, GSW, Tree Sparrow, Kingfisher, Dipper, Goldeneye, Tufties, Barn Owl, etc. during a morning walk round Escomb -Dave Brown, and a mile or 2 up the valley Fred Wright noted Dipper, Kingfisher, Water Rail, Goldeneye, Teal , Wigeon, Common Gull, Little Egret amongst others.

Bullfinch image LYounger

Very few reports from the north east of the county today with 3Snow Bunting remaining faithful to Shields pier (DH) & the seawatching lads in the Whitburn Obs scoring with 5Little Auks & Grey Phalarope - it appears to be a good year for this ocean wanderer...(MN et al)

The central section of coast did well today with coverage from several observers Peregrine & Grey Wagtail were noted at Seaham (SE), with Graham Stoker intensively covered the Seaham to Hendon stretch amassing: - a Merlin flew N along Hall Beach, 6 Stonechat (3pr + 2pr at Dawdon Blast), 5 RPipit, Woodcock, 2 Snipe, 28 Skylark, 6 GPartridge, 130 Linnet, 10 Siskin N, 4 RtDiver & 2 Goldeneye ots. 180 GPlover at Seaton Ponds on the way home.

Our former Chairman PA ( & his long suffering marra, SH) were out with prStonechat & 2Woodcock in Ryhope Village 'Scops' Dene, before moving on to complete their 1st winter bird crop survey at Seaham and Ryhope with 50ReedBunting 20TreeSpug c200 Linnet 5Yellowhammer 4GreyPartridge etc.

An excellent & rewarding initiative, liasing with local landowners to help monitor farmland birds & swell DBC coffers in the process !

Long tailed Tit image by

The Marsh Harrier again hunting at Greatham Creek (JDuffie)

The Shorelarks at North Gare were down to 3 birds, Dave 'Etherley Moor' Brown noting them fly over the river mouth towards South Gare late afternoon. Also on N.Tees area, a presumed adult Yellow-legged gull type was on 11.50am (JDuffie)

New club member Paul Weddle hit on lucky with 3 roadside Red Kites at Gateshead - a delight to watch in the winter sun.

This short winter Sundays activity finished with a couple of the Houghton Owlers playing on into overtime with Long & Short-eared noted by (SE) & a Barn Owl active at a local church (MH).

We'll cap this report off with another Black Grouse image - this one a cracker, a young male bird by Brian Martin.

Don't forget to sign up for free for the DBC WhatsAp Bird News Service - & keep up to date with local bird news as it happens - push data to your device in the field.

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