Superb Hawfinch image - feeding on Hornbeam at Bishop Middleham (JHo)
Selected List of Sightings in January
(sourced from DBC Whats Ap, DBC Members Facebook Group & Twitter- apologies for any errors / omissions )
1/1 Lapland Bunting - Newburn (long staying bird coming to feed)
2/1 Glaucous Gull - x1 Shields Pier (DH)
2/1 Water Rail - x1 Silksworth Lake (JT)
3/1 Blackcap - x1 Washington (NF)
3/1 Green Sandpiper - x2 Billingham Beck (IF)
5/1 Hawfinch - x1 Wingate (CWe)
6/1 White billed Diver - 1N Whitburn (TM et al)
WBDiver image by Tom Middleton
6/1 Jack Snipe - 4 at Shotton (RR)
7/1 Iceland Gull - juv nr Springwell (RA)
7/1 Barn Owl - Lady Park (LH)
8/1 Golden Plover - 350 Morton House (SEv)
10/1 Chaffinch - male sub song Houghton (SEv)
10/1 Long-eared Owl - song & display (SEv)
12/1 Lapwing - 2,500 Castle Lake (JO)
12/1 Redshank - x20 C.Lake (JO)
12/1 White fronted Goose - x2 north with 44 Pinks (SEv)
12/1 Long-eared Owl - 15+ in a roost (SEv)
13/1 Fieldfare - 300 north Ho-le-Spring (SEv)
13/1 Mandarin - 1 drake R.Tees, High Coniscliffe (DP)
13/1 Iceland Gull - x1 juv Wearmouth on river (DFo)
13/1 Ruff - x2 Castle Lake (JO)
13/1 Corn Bunting - 16-19 feeding nr Castle Lake (DFr/DPhi)
14/1 presumed Rough-legged Buzzard - Shotton Colliery (RR)
14/1 Egyptian Goose - x2 Saltholme (AK)
14/1 Glaucous Gull - x1 Blackhall (GT)
14/1 Hen Harrier - single nr Woodland Fell (DFr)
14/1 ccMarsh Harrier - Greatham Creek
15/1 Long-eared Owl - 20+ in a roost (SEv)
16/1 Snow Bunting x6 Seaton Snook
16/1 WFG - x1 Chartershaugh (DG)
16/1 WFG - x1 Seaton Pond (GS)
16/1 WFG - x14 Seaton Common (GJ)
16/1 WFG - x1 Boldon Flats (PCo)
18/1 Firecrest - 1 still present at months end, High Coniscliffe (TB et al)
18/1 Red crested Pochard - drake amongst 1,000 wildfowl at Hardwick Lake (JO)
20/1 Black-throated, Great Northern Divers at Dawdon (DA)
21/1 Med Gull - 1 adult (MH)
21/1 Glaucous Gull - 1 Blackhall (RR)
22/1 Hawfinch - x6 remain at Bishop Middleham (LH)
22/1 Meally Redpoll - x3 Rainton Meadows
23/1 Long tailed Duck - 1N at Seaham (RA)
23/1 WFGoose x1 Seaton Pond (GS)
27/1 Iceland Gull - Windermere Rd, H'Pool (GT)
27/1 Red Kite - Howden-le-Wear & Low Barns (ER)
28/1 Raven - 1 calling moving over Rainton Meadows (MH)
28/1 Great White Egret - 1 at R'Meadows, 4th site record (MH)
GWTeal image Robbie Robertson
28/1 Green winged Teal - drake at Hurworth Burn (RR)
28/1 Little Egret x3 - Houghton-le-Spring (MH)
29/1 Blackcap - x2 females at Lizard Lane, Whitburn
29/1 Black Grouse x20 Langdon Beck (GT)
29/1 WFGoose x7 H'Burn res (JO)
30/1 Siskin x30 Tudhoe Mill (JH)
30/1 Barn Owl x1 nr A167 Darlo/NAycliffe (LH)
30/1 Heron x5 pairs back on territory at Washington WWT (DD)
As hard weather tightens its grip on mainland Europe , some overwintering species have continued to arrive, including further Fieldfare, Woodcock, & numbers of White-fronted Geese.
Whilst as the month progressed the very first few breeding species started to move back to lay claim to territories, including Great Crested Grebe & Shelduck.
Others have increased their territorial behaviour particularly Dippers & thrushes, Peregrines are beginning to become more prominent around prospective breeding sites.
Peregrine image by Tony Fitches
Around the doors, the dawn chorus is starting to increase, Mistle Thrushes now a familiar sound with some farmland species just beginning to start to tune up including Yellowhammer & Corn Bunting.
Corn Bunting image - S.Evans
At dusk Grey Partridges are becoming increasingly vocal, pairs rushing & chasing each other even in deep snow. There has been an increase in vocalisations from our Little & Tawny Owls.
We'll end this summary with a very well received photograph taken by expert local patcher Mick Heron of a Tawny with Song Thrush prey.
NEW SIGHTINGS RESOURCE COMMENCING 1st FEB 2018
Club Members will be aware of the Clubs Free Bird News Whats Ap Service - this excellent push data service sends news of rare / scarce / unusual birds direct to your device in the field.
A new Club Member & award winning photographer Oscar Dewhurst has suggested a new means of providing a daily "end of day bird news round up" - which need not be limited to rare & scarce 'headline' birds - it could include highlights of a local patch visit or a day out at series of County sites.
Anyone birding the County is welcome to use this service - hopefully we can build a bigger picture of whats happening around the County on a daily basis.
Please check this out & feed into this new "Sightings Page"- Durham Birders Wiki :-