venue in the mist but I had neglected Newby
Moor since I abandoned any hope of breeding
Stonechats here on 9 July last year when I
found just four adult birds and hadn't seen a juvenile at all at this point. That said I had found an amazing eleven birds here on 12 February of the same year. Newby Moor is also an excellent place to find Whinchat with my best ever record here of fifteen on 2 August 2000. I wonder if this kind of number of Whinchat is still possible at Newby Moor nine years on with the birds status as it stands today.
It took two hours to find 2 Stonechat today which were seen as a pair. 4 Raven were seen over a plantation near here, 2 Stock Dove, 3 Snipe were flushed from damp areas, and 210 Lapwing were in a field with 2 Oystercatcher.I saw 2 Stoat one of which was in ermine and was the first since 21 March 2006 at Cockersands.
With time on my hands I went to check for any 'life' at Barbondale and was rewarded with some Dipper behaviour, a first for me when three birds together flew down the stream, I lost sight of one but the two remaining showed display by the male towards the female, two hours later a pair in the same spot were nest building and showed more interesting behaviour again in that one was collecting moss off a stone followed by a few dunks in the water before taking it soaked into the nest hole in the bank....intriguing stuff. A Buzzard, 3 Raven, and a Grey Wagtail were of note.
Not for the first time the Black - headed Gull in the pic is not remotely connected to today's birding but its a nice pic of one in breeding plumage....isn't it?