Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Freezing, foggy Scaling Dam

Yesterday was a right off for the Quicky Challenge as I had to attend a family event all day and although a moorland walk was involved the opportunity for adding any interesting species was minimal. However, I found some very nice trees.

This morning dawned slowly but encouragingly, a Woodcock flew through the front garden as I stepped out into the gloom. Heading to the delightful Scaling Dam by a less than direct route brought Barn Owl. This was a rather good start.

It was very, very cold at murky Scaling first thing and although Goldeneye was quickly on the list the well searched for Willow Tit failed to show. Grey Wagtail was also hiding so the Cleveland end hide was approached hopefully.

Teal was quickly added, with a good count as well; Tufted were dug out; Coot gave itself up easily. Bonus bird, a Dunlin was feeding on the point. Information regarding the possibility of a Jack Snipe was checked out but was a no show and the recently reported Rough-legged Buzzard did not return. Little Grebe could not be found and horror of horrors there were no geese, not one, none; even a drive up the road to look in the surrounding fields failed to reveal a single Greylag or Canada.

There was little opportunity for birding later in the day. I did nip out at dusk hoping my Little Owl spot would give up its riches, but it didn't. I possibly heard a Song Thrush but it was not definite and the outing was only just saved by two Golden Plover flying high over the moor.

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