Thursday, 3 March 2011

A week in and around the Rising Sun.

Last week it was half term so i spent my three visits on the periphery. At Scaffold Hill Farm i had the sight of House and Tree Sparrows together for the first time. The local white and grey moggie sitting fairly close below some feeders placed to the side of the farmhouse didn't seem to phase the birds too much, a pair of Reed Buntings even popped in as i looked on. A walk down the lane leading to Hadrian Pond brought me a lone Yellowhammer atop the hedgerow shortly followed by a nest which had been left exposed by the mechanical cutter which had passed through recently judging by the damaged ends of the mainly hawthorn. I think it is/was a Dunnocks nest.

A fantastic construction on closer inpection. (double click for more detail)
Hadrian Pond has held nothing more exciting than a few Teal but i'm hopeful i may get something more interesting over the next couple of months. I remember a female Ruddy Duck and her ducklings a couple of years back which sent Simon P. dashing along to see them when i showed him some images.
This week i have spent more time closer to Swallow Pond with numerous sightings of Goldfinch which, in the previous month, would have certainly brought views of Redpoll or Siskins, but not this week. I did however have the unexpected sighting of a pair of Oystercatchers on the Tern raft initially but shortly after they moved to the island in front of the waggonway hide. This was my first of this species in the three years i have been visiting the park but unfortunately on Weds. when i returned there was no sign. Red the Stag was in his now favourite field between the pond and Hadrian Wood. He must find the grazing sweet.

 An update on the Mute Swan that had to be dispatched a few weeks ago,
Having received a couple of e mails asking if i knew what had happened. I managed to finally catch up with Chris, one of the wardens at the Rising Sun, to find out what had happened to the Mute Swan. The report in the newspaper was incorrect. The Swan in question, the female, had been reported to the wardens as not looking too healthy. They took it in and decided to send it up to Berwick where it was found to have three OLD wounds which had healed over  The poor creature was found to be suffering from lead poisoning and was consequently put down. A sad note to end on.


  1. Hi John.
    Just goes to show you can believe little that you read in the press. I suppose they got it partially correct!
    In January I helped lead a walk in Durham and the Evening Chronicle, having not spoken with anyone involved, advertised that we were leading a walk at Prestwick Carr at the same time! Cheers.

  2. Howdy Brian,
    I was pleased to see the warden to find out exactly what had happened to the poor creature. It had sounded as if gangs of youths had been wandering around brandishing air rifles at one stage.
    I've never bought a newspaper for over 25 years, thats my opinion of them.