|Red Kites in Paddock Woods.|
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Paddock Woods/ Far Pastures/ Thornley Woods.
Met up with my regular walking partner Mr. Cheviot for a rare birding afternoon with him in Gateshead. The idea was to try to capture the Firecrest at Far Pastures. We didn't, but did have numerous sightings of Goldcrest. Long-tailed Tits were absolutely everywhere and a flock of over 50 Pied Wagtails kept lifting from the nearby water treatment plant. A big shock came for us when we saw 7, yes 7 birds from the hide!!!!!!!!! One being a Teal. Far pastures was visited after we had met up at Thornley Woods where i had large numbers of Tits with Coal Tits and a Willow Tit in particular catching the eye. Mr. Cheviot had a romantic valentine liason arranged and left me to wander off into Paddock Wood with the idea of dropping down to the Nine Arches Viaduct for possibly one of my last chances of seeing numbers of Red Kite coming into roost before they start pairing up and nesting. I didn't get as far as the Arches as i had Kites circling and mewing overhead as i approached the chainsaw carving area. I found a spot looking down on the Arches and settled on a log in the bracken listening to the vociferous and eerie calls of the birds. I had noted an area above the Arches on the Visitor Centre side where a number of Kites were collected last time i was there and this i thought was close to my left where i had chosen. I was rewarded as two Red Kites landed in the trees in that area quite close by but my view was partially obscured by branches. Having observed the birds interacting for some twenty minutes i moved slightly to get an image but as the light was fading i used a high ISO.