10:02am Friday 10th October 2014
THE best find in September was a Crane at Nosterfield, one of only a handful ever recorded in the area. Standing nearly 4ft tall these magnificent birds are now breeding regularly in Britain again with populations in the Norfolk marshes and on the Somerset Levels but they remain rare visitors elsewhere.
2:31pm Friday 12th September 2014
3:42pm Friday 16th May 2014
APRIL was an intriguing month. Despite the sunny weather, migrants were relatively slow to arrive, and at the time of writing not all of the village swallows have yet arrived and I hadn’t received any reports of swifts by month end. What were surprisingly early were quail with birds heard near Hutton Magna and Mickleton on 23rd.
3:58pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014
1:05pm Friday 13th December 2013
12:58pm Friday 12th April 2013
RECENTLY my wife and I paid a return visit to the RSPB nature reserve at Saltholme on Teesside. It now seems to be described as more of a wildlife reserve and discovery park than a bird sanctuary, but it is an astonishing place.
12:56pm Friday 12th April 2013
11:33am Friday 8th March 2013
11:57am Friday 11th January 2013
THIS is a chance to look back on what has been an interesting, if not classic, 12 months for birdwatchers. The year kicked off with large numbers of geese still present from 2011. Snape Mires and the Nosterfield area were particularly attractive and attracted flocks of over 100 Whitefronted Geese and more than 70 Bean Geese.
8:00am Friday 18th May 2012
There was little doubt about April’s bird of the month, a ring-billed gull which dropped in briefly at Scorton Quarry. This rare American bird looks rather like a small herring gull but with a prominent dark band across its beak. This species had never been seen in Britain before the 1970s but there then followed a sharp rise in sightings. However, it has become rather scarcer again in recent years and it remains a genuinely rare bird in Yorkshire.
4:41pm Friday 19th August 2011
4:09pm Friday 11th February 2011
WAXWINGS continued to delight local birdwatchers through January, and up to half-a-dozen birds were seen at many places, including three that took up temporary residence outside the booking office of Northallerton station.
1:00pm Friday 7th January 2011
12:03pm Friday 17th December 2010
1:48pm Friday 8th October 2010
THERE has been a trend in recent years for summer migrants to linger in the UK later than previously. This September was no exception with birds like Swallows and House martins still present in high numbers throughout the month and even Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs still in song at the month end.
12:16pm Friday 10th September 2010
10:41am Friday 14th May 2010
11:42am Friday 9th April 2010
12:53pm Friday 12th February 2010
JANUARY was, not surprisingly, dominated by the weather. The extensive snow and low temperatures led to a mass emigration by the larger birds and high levels of mortality, particularly among farmland species.
11:50am Friday 15th January 2010
11:56am Friday 11th December 2009
THE best sighting in November was a Cetti’s Warbler found in the reedbed area at Lingham, Nosterfield. This is the first local record of this notoriously skulking warbler. A rather non-descript bird, its presence is usually given away by it’s incredibly loud, almost explosive, call.
2:06pm Friday 13th November 2009
OCTOBER’S highlight was the discovery of three bearded tits at the private nature reserve of Belflask, near West Tanfield. These striking birds have never been recorded in this area before and, though only present for a couple of days, were a fine addition to the local list.
12:02pm Friday 16th October 2009
1:22pm Friday 14th August 2009
THE early signs of wader migration provided most of the interest for birdwatchers in July. As usual, Nosterfield was the main focus with an excellent 20 species of wader seen here. This included yet another pectoral sandpiper.
11:18am Friday 19th June 2009
6:20am Friday 10th April 2009
12:14pm Friday 13th March 2009
3:14pm Friday 6th February 2009
11:57am Friday 12th December 2008
1:28pm Friday 7th November 2008
12:14pm Friday 10th October 2008
HONEY Buzzard was undoubtedly the species of the month in September with a massive arrival of birds on the English east coast. A similar influx occurred in 2000 and most birdwatchers assumed this was a once in a lifetime event so this second arrival was quite remarkable.
1:26pm Friday 15th August 2008
12:15pm Friday 6th June 2008
2:41pm Friday 9th May 2008
1:48pm Friday 7th March 2008
12:40pm Friday 23rd November 2007
11:53am Friday 26th October 2007
12:54pm Friday 14th September 2007
WADING birds were the highlight of August with the pick of the bunch undoubtedly the first local record of Wilson's phalarope. This rare American species was found on the racecourse pools at Catterick on the 18th and was briefly present the following morning (before being scared off by a peregrine falcon).
1:08pm Friday 10th August 2007
1:19pm Friday 8th June 2007
12:39pm Friday 25th May 2007
APRIL, if exceptional weather wise, proved to be fairly quiet for birds. Even the summer migrants which we might have expected to arrive early in the unseasonably warm conditions were about average for recent years.
3:13pm Friday 9th February 2007
THE most outstanding sighting in February, although outside my normal reporting area, was a Pacific Diver at Farnham gravel pits, near Knaresborough. This was the first time this species has been seen anywhere in Europe, perhaps not surprising considering its normal winter range is in the seas off Japan and the west coast of America. However small numbers are occasionally seen on the Atlantic seaboard of the United States and this presumably was the source of this bird although why it should end up on a lake near Knaresborough must remain a mystery.
11:24am Friday 5th January 2007
This is a chance to look back over what has been an interesting 12 months for local birdwatchers. The first winter period will probably be remembered for sightings of birds of prey. Prominent among these was a huge raptor seen over Aiskew in February which can surely only have been the white-tailed eagle which had been reported at Gouthwaite reservoir the day before.
1:06pm Friday 6th October 2006
12:16pm Friday 18th August 2006
12:25pm Friday 16th June 2006
5:00pm Friday 26th May 2006
5:00pm Friday 26th May 2006