Saturday, 8 May 2010

Back for round 3 with Pied Flies

Had a fantastic day over the Durham dales with Derek and David M from the bird club. We started the day by going Castleside way and we were treated to some fantastic views of a Little Owl sitting outside its nesting hole.

We left here and then headed for Muggleswick for our first stop of the day. When we arrived the Charlton (Derek) suggested we had a look at a spot he has never seen Pied Flycatcher before just to have a look. We walked along and nothing was seen or heard until all of a sudden Derek’s keen ears picked up a Garden Warbler up the bank. So we then headed up to have a look and we got a quick glimpse of a cracking male Redstart perched up. We then headed onto where the Garden Warbler was singing; I quickly picked it up and pointed it out to the rest of the lads. Derek has never been able to get good enough views of Garden Warbler so he started to head back to the car to get his camera to attempt for a picture, as we were going down the hill Davey said “Pied Fly” and there was a cracking male Pied Flycatcher. It flew about a bit before disappearing from view.

We then decided to move onto a different part of Muggleswick which was slightly further on from our current location. When we arrived we pretty much immediately picked up Redstart as well as a Pied Flycatcher, shortly after we had cracking views of a Pied Flycatcher going into a hole, perhaps feeding young or the wife? We moved on from here onto the river where Dipper was seen but sadly not by me, a Grey Wagtail here was also a treat to see. From here we walked up the wooded area where we had most common woodland birds as well as fantastic views of 1 or 2 Garden Warbler which were knocking about in the area. We headed back toward the car and were again rewarded with fantastic views of Pied Flycatcher and the Charlton went on one of this many wanders in pursuit of another Garden Warbler we had heard.

From an uneventful trip to Muggleswick we headed onto Tunstall Reservoir where we had fantastic views of more Redstart, as well as a cracking male. We also had 3 Pied Flycatcher, although I only saw 1 and this was a female. We also had Marsh Tit calling bit sadly no Wood Warbler to be seen or heard at all.

The Charlton took us to Bedburn area to look for some Wood Warblers, sure enough this site proved a good one and we were quickly hearing the distinctive call of a Wood Warbler. Not long after hearing this we picked one up as it flew about and called. I got some cracking views and this was a lifer for me! We watched it for a while in the area and when it moved around we followed it, this paid off as we were soon watching 2 Wood Warblers, both a male and a female. There was nothing really else of particular interest to report from here so we moved onto our next location.

We arrived at our next location that was Dryderdale, we had a walk around and we saw and heard quite a few Tree Pipits. When I thought about them after having seen them I realised how different they actually are to Meadows Pipits. A few Redstart were heard but sadly not seen at all, we also heard a Tawny Owl calling but this was again not seen. We heard a Green Woodpecker calling and the very keen eyed Charlton spotted it way of in the distance, it defiantly was the Green Woodpecker as Derek and Davey said they could see red on its head. I also saw it move its head when it called so we obviously weren’t looking at some funny part of a tree.

Our last stop of the day was at a place called Low Burnlea Row, here we had fantastic views of 2 Jay as well as a male Pied Flycatcher.

All in all a fantastic day and some fantastic birds.

(male Redstart - Derek Charlton)

(male Pied Flycatcher - Derek Chalrton)

(Wood Warbler - Derek Charlton)

(Little Owl - Derek Charlton)
Little Owl: "Wat's yae lukin at?"

Life List Updates
240 (world) – Wood Warbler

Year List Updates
173 -Corn Bunting
174 -Little Owl
175 -Redstart
176 -Garden Warbler
177 -Pied Flycatcher
178 -Wood Warbler
179 -Tree Pipit
180 -Green Woodpecker


  1. Hi Andrew , goods days birding there , and well done in life ticking wood warbler , really smart birds to see. atb Rob

  2. What a fantastic days birding, and some fantastic pictures there. Sounds like you had a very good time. I'll keep up to date with your birding trips and will visit again shortly.