UK spring - a good time for birding

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2 years 10 months ago #87204 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: UK spring - a good time for birding
It is that time of year when the last of the winter migrants are passing through on their way back north and the first of the summer migrants from the south are arriving (the first Barn Swallows are appearing). Breeding season among the resident birds is in full swing, with singing males in nice fresh plumage appearing prominently on bushes and trees that are not yet fully in their summer leaf. So, all in all a good time for birding here in the UK.

I am in the north-east at the moment visiting my father, in County Durham where I grew up. On the way up from London I made a short detour to an area I'd never been to before in East Yorkshire. Near the confluence of the Ouse and Trent rivers, beyond which point the river becomes the Humber, the RSPB have the wetland reserve of Blacktoft Sands.

Here are a few from there.

Tree Sparrow

Eurasian Wren

Common Chiffchaff

male Northern Shoveler

male Common Shelduck

Greylag Goose

Western Marsh Harrier - the first two shots of a male

... and this a female who stayed much further away and did not let me get any clearer shots

While in Durham I made a trip onto the moors of Weardale, where I saw ....

male Willow Ptarmigan - this is the sub-species scoticus commonly known as the Red Grouse

Grey Partridge - male and female

Ring Ouzel - my first ever photos of this species. Hardly surprising since this is only the second time I have seen one, and the the last time was over 50 years ago!!

First a male, then a female - very obviously a breeding pair with nest-building in progress.


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