Sunday, 2 December 2012

Red, Grey and Cryptic: Gosforth park

A walk around Gosforth Park nature reserve today provided some good views of some unexpected animals today, my main target was to at least see one of the Bitterns, and did so pretty quickly as I caught sight of one of the Birds flying on the other side of the pond, and after a while of sitting in the hide we moved to the next and from there had distant views of 3 different Bitterns, a great sight and even better for me as Bittern is one of my "Top 10" birds and are always great to see, its especially nice to see them doing so well during the winter in the North east!
Moving through the woodlands, Robin, Blue tit and Great spotted woodpecker flew above and as Brian and myself stopped to admire a Great spotted woodpecker above I thought I caught sight of something running across the path in front of us, I've seen grey squirrel in that exact stop before so I didn't really think about it to much, but as we moved on I looked above and found a Squirrel in the tree above, A quick look reveled it to be a Red squirrel an unexpected addition to the days list. As I'm sure many reading this will know it is becoming increasingly hard to see Red squirrel in Gosforth park because of the take-over from the Grey squirrel, It was nice to see that at least some of the population (Even if it was just that one!) is still living in Gosforth park, for how long I don't know but it was encouraging to see that this particular Squirrel was fully fit and was quite easily finding food as it leapt from tree to tree.
In nearly the exact same place last time I saw a Grey scurry up a tree very quickly after caching its food in the ground, It is such a shame to see the decline in the Red squirrel and it is hard to see where, when or If it will stop, I have not seen one in Killingworth for some time now and they did once occupy area near the lake but again I have not seen one for some time.
I have had great views of the creatures at our caravan near Dumfries where they come for a daily feed and hopefully it will be some time before they make it into areas like this.
After watching and Photographing the squirrel for a while we moved on to find the small family of Roe deer making their way slowly through the wood.
A quick stop in the feeding station brought us views of more Great spotted woodpecker, Magpie, Robin and the other common birds that come into the feeding station after this we made a brief stop to write down our sightings of the day, I took a quick look at the posters on the wall and found on the "Collins: British Garden Birds" poster that Great crested grebe was apparently listed as a Garden Bird, I'm not quite sure what type of gardens the people at Collins have but apparently ones with large expanses of water and reeds in them! And I can't ever recall having a Grebe of any description on my feeders in the garden!

Frosty start


Red squirrel

Great spotted woodpecker



  1. You're a Bittern Magnet Sam! :-)
    Very nice report complimented by some very nice images.

  2. Yeah great seeing 3 Bitterns. I remember when they didn't seem to be around the North East at-all.

    Cool you saw a Red Squirrel, it's nice to know we still have some.

    Fab images too!