April trip to Teesdale

We had a bumper turnout for the trip today, with 20 of us enjoying the beautiful sunshine in upper Teesdale. The road from Barnard Castle had been reopened after recent repairs following a landslide, so we headed for Langdon Beck where the hills were white with a late sprinkling of snow. We had super views of Black Grouse which were showing well as we arrived; Jonathan started early and had 28 of them them on the lek. Several Curlews gave us impressive displays and there were a few Snipe and plenty of Lapwings about, many appeared to be nesting. Merlin and Peregrine were seen early on before most of us had arrived. Two skeins of Pink-footed Geese heading north were a bonus, perhaps 200 or more birds in total. Later, we saw a pair of Dipper on the beck and the same, or another, pair on Harwood Beck where Grey Wagtails also showed. A Swallow and a few Sand Martins flew over too. After lunch a male Ring Ouzel treated us to prolonged views at a nearby quarry where there was also a showy Golden Plover and a male Wheatear. Following a less productive stop at Cow Green Reservoir, we looked for woodland birds at Bowlees, where Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Goldcrest and Siskin were the highlights, before the return home.

Rob Chapman