Posts Tagged ‘Washington Wetlands Centre’

The bullfinch is one of the most attractive birds and one of my favourites. So it was very exciting to get the opportunity to photograph them at The Wetlands Trust at Washington.

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A number of Wildfowl and Wetlands centres keep Asian Short-Clawed Otters as they are easy to keep in enclosures as they are much smaller than our own native species of Otter. On our visit to the Washington centre the adults were out playing with the young pups in the pool oblivious to the people watching them. It was a great photographic opportunity as even with this species in captivity  it is rare to see them so out in the open.

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Our lunch break on the second day of our journey north was at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Washington near Sunderland. This is a wonderful site on the banks of the River Wear.

Our first stop was at the woodland hide where we were treated to a group of male Bullfinches on the feeders and the surrounding trees. There was an occasional sight of  young birds in the tree cover being fed.

Bullfinch (m)

Bullfinch (m)

Joining them were a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tit, WillowTit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch, whilst Robin, Pheasant, Dunnock and Blackbird fed on the ground. Well, all except one young Blackbird who seemed intent on trying to hang on a feeder – without any success.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

 

Pheasant

Pheasant

From here we passed onto the scrape and saw plenty more evidence of successful breeding. Young Avocets and Lapwings were already feeding independently, whilst on one part of the water there was a school of young Shelduck. Close examination of the islands revealed many hidden Common Tern chicks and Sue pointed out a Little Ringed Plover with chicks.

Common Tern

Common Tern

On a fence we found 3 young Barn Swallows, who seemed unworried by our closeness and only intent on the parent flying into feed them.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

All too soon it was time to head back to the car and recommence our journey but one more treat awaited us. As we passed the Asian Otter enclosure the adults were playing (teaching?) their young in the pool and allowed a great photo opportunity

Asian Short-clawed Otters

Asian Short-clawed Otters

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Willow Tit [sp] (Poecile montanus)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

Pied Avovet

Pied Avovet

The Washington reserve is a group of lakes and woodland located in the River Wear valley between Gateshead and Sunderland in the North East of England.

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Arriving at the reserve I first made my way to the woodland where I am treated to excellent views of Bullfinch and Nuthatch at the feeding station.

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

From here I moved onto the saline scrape but apart from a few gulls and an Osytercatcher there is little see.

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After Lunch I walked along the side of the main lake which runs alongside the river. My first stop gives me excellent views of a Snipe and two Little Ringed Plovers.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Further along the lake I found a group of Common Tern; a party of Redshank; a Black-Tailed Godwit and a group of Avocets.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Avocets

Avocets

An excellent days birdwatching

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)