Where to watch birds in NZ26.

This is just a quick A-Z of sites across the tetrads.  If you live or work close to any of them it may be worth a quick check just to see what else is there.

a- Whickham, a mix of suburban and some arable fields in the south west.  A wide range of habitats including large grassy areas good for gulls including regular Med. Gulls on Whickham School field.

b-Metro Centre, Durham Wildlife Trust Cross Lane Meadows, mouth of the Derwent and the Tyne running through it.  Scrub land near Costco is worth checking through the spring and autumn.  Benwell Nature Park is worth checking as the best birds sing behind the high fence.

C-Benwell a lot of open space through housing clearance in the south of the tetrad and a number of interesting mature trees.  Good numbers of House Sparrows and Starlings.  Cemetery has big trees but few bushes

D -Blakelaw.  Open areas good for winter gulls but most of the scrub beneath trees has been removed, presumably for safety reasons.

E -Bank Foot.  Farmland in the North east corner is not easily accessible but the bits that are offer good chances to add some unusual species.  This did include calling Willow Tit.

F- Lobley Hill.  Watergate Park was where I expected to get a number of species due to its rural nature.  Dipper, Grey Wag and reported Kingfisher as well as woodland species, but the dogs spoil this area for me.

G- Dunston and Elswick both sides of the Tyne offer mud at low tide but only south of the river offers waders and ducks shelter when the tide is in.  I cant wait for waders to start migrating to see what turns up.

H-Fenham can’t do this square without remembering the Laughing Gull and Ring-billed Gull from the mid 80’s but the Hospital looks a bit different now.  A small park just North of here is good for park birds including drumming Great SPotted Woodpecker.

I -Nun’s Moor.  Potential when its not a windy day in January.

J -Fawdon.  Rookery and reed beds associated with run off from the housing at the Great North Park at the north of the tetrad could prove great in the spring time.  Northumberland Wildlife Trust HQ at ST Nicks Hospital gave a really tame jay.

K-Team Valley and Saltwell Park already have produce Kingfisher and Nuthatch with a good number of Redwings.

L -Gateshead and Newcastle Bridges.  Mature trees in the sculpture park and river frontage have been fruitful.  So far Bullfinch has been the best bird here.

M-Newcastle City Centre.  Leazes Park and Exhibition Park are two of the 5 ponds I have found in NZ26 worth looking at.

N-Town Moor and Gosforth.  A bit bleak in winter but I hold out hope for Wheatears in the Spring and Autumn.

P-Gosforth Rural feel to the north east of the tetrad has a lot of potential.  Large flock of House Sparrows and so far my only Tree Sparrows.

Q-Windy Nook, aptly named and the highest point in Gateshead which will be great for vizmigging.

R -Gateshead Stadium.  Another section of the Tyne including the purpose built Kittiwake Tower on Saltmeadows Road.  Rough ground near Gateshead College may turn something up

S-Byker and the southern section of the Ouseburn interseting selection of woodland birds including Nuthatch but not the numbers and variety of Jesmond Dene.

T – Jesmond Dene probably needs little introduction, good variety and numbers of woodland birds.  Currently hosting a Harris Hawk.

U -Longbenton.  In the south, older housing around the cemetery has good numbers of House Sparrows and Starlings and I am sure in summer this will be good for Swifts.  In the north scrub land north of the business park may provr fruitful.

V -Leam Lane.  Open grassy areas and older housing may be a chance of some farmland species in the south.  I am not sure the last of the 5 ponds in NZ26 will give too many surprises but helps with the species numbers in this tetrad.

W-Bill Quay Farm south of Tyne and Walker River Park north of Tyne will see this turn out to be one of the high scoring tetrads.  Highly recommend a visit to this stretch of the river.

X-Walker Park is the main highlight.  Mature trees and some bushes, oh and Ring-necked Parakeet checking out nest holes.

Y- Wallsend, older housing but the golf course in the centre is likely to see the most species at least south of the Coast Road.

Z- Rising Sun Farm, but it does not include Swallow Pond even though you do get all the Pine woodland.  Will prove to be a good place with the only Redpoll to date.

All of the tetrads in the winter have thrown up something worth getting out to see.   If you know of other decent sites please let me know.


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