A. Whickham F. Watergate Park
Every walk to work; every walk to Watergate Park; and every walk to Saltwell Park involved seeing birds in A –as did every time I sat in the garden. This explains why the tetrad gets more coverage and more species than expected. My garden list stands at 41 species in and 84 in or over. No birds were added to the first list but a Goosander flying over one summer day was unexpected. There are other areas including a small Rookery (6 nests) by the Chip shop down from last years 11; the cemetery on the bank to the Metro Centre and some decent farmland with Yellow Hammer singing all through the summer. Species list 64 including a Willow Tit visiting a feeder on Swalwell Bank.
The best bits of A meld into the best tetrad for species numbers F had 82 species. I need to get off my chest that the whole year has been blighted by incredible numbers of dog walkers some of whom are ****s. One in particular who let her dog have several goes at a male swan defending his cygnets, stands out as being a class act. She could not see what she was doing wrong not getting it on a lead.
Anyway on a good day this tetrad is special. Reed Warblers bred, Garden Warblers –those most excellent singers filled the spring and early summer. Kingfishers were seen on most visits and Dippers by the outfall on half of them. However, three birds in particular are worthy of mention Marsh Tit –the first in Gateshead for 3 years was with a mixed flock of tits; a Jack Snipe, having just got Water Rail a few minutes before was an air punch moment. But the start was a spring female Redstart in the hedge by the paddocks. Not only was this unexpected and gave close views but was my 100th species. It also gave me my first every Mink which the Little Grebes tried to distract away from their nest.
87 species was the highest tetrad score.
Garden year list in 2015 was 49 which is about average.