Tetrad U -Longbenton is a tetrad of two halves as described earlier in the post on Where to watch birds in NZ26. The southern half is largely prewar housing with the northern half consisting of a large business park. These are separated by a large grassy area which is in effect ‘out of bounds’ as it is attached to a school, or what ever they are called these days.
My last visit was late on a January afternoon with enough time really to look around the churchyard and get large numbers of sparrows in the estate. With a need to push up the species totals in each tetrad I went back to add finches and hopefully a Reed Bunting in the business park.
In the centre of Balliol Business Park there are two areas full of rushes which perhaps were ponds once and a ditch the other side of the road that claims to be a conservation area -in its dreams. However, to the North there is a bit of birch scrub which would be damp if we had more rain and this is where I went to look.
In my head I do not look suspicious just wandering around these areas looking for birds; I lost that feeling in February. My reward was not the expected bunting, but a Woodcock zipping between the trees. A usual view of a rich chocolate brown bird with a long beak flying strongly away. An unexpected find in this tetrad even though it is close to Gosforth Park NFU. This took the tetrad up to a respectable 23 and the year to 82.
This was never a photo opportunity so I thought I could get round this by including a video clip from @frodefalkenberg which I was in awe of when I saw it last year
And something more unexpected posted by @steverutt, don’t be too upset that the clip is labelled sandpiper