A boozy weekend left me far to weak to contemplate serious birding (it's not as easy as it looks, this birding lark). Instead we went for a gentle Sunday afternoon stroll round the nearby Ryton Pools Country Park - and found some rather nice birds.
On Paget's Pool there were a dozen or so Gadwall, a couple of Tufties, and the usual array of Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. Persistently diving between them were three splendid Little Grebe.
The first pleasant surprise was a Snipe feeding on one of the central islands. The second was a Green Woodpecker, drinking at the water's edge and posing perfectly - it was one of those moments for which cameras were invented. Sadly my kit was at home, so I'll make do with my memory.
The third surprise wasn't a bird as such, but rather the promise of future birds. The council have put three Barn Owl boxes up in on the rough grasslands in the centre of the park. This is perfect habitat for Barn Owls so fingers crossed for occupants in the future - I have only seen these superb creatures in East Anglia and would dearly love to find one on my own patch.