My local patch consists of a number of sites in and around Bishop Auckland. Sites include Bishop’s Park, The Batts, Escomb, Low Barns, Etherley Moor, Gaunless Flats and a number of small sites that are not as well known to the birding community.
Bishops Park & The Batts (Google Map) can be accessed from Bishop Auckland Market place. The park is good for woodland birds such as Green Woodpecker, Common Redstart and Nuthatch and the River Gaunless that runs through the park often holds Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Mallard & the occasional Red–breasted Merganser. The Batts is where the River Gaunless meets the River Wear and offers open views across the River Wear and surrounding farmland. Good views of Common Redstart, Green Woodpecker, Owls and Sandpipers have been obtained at this location.
Escomb (Google Map) is a small village that can be found adjacent to the River Wear upstream from Bishop Auckland. There are a number of different habitats that include Escomb Lake, Woodside Lake, the Fishing Lakes, Hedgerows, Woodland, Grassland and the River Wear.
Low Barns (Google Map) is a Durham Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve that is also adjacent to the River Wear upstream from Bishop Auckland. The reserve has a wide range of habitats including wet woodland (Alderwood), grassland (West Pasture), open water and of course the River Wear.
Etherley Moor (Google Map) is as good as my home patch and is situated on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland. The farmland, hedgerows and roadside wires are always worth checking for Corn Buntings that have been recorded for the past seven years (not 2013). The feeding station attracts all the usual birds that visit a typical feeding station including Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll & more.
Gaunless Flats (Google Map) is situated upstream of Bishop Auckland and as the name suggests, is an area of wetland that is often flooded when the water level of the River Gaunless rises in periods of heavy rain. Birds here have included Barn Owl, Short–eared Owl, Common Snipe, Merlin & more.
Images of Locations
The following links will take you to galleries that contains photographs and information relating to locations in ‘The dales’. Please choose from the following:
(go to the gallery)
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