Big Waters on Thursday morning, very quiet with a quick glimpse of a Common Sandpiper, the Kingfisher on a distant perch for a couple of minutes and a drop in of a trio of Oystercatchers and not a soul to talk to. On the way out a few Meadow Browns were around the treeline where the 2 fields are split with this being the most well worn one I have ever seen.
Also in the same area on the other side of the track was a couple of Yellow Shells
Off to pick up the beloved and after a quick meal in Killingworth we went for a walk along the cliffs in Collywell and Old Hartley. Quite a few birds seen but most of our attention was taken up these burks about 1000m of Collywell Bay in a dingy that looked more like something that would be used in a swimming pool.
They were paddling in for about 10mins and when they got to this pot marker the girl in the front clung onto it for a couple of minutes, then they started paddling again with the tide pulling them to the rocks. People were standing on the beach and I could see them and others on the top of the cliffs on the phones. They eventually managed to get to the beach (god knows how) and looked absolutely exhausted, just then the police arrived and spoke to them for less than a minute then they left and the Volunteer Coast Rescue arrived and spoke to them also (Why didnt they shout at scream at them but no doubt there is some rule somewhere that says just tell them in a nice soft voice that they are a pair of PRATS but do it in a nice diplomatic and soothing manners so as not to offend their already mixed up emotions, confusion, fright and stupidness),
Anyway just as this finished we bumped into Dick (City Birder), his lovely wife and daughter Linda (Kirkstall Creatures) who writes a great flora and fauna based blog for near Leeds. After a bit of a chat and a walk further down the cliffs we headed off for an ice cream, unfortunately it was a bit late by then so we nipped to B&Qs for a new bird bath for the garden then headed off for a curry.
Friday morning a trip up to Church Point and a chance meeting with Gordon enhanced my Sea Watching skills (not much to improve on) until the clouds began to change to that "your gonna get wet look" so we headed for the car. A list of what was seen is on Gordons blog but I can add 4 Med Gulls on the beach at Newbiggin.
Then up to Gosforth to wait out the terns hoping that they would push out the Bittern into plain view but despite all the mobbing of what I presumed was the Bittern it did not appear althoughthe 2 brief appearances of the Kingfisher did put a smile on Keith's and my face. We kept our trigger fingers flexible by trying to get mating Emperors in flight (failed miserably) but had more success with Sedge Warblers and partial success with Common Terns against a battleship grey sky
There is now 4 young Common Tern on the platform with 6 adults guarding them ferociously.
Well it looks like a crap weekend so a big umbrella, flask of coffee and a telescope for a bit more seawatching could be the answer or possibly a few hours in a hide somewhere (I wonder where that could be)