Friday morning and off up to Newbiggin for another session of Sea Watching and after half an hour seeing only a few Common Scoter, a few Gannet and an Artic Skua Andy McC arrived and brought some birds with him. He spotted a Velvet Scoter (my first of the year) then later on we had 3 Artic Skuas also plus a couple of Black Tailed Godwits, a Red Throated Diver and a small flock of Golden Plover in addition to what was seen yesterday. Some of the Gannets came close and with a heavy crop were recognisable.
A trip up to Cresswell afterwards (hadn't had a decent ice cream for a few days) and the big bonus was a Pectoral Sandpiper on Lynemouth Flash. My first ever one in Northumberland. A half hour in Cresswell hide then headed off to Saltholme to see the White-rumped Sandpiper. Plenty of people around to point it out so 20mins later I was heading back home, dont normally go for a quick look but forgot I had promised to take the wife for a meal.
Next morning up to Arcot for a quick look round and sure enough the Little Egret was still around and the Grasshopper Warbler was still singing. A lone Oystercater flew in which it has done on the last 2 times I was there also.
Then off to assist Alan J at Big Waters as his "Bird Ringers Helper" due to John D being incapacitated. What you learn in 6hrs with Alan is unbelievable although there is so much I need to be told it 2 or 3 times before it sinks in. The birds ringed yesterday included Tree Sparrows, Wrens, Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaffs, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Grasshopper Warblers although we were hoping for a retrap of probably a day old one we ringed a couple of weeks to see how much it had grown as Alan reckoned it was one of the smallest bird he had ever netted and ringed. The following pic shows how small it was when ringed:
There is a pair of Moorhens who built a nest quite high in a tree in the Feeding Station and not unexpectedly one of the chicks fell out but bless their cotton socks one spends all of the time time shepherding it aroud. They then swop over and then the other one looks after the chicks high up in the tree although they sometimes stand at the bottom of the tree calling for the others to jump as they are spending a 100% of their time looking after them and have realised that if the one that fell out of the tree is existing then the others should be out as well thereby making it easier to look after them if they are together. No jumpers yet though