Sunday morning and it was so pleasant I thought a sit down at Newbiggin armed with a Large Latte and watch for a Long Tailed Skua would be a good idea (failed miserably) but obviously a few others had the same idea as 1 after another 5 more appeared. Sat and chatted with Steven Fryer (he who puts great pics on Gateshead Birders including that fab Cuckoo one) and his well behaved pooch. Not a great lot seen, but the weather and company were canny and with the assistance of Steven and another gentleman who I recognised (ish) but didn't know his name we spotted 2 small flocks of Common Scoter one with 5 Velvet in, although I could only see 3 with white flashes but then again I think my scope was made from Brown Ale Bottle bottoms and the others were not. Also a couple of Red Throated Diver put in an appearance with 1 of them lazily paddling across the front of the viewing point giving some great views. 3 Whimbrel shot past and approx 15 Knot came in close and were past in a couple of seconds and a small flock of Sanderling zoomed past (god they are pretty in flight) although it took a while to recognise them as Im only used to seeing them 2ins above the sea at St Marys. A Seal kept bobbing up close in although the 2 Dolphins? that we saw kept their distance. There was lots of Sandwich Terns passing and it was the only time I picked up the Camera but without a lot of success so no pics
Left for Big Waters at 08.30 and upon arrival was greeted by 10 Magpies sitting on the fence a not altogether common site.
The Resident Swans and their family were on the bank looking for people with bread but not a soul apart from me was around.. Nice pic of one of the Sygnets though.
A good walk around with Ian D and Alan J produced quite a few birds although the highlight was 5 Whinchat which were the first ones seen at Big Waters since May 2003 (unless of course some photographer pops up with a couple of pics) also a Collared Dove whilst not exactly rare is a good tick for the patch. Eventually back at the 1st Hide for 10mins at the end produced a couple of Gadwall and the duck numbers increasing. Also a personal best count of 14 Adult Mute Swans although I'm still one behind Alan J. It looks like the Waders will pass us by as the water is just not receding and will stay like that unless someone plugs a big electric fire in to warm the place up (Not much hope of that according to the BBC Weather Girls, but "hey" I've lost count of the number of times they have been wrong recently). As I got into bed last night I looked up in the direction of the Big Guy and asked him nicely if we could have some bad days like Beadnell
Birding Stringer although even his have been a bit better lately.