Saturday morning and a quick visit to Little Waters only produced a few Goldfinch, 2 Mute Swan, a couple of singing Willow Warblers but unexpectedly a couple of Fieldfares.
Onto Big Waters and a couple of overflying Redshank was a new patch tick for me. There was very little on the pond although the island was now showing as the water dropped. Didn't bother with a wander round but headed up to Prestwick Carrs to see if anything else new had dropped in. A solitary Whimbrel in the first field and then Brian B arrived and as we chatted another 3 Wimbrel headed down to join the one previously seen. A good scan of the Horse field produced a Whinchat and at least 3 Wheatear. I then headed home to take Carole out for a meal and a wander along the path between Holywell and Seaton Sluice and watched the couple of Kittiwakes and 3 Fulmars that were soaring around. Finished the day off with a visit to the Ice Cream Parlour in Seaton Deleval.
Sunday up early and a couple of great hours at Arcot which gave me my first Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat, which were seen and heard by a couple of other birders also. Several Willow Warblers were singing in different locations and then in the area where the Highland Cattle are at least 3 or possibly 4 reeling Groppers were heard but only managed a glimpse of one. A Skylark was displaying off and on for over an hour. There were also a couple of Common Terns flying around and feeding and several Swallows feeding on the pond and resting on wires next to the road.
On to Big Waters and met up with Ian D for the Short Walk round. No Wheatears, Artic Terns or Garganey which had all been seen during the week. Once again there was plenty of Willow Warblers singing, also a Blackcap calling and for the 2nd week running the Nordic Jackdaw was in the Horse field. On the pond there were 8 Common Tern hopefully taking advantage of the island surface which had been loosened by its submergence over the past few days and 4 Oystercatchers flew over. In the area near the underpass on the A1 the resident Mute Swan (TBX) is the only one sitting. All other nests have been abandoned due to the excess of water and the status quo has been maintained. 2 pairs of Partridges were flushed on our walk. We also spotted 4 Peacock, 2 Green Veined and the first Orange Tip of the year. On departing a Curlew was observed in the field near the entrance to the reserve but when it went up it was reidentified immediately by Ian as a Whimbrel, a patch first for me.
This time last week the island could not be seen at all, even the post on the right was completely submerged and I still reckon there is another 18ins before it is at its normal depth