Saturday had myself and John headed North stopping first at Cresswell. It was a delightful sunny morning but with a hell of a nip in the air. The place was devoid of humans apart from a birder with a weird accent (well any accent South of Sunderland sounds weird to me) who was looking for the hide. We pointed it out to him then had the place to ourselves for about 45 mins (Bliss).
Some great views of Stonechats in different lighting
situations were found
I particularly like the following one as it watched me move
left and right and seemed to just reposition itself so I couldn't
get a clear picture of it
On the pond some fantastic golden beauts
We then moved on to East Chevington and once again dipped on the Bearded Tit and the Bittern but after a while we headed down to the moth of the Burn where we had some great view of a handful of Snow Buntings which kept us captivated for over an hour. Thanks to Davie E for tipping us off where they were and the liberal sprinkling of seed which held their attention for
a considerable time
There were also a couple of others scavenging on the beach,
at least 9 Pied Wagtails and 4 Rock Pipits
We then headed off for a visit to a certain car park in amble where I lashed out on an amazing mount of chips to keep me and my pals happy. We then headed up to the coast checking a few spots on the way but nothing exceptional was seen so we headed back South stopping at Hauxley spending a good 30 mins in the Feeding Station/Sea Watching hide where nothing at all was seen on the mill pond we call the North Sea but the Feeding Station was quite busy with quite a few Tree Sparrows evident along with the usual culprits. We then went for our final stop of the day back at East Chevington to observe the Starlings and their minature murmuration. There was quite a few thousand came in although the first one was in at least a thousand and performed a small murmuration, the others were in bunches of 3-400 but they just did "a twirl" as Brucie would say to Anthea then dived straight in. Quite a few of the smaller bunches were attached by a Sparrowhawk which didn't seem to have any success and each time it came in it was mobbed by the same 2 Crows which seemed to be acting as defenders of the Starlings.
Finally a picture from the Garden of a Starling after a quick bath