A trip out from Morpeth to Newbiggin on my bike proved quite fruitful, with three new species for the UK list, of which two are new for 2012's global list.
First stop was at Bothal pond, where there were few waterfowl to speak of - just a handful of canada and greylag geese and some tufted duck - but there were 50-60 hirundines over the water - a good mix of swallows, house martin and sand martin. On the horse field on the other side of the road however, was my first UK
109 Northern Wheatear
of the year.
On to Woodhorn, and no sign of the reported GG shrike, although I was not exactly sure where it had been spotted, so onwards to Church point in Newbiggin, where 30 minutes sea-watching was fairly productive. As well as quite large flocks of linnet (25-30) and starling (15-20), the sea was reasonably busy. The bay and rocks held several paris of eider and a small number of oystercatcher, while just out to sea were about a dozen terns (not sure which, although they appeared small and dark billed). Heading north over the half hour I was there, were around 40-50 gannet, and several small groups of
110 Kittiwake, and
Also, two red-throated diver were seen for the first 10 minutes or so, and further out to sea I think there were several groups of puffins, also heading north, but I didn't get a good enough view to be sure.