I was out early with SH this morning who was heading for Fenham flats and Stag Rocks.
On the way up the fog was quite thick but at the coast the sun had burnt the worst of it away and visibility was ok.
At Fenham there were 28 Whooper Swans in the fields right of the hide and Brent Geese and Wigeon were on the water. In total 112 Pintail flew past the hide.
Before going to Stag we stopped at Budle Bay as the tide was out. 2 Shovoler were the only suprising duck swimming in the channel.
Plenty of Grey Plover and Barwits were feeding on the mud and there were 4 Roe Deer in the field behind the lay by, one of which was feeding from a pheasant feeder!
The huge Lapwing flock which is in the bay took to the air as they were attacked from a Merlin and a Peregrine!
I missed the Merlin because I was watching the Peregrine catch one of the Lapwing. It wrestled with it in mid air before somehow the Lapwing managed to escape.
The Peregrine took another few lazy swipes at it before heading off away from the bay.
Steve thought that it was a Juvenile and probably not an accomplished hunter and this is why it didn't finish the Lapwing off.
From Stag Rocks we could see a huge flock of 400+ Common Scoter on the sea with a few Guillemots and Razorbill around them.
Amongst the flock was a dusky looking Red Necked Grebe - Lifer, which dived for long periods of time before we could get good views.
Also 10 Red Throated Divers, 10 Long Tailed Duck, 4 Red Breasted Merganser and 6 Slavonian Grebes were on the sea.
18 Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks and Fulmar pairs were resting on the castle walls.
Instead of heading south straight away we stopped at Newton Pool, somewhere I hadn't been before.
On the way to the hide there were 5 Dark Bellied Brents in a flooded field. Nothing much was on the pool but we did get close up views of Goldeneye and Gadwall.
Out next stop was Hemscott Hill links were 22 Twite were on the wire next to the cow field.
We scanned through the large number of geese which were in the fields around Bell's Pond.
Canada and 8 Barnacle Geese were next to the pond whilst Greylags and 500+ Pink Footed Geese were scattered around the other fields. Eventually Steve picked out the Bean Goose which had more characteristics of the Tundra race.
We stopped quickly at Woodhorn flash south pool were 4 Greenland White fronted Geese were between the pool and the railway line.
Last stop was West Hartford were we tried to flush out a Jack Snipe but only managed 22 Common instead. 2 Short Eared Owls - Patch Tick, were flying around the field next to the new fire station and along with a few other patch ticks, two Goldcrest were in the trees opposite the fire station.
44- Short Eared Owl
45 - Meadow Pipit
46 - Pied Wagtail
47 - Goldcrest
48 - Lapwing
Also I have decided to remove the Hooded Merganser I saw at Saltholme in the summer from my life list after I found out about the reputation of Scaling Dam Reservoir, ( the site it was found at) and the fact that a male has now turned up at Saltholme.
This evidence put the females origins in serious doubt and I want a clean list.