After seeing that migrants were appearing up and down the country, apart from Northumberland this morning, me and Cain (Holywell Birder), went out mid afternoon to find some ourselves.
We started at Blyth Links Cemetery, which was quiet. In the stubble field next to the cemetery was a covey of 11 Grey Partridge, (7 Juv, 4 Adult), which ran across the field once they had seen us.
Next we stopped at Seaton Sluice, which was relatively sheltered from the wind. After parking we walked under the main bridge were the first migrants that greeted us were a Whitethroat and a male Blackcap in a small patch of bushes.
Next we scanned the bushes on the other side of the harbour were a stunning male Redstart was perched on the top. It soon moved from its perch and flew over the sluice and our head and landed in the bushes behind us before flying back.
Most of the activity seemed to be in the bushes on the sluice side of Rocky Island so that’s were we headed.
On the more exposed Rocky Island the first birds we found were a Linnet and Wheatear followed by a Warbler sp. that dived for cover in the centre of a nettle patch.
We waited for it to show itself again and over a half an hour period it showed on and off in different nettle patches and bushes. Cain managed to get some record shots (expect them to be posted on his blog in the next 3-6 months :).
The warbler preferred to keep low down in the vegetation but was very flighty.
It could just turn out to be a Willow Warbler but it just didn’t look like one.
It seemed to have a longer bill, was a darker plain brown on its back, have an olive tinge to its under parts, pale supercilium and a dark edge to its primaries.
Our final view of it was as it flew into the thicker cover next to the house. Whilst waiting for it to come out other birds were starting to appear as they came in off the sea.
These included a Kingfisher, which flew around the harbour and back out to sea, 2 Whinchat and 3 Redstart.
Also 15 Golden Plover, 5 Sanderling and other wader sp. flew over.
The best bird of the day though was a Wryneck- Lifer, which flew out of the bushes the warbler had disappeared into and into the harbour.
After searching for it again we had a few brief views as it flew across the harbour into the bushes on the other side before flying off into the dunes.
I’m glad I spent the afternoon looking for birds myself rather than waiting for news to come out on Birdguides and going after second hand birds.
Also we saw the Curlew Sandpiper on Beehive Flash on the way back.