Since my last post, I have been back to West Hartford a couple of times and managed to see 4 Greenshank together and 2 Green Sandpiper.
I was there yesterday morning with SH before we went to Newbiggin. Amongst the LBB and Herring Gulls on the main pool was a juvenile Great Black Backed Gull, usually a scarce winter visitor to Cramlington.
1 Greenshank and 4 juvenile Shoveler were also on the main pool.
The afternoon before we had given it an hour at Newbiggin searching for the Barred Warbler but all we could find were Whitethroat. Instead of going back for another look we counted the Med Gulls in the south bay instead.
At the south end of the beach opposite the couples statue we counted 36 amongst the BH Gulls in the beach. Happy enough with this total we then found a further 18 on the beach between the breakwater and the maritime centre.
Out of the 54, 13 were juveniles. This was a Newbiggin record until somebody counted 59 later that afternoon. Also there were easily over 1500 Kittiwakes in the bay
Next we went up to Cresswell Pond. A Marsh Harrier soon glided into view and was seen on and off between the pond and Warkworth Lane. 4 Ruff were on the far bank and an eclipse male Scaup was amongst the Tufted Duck diving in front of the hide.
This morning we were out again to Holywell Pond this time. 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Ruff and 1 Dunlin were on the mud in front of the public hide.
When we got to the members hide we were told we had just missed a bat, which flew out of the hide after dropping down from above one of the shutters. Apparently it tried to get back in the hide before flying off over the pond. The two birders who had disturbed it had taken some photos whist it was on the bench under the shutter.
From the photos Steve ruled out a few species and thinks that it was probably a Daubenton’s Bat, shame it didn’t come back.
Swallow Pond and Arcot were are final stops and both were quiet. From the metal hide at Swallow it is to overgrown to see the pond properly but we did hear a Water Rail calling from the reeds and a Willow Tit was calling from the bushes behind the hide.
112 – Great Black Backed Gull