Sunday, 7 August 2011


Early yesterday morning I set off for Newbiggin with GM (Liver Birder) in search of the Yellow Legged Gull that had been seen throughout the week.

Most of the gulls in the south bay were on the rocks underneath the Couples sculpture so we had to scan through them from the beach.
One bird stood out but after about an hour of looking at it we decided it didn’t show enough of the key characteristics of YLG but it was probably not a Herring Gull.

Just off the tide line a group of Guillemots and 1 Razorbill fished with some Cormorants and Terns but there weren’t many gulls on the beach.
The majority of the gulls were Juvenile and adult Herring Gulls with a few Kittiwakes and LBB Gulls. Although we weren’t looking properly we only saw one adult Med Gull.

As we headed back across the beach we checked the gulls sitting on the breakwater next to the new maritime centre. One gull again stood out straight away but this time showed a lot more of the key features of a juvenile YLG.
We watched it for about an hour and took photos and later confirmed that it was a Yellow Legged gull – Lifer.
Picture and more detailed ID notes are on
When I got home I saw that another separate bird had been seen just off Church point during the week and it looked a lot like the bird we first saw under the sculpture.

With the weather looking like it was going to turn we headed to Cresswell Pond for a quick look.
As we walked to the hide, 4 Yellow Wagtails and a few Tree Sparrows were active in the surrounding fields.
On the pond a Ruff was moving along the western shore and a Little Egret was walking across the sand bar in front of the hide. In the field to the left of the hide 3 Bar Headed Geese were sleeping and 2 Yellow Wagtails, (1 juvenile 1 adult) were flitting around.

After a quick chat with BM (Killy Birder) we moved onto Druridge Pools.
No sign of any Spotted Redshank only a single Greenshank and Common Sandpiper were on the far shore from the Oddie hide.

As we were leaving Druridge it began to rain so we quit whilst we were ahead. With the success of the morning trip it was inevitable that the afternoon wouldn’t be as good and whilst watching Newcastle’s pre season friendly in the pouring rain it was abandoned during the second half. The thunder echoing around the stadium was impressive though.

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