2012 started well (and early) yesterday. First stop of the year for myself, SH and DMcK was Marden Quarry where it took us nearly an hour to locate the Lesser Scaup, which seemed to be hiding whenever we scanned the Tufted Duck.
2 Goosander were also on the quarry and a brief flyover Waxwing ‘‘trilled’’ away as it went.
Next stop was Gloucester Lodge Playing (near Blyth) fields were 5 mobile Snow Bunting were in and out of a stubble field. They were accompanied by 18 Grey Partridge, 40+ Yellowhammer, 14 Tree Sparrow and a handful of Reed Bunting and Chaff and Goldfinch. It was encouraging to see such good numbers of declining farmland species.
Newbiggin was next to be visited. Only two Med Gulls could be seen amongst the flock in the south bay. Whilst we searched the beach around Beacon Point for the Desert Wheatear, which had temporarily gone missing, a Short Eared Owl was spotted hunting along the ash bank.
With the Wheatear relocated and watched we headed off to check the flock of Greylags in the field north of the north flash at Woodhorn.
The Tundra Bean Goose was soon picked out as were 4 Greenland White Fronted Geese.
A Kingfisher was mobile along the Horton Burn near the old fire station. When we checked. West Hartford was on poor form as was Arcot Pond apart from the 10 (8FM, 2M), Goosander.
So off to a good start, although this year I am not keeping a Cramlington List, just going to enjoy my birding list free the year.
When I finish university for good in May I will give the blog a revamp and include some of my artwork. It desperately need a new look.