I headed north with SH and DM this morning. Spring was trying its best to break through but the cold wind and occasional snow flurries still made it feel more like winter.
Our first stop was to check the swans at Buston Links. No sign of the Bewick’s and only 2 Whoopers amongst the Mute Swans in the roadside fields.
Next we stopped at the Coquet Island viewpoint where worryingly there were no Auks on the sea or around the island. We decided to give Hauxley a miss but on the way out of the village we stopped and scanned a flock of 300+ Pink Footed Geese. They were in a field close to the roadside but we couldn’t pick out anything unusual amongst them.
There was no sign of the Marsh Harrier at East Chevington. A redhead Smew was asleep on one of the islands on the north pool and a Water Rail was squealing from the Reed bed below us. Whilst the sun had its most prolonged appearance of the day a Chiffchaff began singing from the scrub between the two bottom hides on the north pool.
We briefly stopped at Hemscotthill Links in search of Wheatear. No sign but a Peregrine flew low overhead as it chased a group of Starlings. Every bird between Druridge and Creswell seemed to take to the air when the Peregrine was hunting including a flock of finches in the dunes, which had at least one vocal Twite amongst them.
At Cresswell Pond Moorhen and Coot were feeding on the open grass between the barn and the hide. 3 Stock Dove flew north and 7 Red Breasted Merganser, a drake Shoveler, 60 Wigeon and a long Tailed Duck were on the water.