A trip to South Shields and a walk along the beach started a pleasant morning. Few birds of note but the early light was brilliant. Then on to Sunderland? Well JA (Sedgedunum W mentioned a Dragon Hunter (Alan Mould) and on checking his blogs, he mentioned an exhibition of Eric Ennion's work. Eric Ennion famous for his art work, writing, work at Monk's House and much more .. so I couldn't resist.)
If you are in the area and want to fill a few hours Sunderland Museum and Mowbray Park (aka Baillon's Park) are well worth a visit.
This time of year and thoughts switch away from rarities and back to taking a look a our fantastic resident species and incoming winter visitors. Anything extra is a bonus.
This Little Gull seems to be spending winter with us in he bay.
Curlews enjoying the temporarily flooded fields.
AP (Newbiggin's regular birder) knew I was nearby and let me know that there was a tern off Beacon Point. Having just walked back to Church Point I was able to use my telescope to check. Then I thought it might be worth a closer inspection, even though I was sure it was a Sandwich tern, so I headed back to Beacon Point. As I headed towards the point it flew South past me ... typical. It was a Sandwich tern, a good late record for AP.
Stormy weather has curtailed the walking a bit. The Dowitcher sticks mainly to is favoured West Shore well away from cameras.
I the past week I have managed to meet two more enthusiastic naturalists. NF (Abbey Meadows blog) great to catch up with him and MH, Northumberland's most enthusiastic Harrier expert and a great artist. Birding is such a special hobby it enables you to meet some really knowledgeable people.
The water level at Cresswell is very good, thanks to a man with spade? Snipe enjoy the area right in front of the hide. hopefully a Jack Snipe will join them soon.
Finally Whooper Swans passing through the bay seem to have few juveniles with them. (Apparently Iceland had Snow until June (per MPF).) Today a flock of 47 included only 5 juvenile birds.