Today was cool and misty and a bit dull but still autumnally pleasant.
I ventured south off the patch today to meet up with ST, ADMc, ID, DE in the Druridge area.
But first ( and foremost) out with Bunty at Boulmer this morning we walked from Seaton Point along the front. It was quiet but for one or two thrushes still coming in. There were 14 Blackbirds, 4 Redwings, 1 Fieldfare and 2 Song Thrushes while a Grey Wagtail flew south.
I met up with ST at Linton Pond. Although there were a lot of birds on the water, there was nothing much of note. I suppose the highlight was a Jay collecting acorns along the railway line and a Roe Deer that sprung off over the back of the pond.
Next stop, Warkworth Lane. I haven't been here for ages. I see the caravan site has expanded and seems quite overcrowded now. Again, the pond was lifting with wildfowl, but there was nothing unexpected. The best was a party of 14 Shoveler. At the caravan site a Brambling flew off S.
Onwards to Cresswell where we met up with Andy. A few suprises here even though the water level was very high ( nice to see some reserve management from the Wildlife Trust...). On here were 1 redhead Smew, very early back for the winter and possibly the same bird that has wintered here for the past three years, 4+ Scaup, 1 female Long tailed Duck and 3 Whooper Swans. 2 Ruff flew around with the Golden Plover. A Kingfisher was seen briefly as it flew by the hide carrying a fish.
After some lunch it was off the Druridge Pools. This was my old local patch and its a place I still have a soft spot for. It was here that I discovered that there were more than seagulls at the coast over 22 years ago.
Not many birds here today but what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality. On the sea, 15+ Red throated Divers, 50+ Common Scoter, 1 Great crested Grebe.
On the main pool two Otters gave an excellent performance being on display for about two hours solid. I can't get my head around being able to see them so readily in Northumberland. When I first came here this would have been unheard of. Also here 1 Greenshank, 10+ Gadwall and a nice Kingfisher in front of the hide.
I think this was my first for the pools.
Keep an eye on the weather you east coast patch watchers, there's a breeze coming...