Out for a 6.20am seawatch start with high hopes. The wind was a strong N after yesterday's gusty NW with squally showers. At least the rain has stopped.
It was immediately obvious that there was a large movement of birds was taking place with string after string of Gannets, flocks of Kittiwakes and a few Fulmars. My first good bird appeared at 6.30am, a winter or imm Black Guillemot hove past at about quarter range, showing well. Only my third in Northumberland, my last was at Boulmer in 2005 and before that one past Newbiggin, both birds summer plumaged. Suprisingly, all three have been in July / August.
After this initial excitement, things settled into the more usual passage birds -
Common Scoter 13N
Arctic Tern 5
Sandwich Tern 11
Common Tern 4
Manx Shearwater 1N
Shoveler 2N a suprising find, but shortly to be eclipsed....
Bar tailed Godwit 2N
Red necked Grebe 1 possible juv showing a smudged white cheek N very close in.
Red throated Diver 1N
Grey Plover 1 summer N
But the most unusual species of the morning I have never seen on a seawatch before -
Little Egret 1N ! Just 30 yards out above the rock edges was eye level with me as it passed.
Three OFFH ticks in two hours cant be bad.
The rest of the day was just spent pottering about the garden and wood area.
1 each female Sparrowhawk and female Merlin flew over the garden mobbed by Swallows in the afternoon.
My neighbour Julie, brought me a Spider she had found in some grapes today. Intrigued I took some photos and did an internet search and find that it was a False Widow. A naturalised species from the Canary Islands now established on the south coast of the UK. It is poisonous and can give a nasty nip...It is variably marked but the pale mosaic like band around the body is diagnostic.
Eudonia angustea found in the kitchen, a new addition to the moth list.
Sunflower in the garden...
Some of our Beans and Carrots...
A worn Wall Brown on an echinacea.