Red throated Diver 1N, 3 on the sea.
Velvet Scoter 3N
The stormy weather has removed all of the deciduous leaves from the village copse, so what few birds there were, were in the garden and back hedge. 16 Blackbirds were new in and 3 Tree Sparrows were with 35+ House Sparrows at the feeders.
In the coast path field a few birds were feeding in the cow trodden wet grass - 25 Curlew, 8 Redshanks, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Oystercatcher and 2 Grey Partridge.
I had just buttered some toast back home when 'the birder formerly known as' Newton Stringer rang to say he had caught a Pallas's Warbler and a Mealy Redpoll and did I want to see them? Not wishing to appear rude, I downed toast and coffee and legged it.
Male Mealy Redpoll
Pallas's Warbler (top one is mine, bottom three courtesy of Gary Woodburn)
Also here were a second Pallas's, a Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcaps.
Figuring I was on a roll, news was coming through that the Squacco Heron was back on site at Morpeth and showing well.
The forecast for tomorrow isn't looking good so I dashed the 20 miles south and found the Squacco to be out in the open on the shingle of the river bank. In the hour I watched, it was in view most of the time, but not once did I see it eat anything. It picked up leaves, grass stalks and a thistle, and looked quite hungry. Maybe the prey isnt in the shallows at this time of year? I hope people dont push it too hard...
Squacco Heron with flotsam...
Before I go, I was looking up Squacco status in Northumberland today. This is the fourth record, but while looking I find that between 1874 - 1890 Howick Hall has hosted Squacco (shot in mistake for an owl), Little Bittern (shot) and Night Heron! Not bad...