Yesterday, I felt too guilty to go to work after not paying respects to the eastern traveller on Lindisfarne, I risked dismissal and a life of abject poverty to show my appreciation.
Although the tide table said I would not get on to the island until 10am, I found a dry causeway at 8.55am so headed straight across. Not only did I miss work and illegally jump the tide, I recklessly paid no heed to the village signs and parked at the Vicars Garden where hopefully a short stroll to the shore would see the target 'bagged'.
The best laid plans, and all that found a birdless beach and me trudging the boulder and mud shore for a few hundred yards until I bumped into Johnny Mac on his way back. The bird was another hundred yards north. I should have parked at the Chare Ends, it would have been nearer and legal.
Arriving at the spot another Tees birder stood alone, and having seen the bird, said, 'Its on the tide line but its not in view at the minute'....I need not have worried as the little male Eastern Black Redstart soon hopped up onto some strand line weed and behaved impeccably. This male, of the race phoenicuroides is a first for Northumberland and may be only the fifth for Britain. Another has been in Kent for the past week or so.
Not even a list addition, this gem is still one of the years highlights up here...