Harwood is very remote and is generally silent and free from traffic or industrial noises so seemed ideal for an afternoon walk. Only the usual pine forest species were active with Crossbills, Siskins and Coal Tits, Sparrowhawk and Great spotted Woodpecker plus 3 Roe Deer to break the monotony.
Sunday was bitterly cold, dry and breezy. The kind of wind that chilled the bones within minutes of exposure. The beginnings of this 'Beast from the East' had John and me seeking shelter where ever it could be found. Once out of the wind, the day wasn't too bad at all....
A short scan of the Coquet Estuary from Amble Marina seemed a little quiet, with 29 Whooper Swans N being the highlight.
Down at Druridge Bay Country Park, we scanned the lake for wildfowl. This used to be the county's premier site for Smew 20 years ago but not these days. Maybe the cold on the continent will drive a 'white nun' across the North Sea. Its years since Ive seen one here.
At the boat launch, this darvic ringed Black headed Gull has wintered here from Norway for the last 5 years. On the water, 5 Red breasted Merganser and a Pochard were the best, while down at the feeding station 10 Bullfinches were cleaning up the last of the feed.
The area was quite busy with dog walkers so we drove around to East Chevington and walked up to the L shaped hide to get out of the wind. These steel structures are cold in July, but at least they keep the wind chill off.
From here, 3 Otters cavorted at the south end of the pool for a while and on the lake, 32+ Goldeneye had a lone Long tailed Duck for company.
After a short wait John called me to look north, where a Bittern had jumped from the reeds and was flying along the north shore before dropping back into the phragmites at the NW corner.