We visited 4 NWT sites whilst up there, Druridge Pools, East Chevington, Hauxley and Cresswell Pools. Cresswell though was by far the most productive and accounted for the 3 lifers. The nice thing was that they are all pretty close to Cresswell, so driving was kept to a minimum.
We paid 2 shortish visits here on Friday and Sunday, visiting a couple of hides. Wellies were essential as some of the paths were flooded. There was very little activity though, saw very few species, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, a Heron and a couple of Snipe flying around.
Just one visit here on the Saturday, a lovely reserve, with quite a bit going on. However the hides are terrible! They seem to be converted containers, opening the doors and windows makes a hell of a noise, its a wonder we saw anything with all the racket. They are also the most uncomfortable hides, the windows seem to be at the wrong height, just terrible. We were much better off leaving the hides and going up to the platforms on the track. It did mean though that you needed a scope to see anything. The best sightings here were Goldeneye, the briefest glimpse of a Merlin and a wonderful Short-eared Owl.
Again just one visit here on the Saturday, but it's a great reserve, with good hides and access down to the beach. We asked the warden as we arrived what was about and apart from what you'd expect he told us amongst all the Greylag was a single White-fronted Goose this would be a first for the year if we could find it.
We worked the hides on the northern side of the reserve, the south side was closed due to flooding. Here's a couple of pics from the hide looking at to sea.
|Really love Tree Sparrows!|
|Rats! No you can't have any!|
I couldn't get a good photo before he tucked up again but for the record:
|The top of it's white face can just be seen if you look closely!|
|Greylags on finals|
|Coquet Island, went there in 2010 to see Roseate Tern|
The star of the weekend. We visited 5 times there was just so much going on. On the Friday we kicked off with lifers 1 and 2. The first was easy a Jack Snipe in front of the hide, he stayed in the same place the whole three days, only venturing out once when it was to dark to take a pic, so here's the best I could do:
The second was much more difficult, a Long-tailed Duck, unfortunately this was a scope job, so no photo, but made up none the less, he appeared on most visits, but was difficult to find amongst all the other waterfowl.
Apart from the Jack Snipe, I have never seen so many Snipe, I counted at least 30 at one time, but the board in the hide said 54! We spotted our 3rd lifer on Sunday; Golden Plover in the morning we found just the one, but on our second visit there were four.
We had some pretty mixed conditions ranging from glorious sunshine to mist and fog, both of which at times made photography tricky! But here's a few anyway! (There's some more in the gallery)
|Little Grebe with Lunch|
|Red Breasted Mergansers|
|Spot the Snipe|
|Great Crested Grebe showing a paddle!|
|Short Eared Owl fly-by|
|The mist rolling in|
|Heron in the fog!|
|Goldcrest on the path to the hide|
|Pink-footed in a field near Cresswell......|
|........ along with some Swans|
Other than the reserves, we popped into Newbiggins on Sea for Tea and added Ringed Plover to the list, (until the fog rolled in and we couldn't see a thing), Druridge Country Park for a Cuppa (Found out that a Slavonian Grebe was there, but after we'd left and didn't get chance to go back) and Cresswell Foreshore for an Ice Cream and Dolphins!
Black-headed Gull, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Coot, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Snipe, Wigeon & Wren.
Black-headed Gull, Blue Tit, Coot, Cormorant, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Great Black-backed Gull,
Great Crested Grebe, Kestrel, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard,
Short-eared Owl, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck & Wigeon.
Bar-tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Coot.
Cormorant, Curlew, Eider, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, House Sparrow,
Lapwing, Little Grebe, Mallard, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Redshank,
Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, White-fronted Goose & Wigeon.
Barn Owl, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gull, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch,
Common Sandpiper, Coot, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Golden Plover, Goldeneye,
Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Grey Partridge, Greylag Goose,
Herring Gull, Jack Snipe, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Magpie, Mallard,
Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Pink-footed Goose (in nearby field), Pochard, Red-breasted Merganser,
Redshank, Robin, Rock Dove, Rook, Scaup, Short-eared Owl, Snipe, Starling, Stonechat, Teal,
Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Wigeon & Woodpigeon.
Carrion Crow, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Ringed Plover, Starling, Turnstone & Woodpigeon.
Dolphins, Cormorant, Eider, Grey Heron, Oystercatcher & Redshank.