27th Oct. Alerted to the fact that Richard's Pipit and Yellow-browed Warbler were being reported at St Mary’s Island today, despite the threatening rain, I set off mid afternoon to take a look. On arrival I bumped into both Northumbrian Birding and Sedgedunum Birder. The pipit had flown, but after a bit of a wait the Yellow-browed Warbler was found. Not a brilliant sighting, as it wasn’t showing well, and accompanying Goldcrest and Blue Tits were not making it easy to track. I did finally get a couple of sightings that I was satisfied with before the area seemed to go very quiet indeed. So I have finally caught up with the Yellow-browed Warbler this year.
Despite the rain I decided to walk to Seaton Sluice. As the light was going and I was soaking up the rain I called a halt at Hartley. I don’t mind walking in rain and the atmosphere was good this evening with only the flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing in the fields as company for most of the walk. I disturbed a large squealing Brown Rat near the mounds. I took a short look over the sea and found a Red Throated Diver flying north but little else apart from Cormorants, Gulls and a flock of in flight Eider Ducks. There was little to no wind and the quietness allowed me to take in fully the sounds of the pounding sea and calling birds.
I was at Low Newton yesterday, 26th Oct, in very different weather. I’d forgotten that it was half term and so the area wasn’t quite as peaceful as I had expected, but walking the area was enjoyable. Hoped for migrant birds were not about. There was little to be seen over or on the sea although Gannets and Common Scoter were found. Waders seen were Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew. I found five Purple Sandpipers on the edge of the rocky area and the Golden Plover were a splendid sight in the sun, on one occasion flying low directly overhead.
The bird of the day was a first winter Little Gull watched from the hide as it landed on the pool.
I was told by someone visiting the area and sporting expensive binoculars that they had found an Olivaceous Warbler down the track from the church opposite the car park. I took a look, but I found nothing more than a Chiffchaff. It does look a good little area to look at however.