2nd Feb. Meeting up for lunch with a friend today I managed to ensure that the pub we were meeting in was within range of some birding, although by necessity the latter had to be quite brief. I was polite and asked if it was ok to take my scope to lunch. That I suppose may have been seen as a bit of a hint.
First stop was a bitterly cold Newbiggin by the Sea. I quickly picked up four Mediterranean Gulls (two adults and two second winter). Two Common Scoters were very close to shore. Both species were year ticks. I eventually managed a count of seven Red Throated Divers. I think that there probably more that I missed. Guillemots and Eiders Ducks were also on the sea. It was then time for lunch in the warm pub at Widdrington.
The chance was also taken to visit East Chevington where on arrival I spotted a Short Eared Owl as it flew over South Pool. I also managed a third year tick when finding the Green-winged Teal in almost the same spot as I found it in 2011. A Kestrel hovered in the distance, as I counted thirty-five Goldeneyes on North Pool.
The drive home was via Cresswell, so we had to stop for a look. As we did, two hundred Pink-footed Geese flew overhead. Before reaching the pond area we had seen the flock of Twite feeding on the ground with a large flock of Curlew in the background. Three Red-breasted Mergansers remain on the pond. Good numbers of Wigeon, Lapwing and Dunlin were about. I didn’t get into the hide.
Last stop was made for another look at the sea and three more Red Throated Divers were picked up.
It had been the type of lunch date I like with forty-five species recorded. The lunch itself was pretty average although the company fine. :-)