7th/8th Aug. I’d heard that the change in winds promised to bring good sea passage and possibly a good fall of birds on Saturday so Sam and I visited the coast in the afternoon. Apart from the good assortment of waders always provided at this time of year and an Arctic Skua flying south we didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. We did manage to get sand blasted in the cold wind as we watched the waders just as one or two folk passed us wearing tee-shirts and shorts! We also bumped into several birders we knew today.
When we got to Seaton Sluice we found that there wasn’t too much room ‘at the inn’ as the Tower Hide was occupied by three sea watchers who apparently weren’t seeing to much either, although we believe there had been birds out there in the morning. We sat outside off the hide for a short time and had good sightings of Wheatears. The Common Rosefinch was either long gone or hiding in vegetation as no one was picking it up now. We settled on having our tea.
After tea a short stint in the hide brought us another Arctic Skua, this time flying north. A flock of about one hundred and forty Eider Duck were joined on the sea blow the hide by several Common Scoters, as we watched the Fulmars and Gannets.
So not that much about, but an enjoyable day anyway and we watched a couple of Common Whitethroats as we made off for home.
Today (Sunday) saw us making for Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. We’ve recently put in the hours trying to capture images of the visiting Kingfisher/s. The reserve is generally quiet at the moment so we made straight for the hide where we were told that Kingfishers had been showing earlier in the morning. After about an hour and twenty minutes, during which a Little Grebe provided some relief, a male Kingfisher flew in close to the hide. It proved to be an excellent ‘model’ and perched, preened and fished within a few feet/yards of us for at least twenty minutes. I’ve seen many Kingfishers, some good sightings, but often as a blue flash before my eyes. This is the best sighting I’ve had. I’ll let the images speak for themselves.