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Birding About Northumberland

Updated: 2016-09-07T21:26:50.391-07:00


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Popped to Cresswell today and came across quite a few Canada Geese on the sand bank in front of the hide, mixed in amongst them there were a few Greylag Geese, Lapwing, and Mallards. On the water a few Littel grebe were infront of the hide and Tuffted Ducks, there was a discussion going on about a Scaup and I think there was one amongst the tuffties but the camera didn't catch it in time. Moorhen and Coots were dotted about and a Heron popped by. Cormorants and more Greylag Geese were on the far bank.
3 Whimbrel flew in which was nice, there was a discussion about these as well as someone thought they were Curlew but I'm sticking with my initial ID of Whimbrel. Also on the pond I came across 3 oddities, I think they might be Pochard but any correction greatly received.(image) (image) (image)

1/2 hour at Druridge


Whilst my lesser Spotted Teenager and her boyfriend walked along the sands at Druridge today I popped to the hide for a 1/2 hour bird watching to see if anything new was around, and boy was I not dissapointed. A Marsh Harrier was pointed out to me in the far field through my binoculars I got a cracking view. Pity it was to far away for my camera to get a shot but never mind a tick for me. At first I thought it was a Buzzard but the pale head was a dead give away, beautiful.
Also spotted were Coot, Moorhen, the two Mute Swans with 2 young, lots of Tufted Ducks and Mallards. Swallows were flying here and there and also numerous Sand Martins. Just before I headed back a couple of Heron flew by, 2 Common Sandpipers made an apperance and I spotted a couple of Little Grebe. All in all a cracking 1/2 and hour. I didn't manage to get an decent photo's but these Moths / Butterflies took my fancy along the idea what they are but pretty pleased with the quality of the shots.(image) (image)

Spotted Redshank - What a beauty


Popped to Druridge Pools yesterday and was struck by how I had missed the place, Lots of Tuffted Ducks about, a couple of Mute Swans with 2 young, Little Grebes and Heron were all showing nice. Sandmartins were swooping close to the hide feeding and Cormorants were drying their wings on the island at the far end of the pool.(image) (image) (image)
2 Spotted Redshank were pointed out and wow what a beauty, fab birds and also 3 Ruff were pottering around next to the hide. 2 Snipe was spotted for a short time just in front of the hide but soon dissapeared into the shrubbery. A few Teal were spotted and as I was about to leave 2 when 2Common Sandpipers dropped in to say hello and of course I stayed a while longer. A cra(image) cking couple of hours.

Oban 2


Had another fab day and managed a picture of the Black Guillemots at Oban Harbour, got a blurred flying shot of a Guillemot whilst on the boat and have posted some snapshots of the Red Breasted Mergansers and there seems to be Pied Wagtail everywhere I look so I couldn't leave them out. A hooded Crow was very obliging at Glen Coe. Still no Raptors but Hey Ho a Cracking few days away from the Lesser and Greater spotted Teenagers.

Oban 1


Having a fab few days in Oban, Loch Etive has thrown us some Red Breasted Merganser, Mallard and some Gulls. Boat Trip to Corryvechan Whirlpool was great, got soaking wet but saw Kittiwake, Gannets, Guillemot and a tick for Black Guillemot, Red Deer on Jura, wild goats and Bottle Nose Dolphins. Also got a glimpse of an Osprey. Their nest has been destroyed in the gales that have been buffeting the west coast of Scotland. The Sea Eagles haven't managed to hang onto their nest either. Eider ducks and Oystercatchers seen on all loch shores and although on the look out for big raptors the mist is too low. Maybe today we will fair a bit better. Heading to Glen Coe and back to Oban for Tea. Black Guillemots in the Harbour so must remember my camera.
Got some photo's of the Mergansers and will try and post the pictures soon.

Wallington Hall




A few snap shots before I head off to Oban tomorrow morning, These were taken from Wallington Hall

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree


Hauxley Nature reserve was our port of call yesterday morning and was delighted to get a possible 2 ticks in one day. A cracking morning was spend scanning the pond from the hides and also the fields around the reserve where the warden was telling us 4 Heron were nesting with 12 chicks hatched.My first Tick (I hope) is of this Partridge, I have seen Red Legged Partridge before but I think these 2 are Grey Partridge....I came to this conclusion by the lack of white on its neck and also the rusty colour on its head. A hare was seen running along the top of the field which was nice. We headed to the first hide spotted Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Widgeon, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Mute Swan Redshank Mallard and hopefully Tick number 2.I think these Geese are Pink Footed..... The bill isn't as bright as the Greylag and the necks seem a bit more stumpy. The only thing putting me off is that my book says that they are a winter visitor so if they are Pink Footed Geese then why are they here, Birds and books can be confusing heheAlso on the ponds were what I think are Gadwell, These ducks have been pointed out to me before so it's not a tick but it will be a positive ID if I'm right. Scanning my bird book Gadwell and Pochard are the only ducks I could see with the Black rump, so fingers crossed I'm right.On the way back to the car a beautiful Whitethroat was spotted in the trees lining the path and sat and sung it's little heart out. I have seen Common Whitethroat at Castle Island, Ashington and thought they were the Lesser variety but my gut feeling is that this one is a Common Whitethroat but still a cracking bird who was very obliging and photogenic.Also spotted were Coot Moorhen Long Tailed Tit, Tree Sparrow (I think) ohh and not forgetting the family of Rats which apparently visit the bird feeders, ahhh I hate ratsA good morning out and as always comments and suggestions always welcome.[...]

Grumpy Birders



My sister (complete birding novice) and I popped to Cresswell today to see if the Avocets were about and to our delight 2 were asleep on the sandbank. Also bobbing about were Teal, Coot, Lapwiong, several Cormorant, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, a few Widgeon, Oystercatchers and Greylag Geese all in plenty of numbers. A Ring Plover dropped by for a short while and a few Heron were dotted about.

There were a few experienced birders in the hide today and were having a good time discussing what they kept seeing popping up from the grass, when my sister and I popped over to see what all the fuss was about they shut up and didn't move so we couldn't see but hay ho some people are just grumpy. HAHA they missed a fab photo opportunity of this cracking (what I think is a ) Sedge Warbler

After pointing out a few(image) birds we headed to Druridge bay where we had the right side hide to ourselves and no grumpy people to bother us. Pretty quite on the pond with Tuffted Ducks, Mallards, Coot, Moorhen and Geese dotted about. We came across this Grumpy Greylag Goose chasing away what I first thought were Red Breasted Mergansers but on closer inspection I beleive them to be Goosander. The bill has a hook at the end where as the Mergansers have what looks to be a longer bill and straight. I've only ID'd a Goosander once before so a cracking find although they are quite common.

We popped into the left hand side hide and immediately saw some type of wader on the far side of the flash, scanning my book as well as trying to keep them in view was no easy task, they were far away but I tried desperately to get a picture but all I got was a brown smudge. A guy popped in for 5 minutes and said he thought they were a couple of Ruff, but he wasnt sure, pitty would of been a tick if I could of gotten a possitive ID. Never mind might pop back at the weekend and see if they are still hanging about.

Cracking afternoon and my sister is hooked.

Cresswell Does it again



Its great to get out and about agin after a terrible virus and cresswell was my port of call today and boy was I not dissapointed. The Beautiful Avocets were feeding nicely and is a tick for me. I have tried on several occasions to catch a glimpse of these birds and failed but today I was lucky enough to spot 2 of the 4 which are hanging around the Cresswell pond. Great.

Also spotted were Black headed Gull, Lapwing, Teal, Coot, Swallow, Mallard, Tufted Duck Pied Wagtail, A lone Mute Swan, Magpie and Cormorant.

On the sand bank next to the hide a pair of

Sandwich Terns were doing a mating dance of sorts bef(image) ore getting down to business to an audience of several Shelduck, Lapwing and Redshank.

The warm weather is a welcome sign of more birds to come, Wheatear have been spotted at Hauxley along with some Common Tern and I'm sure I spotted a Stonechat on the way to the hide today.

Its good to see my first Swallow of the season and I can't wait till the House Martins are back in the street.

At leat 20 Sheld(image) uck were dotted about the pond today and they were showing their fabulous coulous really nicely in the sun. Absoloutly stunning. A good hours birding before tea and a fab way to end the day. Hoping to get out more at the weekend and maybe head up to Dunstanburugh Castle to see if the Fulmars and Kittiwakes have arrived.

Tick from the Archives


October 2009 brought a very rare bird to Druridge Bay, a Glossy Ibis dropped in for a few days and the tiny hide came a hive of activity for the birding community from far and wide. As it was local I popped down to see the little beauty and was amazed at how obliging it was and sat quite a while for photos.
With all the excitement lots of other more common birds didn't get a look in that day and as I was flicking through some photos this little cracker took my eye. On my all time bird list I have indicated a possible sighting of a Greenshank and I think I have one. Scanning my bird book I first thought it to be a Sandpiper but realised it was the wrong colour and the bill was to big, next on my list was a Greenshank and although the picture in my book indicates a more curved bill I think for once
I may be right. If I'm right my all time list will be 113
Other cracking finds of the day were this Grey Plover which dropped in for a photo and a Little Grebe was also bobbing about.

I'm still amazed at how excited I get when I see something and try to ID it, even if I'm wrong which is quite often its still a great pass time and although these two birds were over shadowed that day by the Glossy Ibis I am so pleased I have found them for this blog entry. I have come to realise it's not just about the rare birds, the more common ones are just as important to me.

A little help needed (again)


I've been off work for a while with a virus and I have had plenty of time to look through my old bird photo's and come across some smashing little blighters including this one taken at Cresswell in June 2009.
To many a trained eye it is a simple task to identify this little beauty, but as many of you know by now I am not as skilled in that department as I would like and more often get things muddled and wrong.
So here goes and yes you can laugh at my deductions if you so desire.....
The photo was taken at Creswell where there are lots of reeds....I don't think it's a female Reed Bunting because of the beak shape and the lack of streaks. My next guess would be a different sort of Reed dwelling bird so I looked up a Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler and came to the conclusion that because of the plain brown colouring it is most probably a Reed Warbler. If it is then its a Tick for me as it's not on my list.
Even if I am completely wrong it doesn't matter it's still a lovely little bird which has filled in an hour or so on what seems to be endless days of attempting to get better.
Any suggestions would be most welcome

Forgotten Tick


I haven't been able to use my lap top for a while due to a problem with the wireless connection but after receiving a new box last week I'm happy to report I'm up and running again.

Hunting through some old photos I came across this delightful bird which I had totally forgotten about. It was taken down near Castle Island on the River Wansbeck 23rd June 2009 and I believe it to be a Lesser White Throat which takes my all time list to 112.

Delighted to add this beauty to my list and all though I remember being hassled by the flies this little cracker didn't seem to mind.

Two Knot or not Two Knot that is the question?


Popped to Cresswell today to discover a deserted beach and these two delightful birds on the rocks. These and 1 Oystercatcher were the only feathered friends that I saw on land which is unusual for Cresswell. Then I was baffled by what they actually were and proceeded to try and get an ID photo to look at when I got home. Armed with a cuppa and a Marks and Spencers Scone I hunted out my bird books and came to this rather long conclusion......First thought ....Dunlin....they have a bit of a dark patch on the belly, fairly common winter visitor to coastal areas, so maybe....nope wrong...beak to short and wrong shape, only shows dark patch in summer.Second thought......Grey Plover....hmm maybe but unsure if they are common in the North East in Winter as book says Jul -Nov and Apr - May but a common winter visitor to some areas, so conflicting evidence there. Its a possibility.Third thought.....Knot....Looks to be the right colour, beak about the right size and shape, didn't get a good enough look at the legs to see if they are Green / Grey but are a common winter visitor, so it looks promising.Now if they are Knot I have a new tick which would be great but if they are Grey Plover then that's great as well as I've only seen 1 bird before and that had to be pointed out to me, so either way it's OK.A few Cormorant and Eider Ducks were seen just off the shore and Gulls were dotted here and there. All in all a great afternoon and I've had a cracking time as always trying to ID the little blighters. Even if I am totally wrong still a lovely afternoon. Hubby didn't get any photo's today despite the weather forecast saying it was to be a sunny afternoon but I was quite happy with my snapshots.As always comments much appreciated.[...]

Seaside Sanderlings


This morning on the way to Morpeth for my weekly scone trip to Marks and Spencers (highly recommended) a huge Buzzard landed on the fence just in front of the car, pitty I didn't have the camera with me as it was really close by and quite some size with all the feather marking clearly visable and quite stunning.
Later in the day hubby and I popped down to chilly Blyth Harbour to be met by some Mute Swans looking for something to eat. Redshank and Oystercatchers were in large numbers on the Cambois side of the harbour and a group of 6 Eider ducks 3 females and 3 immature males swam by. (image)
We later headed to Blyth beach for a quick walk along the shore and spotted a few Sanderlings at the tide line despite the number of dog walkers disturbing the peace they hung around for quite a while. At least 20 Cormorants passed by and landed just inside the harbour mouth and started to fish, which was quite fascinating to watch. Loads of Gulls were here and there and I spotted at least 3 Black Backed Gulls amongst the Black Headed variety. With my cheeks starting to freeze and Marks and Spencers scone calling me to go home we headed off home after a canny trip to the seaside.

Tick - 111



A Fieldfare has been spotted visiting my garden in Ashington, Christmas Tick and a real delight. After several days with the camera poised on the kitchen window sill and hours waiting patiently for a positive ID this lovely bird stayed long enough today for me to catch a quick photo. Not very good as it was taken through my window but still a delight and a thrill to have this beautiful bird visit us for a quick snack on the nuts and seeds we put out daily.
Bird List to date 111

Rare Garden Delight


(image) With the snow really thick in our garden plenty of seed and apples have been put out daily to help our feathered friends.
To my astonishment and a garden tick some Reed Buntings popped in for lunch. I have never seen Reed Buntings in the garden before and they stayed quite a while. The resident Black Birds didn't quite know what to make of these strange visitors and let them have their fill of Christmas goodies.

Other birds hanging around for lunch this week have been Robin, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Sparrow, Starling, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren and of course Black Birds.
The Buntings definately put a smile on my face today. I normally catch sight of them at Cresswell so a real delight to have them come to me for a change.
Merry Christmas

St Mary's Delight


Hubby and I popped down to St Mary's this afternoon...mad I know in the freezing weather we have had lately, but a crack(image) ing hour was spend scanning the fields and pond.
First thing we noticed on arrival were these poor birds sheltering behind tufts of grass I think they are Purple Sandpipers, but I may be wrong. There were everywhere in the field opposite the pond and they did look incredibly cold. Unfortunately they all had their backs to us so getting a clear shot for ID was quite a task. Groups of 3-4 birds were scattered through out the field but after a few minutes hoping they would turn around we headed to the pond.
At the first viewing point opposite the field we were delighted to spot what we first thought was a Siskin, but after downloading the photos this afternoon we discovered what we think is a Yellowhammer, a Tick for me. I came to this
(image) conclussion by the colour of it's legs and the lack of black on it's head. If it is a Yellowhammer then Its a cracking feeling when you compare a couple of birds and Id it correctly. A cracking little bird a delight to watch. It hung around for quite a while feeding on some seeds and nuts someone had left on the fence.
Birds spotted from here were Robin, Lapwing, Wren, Goldfinch and an absolute delight Snipe. A few were spotted at the waters edge and 2 took flight and landed in the field beside some Curlew and some more Lapwing.
We were starting to feel cold at this point and headed to the small exposed beach which was in
the process of being engulfed by waves. Ringed Plover were spotted, Oystercatchers, Redshank, Turnstones and a little higher up on the bank Pipits were popping their heads up here and there. The tide was in and Hubby didn't hang around to get some photos for his Flickr site but an excellent afternoon birding. Cold and ready for a hot cuppa we headed for home.

Cambois snow storm


Hubby and I popped down to Cambois beach and Blyth Harbour yesterday to try and get a few pictures for his flickr site and do a bit of birding at the same time. I have just found out that Snow Buntings were at the other side of the harbour...bloody hell I missed them.
Anyway the weather was ok when we started off and saw some Eider Ducks being sensible and staying close to shore, a couple of Cormorants flew over and loads of Gulls were dotted here and there. On the rocks closer to the Harbour Oystercatcher and Redshank were scratching about for food and Sanderlings were spotted running in and around the water line. Pippits were seen on the dunes trying to take shelter from the snow that was starting to fall. To my delight a Turnstone was spotted and also a Heron. On the way back to the car a couple of Curlew had joined the Oysterc(image) atcher and Redshanks. The snow storm cleared for a couple of shots for hubby's flickr but as my eye balls were almost frozen I headed back to the car.

Not many garden birds seen today a couple of Starlings, Dunnock and Sparrow. A Magpie popped into say hello and a Blackbird stopped by for some bread. Feeders are starting to get a bit of attention and some squabbling broke out over the fatballs. Hopefully the snow will thaw soon.....not really likely though.

Peregrine and Plovers


Popped to Cresswell for half an hour at the hide to find out I had just missed a Peregrine Falcon, what a shame if I hadn't chopped the veg in preperation for my soup making later today I could of seen it, never mind plenty of other birds to be seen from the hide.
Loads of Gloden Plover were on the sand bank along with Lapwing, Curlew and Redshank. I would of probably guessed they were Golden Plover but a guy pointed them out which isn;t quite the same as discovering them for yourself. Along with the Plover there were very cute Dunlin, now these I did need help on as I thought they were Sanderlings but then again I am often wrong.


Off in the distance I spotted some Golden Eye which were a delight and a couple of Heron were perched at the waters edge. A little Grebe swam out of the reeds and Teal were abundant. Widgeon were dotted about and I spotted 1/2 dozen Snipe near the sand bank which were a delight to watch. A large colony of Whooper Swans dropped in and a first of the season for me which was nice.

All in all a very productive half an hour and with the soup making beckoning I headed home with a smile on my face.

Purple Sandpiper ????


Hubby and I popped down to Cresswell late on Saturday night to catch the sunset and amongst the Redshank on the rocks was this dumpy little bird (pictured below) There was several dotted about and after consulting my bird book I think it is a Purple Sandpiper ? They apparently can be seen on the North East coast during the winter and it's a fabulous ID and tick for me so well worth standing in the cold wind for an hour or so.
Another one of my Favourite shore birds were in abundance but tricky to spot without my binoculars... Ringed Plover, not rare I know but a delight to watch. Its amazing how these little birds can stand the cold temperatures of the North East Coast.


(image) Lots of Gulls were on the rocks along with Oystercatcher, a few Cormorants were off in the distance.
I was really on the look out for Turnstones amongst the seaweed and rocks but none were to be found. Cold and Shivery with a slight headache (must remember my hat) we headed back to the car where a number of Goldfinches were spotted on the bushes. This little critter stopped for a photo and I did originally think it could be something exotic for me like a Redwing or Stonechat but after downloading the images I think its a Sparrow, Nice all the same. Cracking hour out and about but a cup of tea was beckoning.

It just gets better


Although the weather was poor yesterday Hubby and I headed to Cresswell pond, poor visibility made taking photos a challenge. The birds were off in the distance when we first arrived but Moorhen and Mallard came close. Lapwing were in abundance on the far bank and a lone Shelduck was spotted amongst them. Canada Geese were still around but not in the numbers seen last time. Amongst the Teal and Widgeon a different duck was spotted and another tick for me I am happy to say, between my bird book, hubby and I we ID'd this fantastic Pintail which was true delight, 3 ticks in 2 visits to Cresswell you can't get better than that. Or can it?After about 1/2 an hour of having the hide to ourselves we were joined by a couple who looked like serious birders, had all the gear and pointed out a Scaup. There were 4 on the pond but I had them down as being Tufted Ducks, Mike got a picture or two and when I downloaded them I realised they weren't Tufties after all. Another tick but not my own ID. Still cool though. A Little Grebe emerged out of the rushes in front of the hide along with a couple of Moorhen. There was plenty of bird song in the trees and rushes in front and at the side of the hide, Birds flitting here and there but not resting long enough for a photo. This little Wren sat long enough which was great. Wrens are one of my favourite birds and I just love to see them foraging about.A Female Reed Bunting made an appearance, I wasn't sure at first what it was but after consulting my book when I got home I believe it to be a female. I have seen many male Reed Buntings at Cresswell but this is a first for the female.Heading back to the car we spotted something a bit different on the farm house roof, unsure of what it was we took a snapshot and headed home chilled to the bone. I must remember to put a warmer coat on next time, The damp and drizzle doesn't suit me at all. The little bird I think is a Pied Wagtail, which was a real delight and rounded of a fab morning. The drizzle and mist made for poor photos but you can't have perfect conditions all of the time.Other birds spotted today were a Heron, Meadow Pipit, Blue Tit, Magpie, Robin and Black Bird. A cracking list I think you will agree. [...]

Smitten by a Bittern


I had 45 minutes free time this afternoon and I raced like the wind down to Cresswell to try and take a snapshot of the little bird I saw at the weekend. No such luck today, but I did spot 1/2 dozen Goldfinches buzzing around the bushes which was nice.I headed to the hide to and was astounded to see a Bittern just outside the hide. (Tick number 1) The 2 gentlemen who were in the hide were looking through scopes and all sorts of equipment but not towards the Bittern. I said ' is that a Bittern?' and all hell let loose with camera and equipment being re-directed. They hadn't spotted it....... the bird didn't fancy it's photo taken and flew off. I did salvage a couple of in flight shots but was annoyed at myself for saying anything before I got a good photo. I know next time. It was standing head pointing towards the sky and the streaks on its neck were visable as well as the black cap. Fabulous and I have read that they are rare so a nice tick for me.My favorite ducks were in abundance and a few swam close enough for a snapshot.To my astonishment tick number 2 came along....Snipe... Just sitting there very peaceful. This is what the 2 gentlemen had been watching. The long bill gave it away and I pretty much new what they were before consulting my book. Wow I must be improving.It was a great 45 minutes and really cheered me up. Other birds spotted today were Lapwings, Canada Geese and on the way back to the car I am sure I spotted a Wheatear on the wall. [...]

Cresswell Pond


It was nearing sunset when Hubby and I arrived at Cresswell pond to be met by 1/2 dozen Little Grebe swimming just infront of the hide, what a delight. With the light fading we scanned the pond and spotted Tuffted Duck, Canada Geese, Coot, Moorhen and Malards all within ID range. Amongst the geese I spotted what I think was a Greylag, couldn't see any more of the same kind to give a positive ID. Lapwings were in abundance and very noisy showing anything coming close who was boss, they were mostly on the left hand bank. A Heron flew in and landed near the rushes and whilst I was scanning the area I spotted some lovely Teal, so a real delight as they are my favourite duck.

On the way back to the car along the path, there was a bird I have seen before in the bushes but have not had a possitive ID. I have seen many Reed Buntings at Cresswell and this little bird has a Pale stripe above the eye but I don't think it was a female Reed Bunting. My guess is a Sedge Warbler but the camera was in my bag and after consulting my bird book it says they are only summer visitors to the North East so it remains a mystery. I think it could be some sort of Warbler???????

If any of you experienced birders are at Cresswell please let me know if you see the little bird in the bushes. It has a pale eyebrow and about the size of a sparrow, it's a long shot I know.

We headed to the beach and the tide was out allowing hundrends of Oyster Catchers to scour the rocks. Redshank and a variety of Gulls were all in abundance. I did see what I thought was a few Black Tailed Godwits amongst the Oystercatchers at the waters edge, They definately had a buff colour to the neck and chest. I was very excited at the prospect of a tick but after consulting my trusty bird book I came to the conclusion they were most probably Bar Tailed Godwits and maybe a juveniles, still a nice sighting.

All in all no photo opportunities but a cracking hour out of the house.

Garden Update


Thought I would sit at the window with my bins yesterday and was surprised to see a Coaltit visit the feeders, A bit unusual for our garden. Lots of House Sparrows bobbing about along with the two Wood Pigeons that seem to be in the garden on a daiyly basis. No Starlings today but plenty of Bluetits and a lovely Dunnock popped in to say hello. The House Martins are still in the street but the numbers have started to dwindle these past few weeks. I didn't see any Blackbirds today at the feeders which was a bit unusual as well.

Below are another set of photos I came across from our trips out this summer, Some better than others.
(image) (image) (image)
(image) I think this is a redshank? The image in my book doesn't show the stripes on the belly and rump quite so clear as this. I tend to think of any bird with Red legs to be a Redshank so I may be wrong.

Newbiggin at Sun Set


My Hubby and I popped down to Needles Eye at Newbiggin by the Sea last night at about 6.30 for some relaxing birding and photos. The light faded really quick but we did spot some nice Robins squabbling on the fence and some Gulls flying past. Mike got wet as usual taking some cracking photos (see below) and I got myself settled with the binoculars handy. I didn't have to wait long to see some Cormorants fly past and to my absolute delight a Gannet flew really close to the rocks which made my day. I didn't have the camera handy which was a real shame but I think these birds are a real delight, The black wing tips and yellow tinge to the head was clearly visable, a very powerful and stately bird and after such a long time recuperating it was a nice surprise to see one so close.(image)