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Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Mediterranean feel

A trip up north with Andy and Mark today after news of a Lesser Kestrel at Marsden Quarry near Sunderland came on yesterday afternoon with a supporting cast of an unseasonal Bee-eater, Little Bunting etc also in the area. We arrived at a cold, frosty but sunny Marsden nice and early and it soon became apparent there had been no sign of the Lesser Kestrel, we hung around for a while but the only Kestrels seen were Common then we got news that the juv Bee-eater was still present down the road at Seaburn so off we went, a total surprise at this time of year, although it probably came on the same winds as the Kestrel, this bird was a little cracker and posed admirably on trees and television aerials on a little housing estate there throughout the morning. We spent some time having our fill of this bird but with no more news on the Kestrel we eventually moved off to Whitburn Coastal Park where a Yellow Browed Warbler had been reported, however, elusive was putting it mildly and we failed to see it then upon hearing the Little Bunting had been seen again today near Houghton-le-Spring we decided to try for that, we headed inland out of the coastal sunshine into fog and after finding the site, a Park in the Lambton estate, we joined the small group of birders staking out a hedge where it had last been seen, it certainly wasn’t looking good at first with the poor visibility and lay of the land but after about an hour the shout went up, a guy had got onto it a bit further up the hedge, it dropped into the grass and then incredibly fed in a small flattened area no more than five or six feet away from us, fantastic views just a bit awkward for photography. With the afternoon getting late we finished with a quick look at the lake at Bishop Middleham where there had been a Long Tailed Duck yesterday but no sign of it this afternoon still all in all a pretty successful day.

Wow what a superb bird

not easy getting a clear shot through the long grass

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