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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Northern Whites

Out with Mark and Paz today and it was up into Northumberland this morning, the main target being the long staying Long Billed Dowitcher at Cresswell Ponds, unfortunately there was no sign of it there this morning nor at nearby Hemscott Hill another of its favoured haunts, mid morning we headed up the road to East Chevington for a Slavonian Grebe and a female Scaup then Druridge Bay CP for a reported Iceland Gull, didn’t see that though, as we returned we took a quick look at a lake close to Widdrington where there had been Great Northern Diver, again we failed to find that but a drake Scaup and Red Breasted Merganser were nice. Before departing for Teesside we had one last scan at Hemscott Hill for the Dowitcher, a Bar Tailed Godwit got the pulses racing but still no joy, we got a nice bonus when seven Tundra Bean Geese dropped into the field behind though, one last port of call as we headed South was the Queen Elizabeth 2 CP where we finally caught up with an Iceland Gull. Back in Teesside we headed for Hartlepool where we connected with three Snow Buntings near the de Brus tunnel and three Shore Larks on waste ground South of the Cemeteries, then it was on to Jackson’s Landing where an imm Glaucous Gull was showing really well, a brief visit to Ward Jackson Park for the Parakeets was followed by a stop at Newburn Bridge, no sign of the Med Gull but there was small selection of Waders on the rocks, we ended the day around the Seaton Common/Snook area, no Owls or Twite to be had but there was a good selection of Gulls and Waders on the high tide roost which were all put to flight when a Peregrine shot through. Annoyingly the Dowitcher was seen in the afternoon but as always there's a limit to how much time you put in for one bird especially when there's other stuff to go for.
this drake Goldeneye was quite close at QE2 CP

but it didn't overshadow the star bird

even though there were a few bikers bombing around the Snow Bunts were quite approachable
the Shore Lark however were quite skittish

Glaucous showed well at Jackson's Landing although it was reluctant to leave the water this afternoon

snacking in the Park

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