The forecast of rain today turned out to be intermittent drizzle and a gradual drop in temperature.
As I passed the fields near Lynemouth, I was momentarily excited by a large, pale, distant, gull shape; but it turned out to be Larus plasticbagus.
Snab Point, Cresswell – The tide was on its way in when I stopped briefly on the out-trip along my usual coastal route. A few Oystercatchers and Redshanks were the only waders. There were two Fulmars flying around the cliff face.
Druridge Pools – As I passed the field before the reserve entrance, I noticed a large flock of Pink-feet, so I viewed them from my usual vantage point and counted around 800. The light was not good for distinguishing pinkish from orangish, but they all looked pink-foot sized and shape.
Widdrington Lake – Two Great Northern Divers are still resident. No geese, but plenty of Black-headed and Herring Gulls. A mixture of Mallards, Wigeons, Teal and Tufties were present along with two or three pairs of Goldeneye.
East Chevington – The usual mixture of ducks on the north pool, with the addition of two Pochards and the long staying male Long-tailed Duck. Only one Little Grebe on view. A single Red-breasted Merganser did a double flypast, but there were none of the usual females in evidence.
From the viewpoint over the south pond, 43 Whooper Swans were in the field beyond the pond.
There were at least two pairs of Bullfinches attracted by emerging buds and a Sprawk shot over the road as I left.
Druridge Pools – A short trip to the middle hide revealed only two Black-wits; but there were about 100 Curlews and around 40 Redshanks. A single Pintail drake had been seen, but it eluded me. A Little Egret was resting beyond the Budge Screen.
The large pond was rather quiet, with no sign of Gadwalls; usually a safe bet. A drake Goldeneye was getting very frisky and displaying enthusiastically in front of a seemingly unimpressed female.
Cresswell Pond – On my return trip I checked the north extension and there were lots of Lapwings, Dunlins and Redshanks. On this occasion I gave the main pond hide a miss.
Snab Point (again) – The tide had risen and there must have been a shoal of fish just beyond the rocks, as I counted at least 12 Red-throated Divers and 5 Porpoises. A few Guillemots also hung around.
On the rocks I saw my first Purple Sandpipers of the year, only two, along with Turnstones, Oystercatchers and Redshanks. A small flock of Eiders were the only other birds on the sea nearby.