6th January 2012 – Back on the east coast again

After the storms of recent days the forecast for the northeast coast today was much calmer and brighter, and with a couple of days off work we headed east across the A69. With no news on the Desert Wheatear since the 3rd I wondered whether the storms had made it move on or worse, killed it. Undeterred we made Newbiggin-by-the-Sea our first stop, quickly adding Med Gull to the year list as we parked the car.

It soon became apparent that the Wheatear had indeed done the dirty and buggered off, a single Purple Sandpiper being the best we could find on the rocks at Beacon Point. Two Short-eared Owls were scoped distantly across the golf course as they hunted over the Ash Lagoon and 4 Greenland Whitefronts were seen nearby at Woodhorn Flash. We then headed south along the coast stopping off just south of Blyth to look for some Snow Buntings that had been reported. It was a busy little stubble field with loads of Tree Sparrows, Yellowhammers, Chaffinches, and 16 Grey Partridge as well as the Snow Buntings.

A little further south it would’ve been rude not to pop in and see the Lesser Scaup still residing at Marden Quarry…

To finish off a pleasant day we went to Prestwick Carr where the Great Grey Shrike was seen very distantly and a few Short-eared Owls gave stunning views again.

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