With time to spare today I headed beyond Craster into the Stringer's lair. I thought I might pick up the Ring Ouzel and then have a leisurely look on the sea. As I arrived having not visited Newton since about 2002 I suddenly realised that I should have paid more attention to the Stringer's blog. I knew the Ouzel was around a dung heap but could I hell as like remember whether the dung heap was in High or Low Newton.
Nothing else for it but get my skates on and do both then. I parked in North Northumberland's most expensive car park and hotfooted it down hill thinking perhaps the dung heap was in the field approaching Newton Pool as that area used to get lots of passerines or at least there was always a Pied Wag there whenever we went.
Dungless the field was, so back up the hill I shot with a just a passing glance at the flycatching male Stonechat on the fence north of the beach.
Perhaps it was by the barns at the low end of High Newton I thought, car window down and my over sized nose out of the window searching for the aroma but once again nothing.
Then I remembered there used to be a bit of a dung heap up by the Long Nanny car park so ignoring the prime habitat (wet field) and new wetland (more wet fields) that I'm sure weren't there in my youth I shot through. It had a familiar look, would i recognise the fence posts from Stringer's pictures, was that the piece of discarded farm equipment that I think the bird was pictured under. Maybe it had moved into the adjacent farm garden, it would be feeding with the Blackbirds but no not a hint of a white crescent in sight.
To cut a long story short I ran out of time, kippers were collected and a Common Buzzard hovering over Cullernose Point provided a smidgen of consolation as I made the journey back to Alnmouth.
Edit, Forgot second butterfly species of the year in a south facing Alnmouth garden, one Small Tortoiseshell.