Freed from the shackles of the Winter Atlas there was a spring in my step as I got out the car into a brisk northeasterly this morning at Newbiggin. Cold enough to keep all but the hardiest of dog walkers away I almost had the north bay to myself for three hours. I had intended to take some more Pipit images but with the snow gone the six Rock Pipit that were around were mobile to say the least. The Snow Bunting that was loosely associating with them was slightly more confiding, although more wary than the St Mary's bird it kept flying out onto the rocks and then back to the grassy banks between golf course and beach.
Snow Bunting, Newbiggin
I spent a good couple of hours clambering around the rocks to get to various vantage points and then huddling down ahead of the tide waiting to see if anything was pushed toward me. At the north end toward Beacon Point 55 Golden Plover with just one coming into summer plumage shuffled in ahead of the rising water. Groups of Oystercatcher were spread along the tideline along with a single Bar-tailed Godwit. A couple of Purple Sandpiper at the south end of the beach were the pick of the waders, they always seem to be the
taxa species that lingers the longest ahead of the tide, the one below was almost swimming at one point.
Purple Sandpiper, Newbbiggin
I walked back into the south bay to check for Mediterranean Gull thinking that one or two of the wintering adult may have a full cap by now. At least six present today across the full spread of ages, with two adult, two 2nd-winter and two 1st-winter. Still too early for the full black head, at least here, they remain an easy target for images I can never get too many.
Mediterranean Gull, 1st-winter,2nd-winter & adult
Heading home along the A189 toward Linton I came across the Whooper Swan flock (41) in the large field southwest of the A1068 roundabout. As they were fairly close to the hedge I turned the car to try and take a couple of record shots, as I did a female Peregrine came from behind me and through the field heading East. Having omitted to include a Red-breasted Merganser at Cresswell from Friday on the Self-Found List, along with today's additions of Purple Sandpiper & Peregrine it's moving along quite nicely.