Steady rain resulted in a need for shelter this morning so I kicked off with an hour seawatching at Newbiggin. The shelter here as locals will know is rudimentary and whilst it may keep off the worst of the weather any reasonable amount of wet stuff results in a 'run back' along the underside of the concrete roof ensuring that at least one leg gets a good soaking. I subsequently spent the rest of the morning with a wet right knee.The sea was predictably quiet, 2 Red-throated Divers north, another on the sea, 2 Shags whilst a patch year tick resulted in only a half hearted attempt to lift my bins as they passed the point in tandem. A well spread pod of 6-8 Harbour Porpoise livened up proceedings marginally before I left for better cover.
Cresswell Pond hide was predictably quiet too, not a good morning for photography so a lens free zone for once. I caught up with the wintering Ruff this morning that conveniently dropped onto the sandbar just beyond the cut reeds and showed well for a short while before commuting back to the field west of the hide. Eight Red-breasted Mergansers were the only other attraction on a quiet morning.
I risked the swampy entrance to the Budge hide at Druridge Pools but was pleasantly surprised that it seems to have been fixed and was almost desert-like and firm underfoot in the wet conditions. There are now three Pintail on the field, a male and two females, still good numbers of wildfowl and a dozen Common Snipe.