I started yesterday with a stroll along the north beach at Newbiggin where the 1st-winter male Desert Wheatear has managed to successfully avoid the attentions of the local Merlin and Peregrine (so far). It is not discerning in who it approaches closely so along with many others I held my breath as it flew towards me, landed 20feet away and then walked up to look at me from closer than I could focus the camera at (so less than 1.8m).
As it fed close to me it spent a great deal of time opening its beak though not to feed, at the closest point I heard it 'croak' a raspy note, I wouldn't describe it as a a call. No doubt New Year's Day will see some heavy footfall.
Three Rock Pipits fed in the same area of the beach. At Church Point 70 Knot were on the rocks along with a single Purple Sandpiper.