With a brisk east breeze Newbiggin (where else?) was an obvious destination to check on any sea passage; good numbers of auks including a high percentage of Razorbills moved through (c.20 in 10 minutes); ADMc picked up our first Manx Shearwater of the year and a small movement of Red-throated Divers north punctuated the morning.
Castle Island up next and a drake Shoveler on the river, whilst four Common Swifts were my first this year, hawking for insects above the south bank trees with all three hirundine species present as well.
I headed south to Cambois, quiet for birds with two non-singing Grasshopper Warblers and a Common Whitethroat the only notable sightings. Walking back along the old railway line I did however note some moths on the wing. Last year I 'found' a small colony of Lesser Treble Bar at this site. Struck me yesterday that it was still April (oh I'm bright) and to be honest I wasn't sure if the other (Treble Bar) didn't also occur here,so I texted TT the county moth recorder. Eventually after a few texts I went back to the car and trapped one, it's in the fridge pending pictures and proper identification. Either way it's the first April record in the county for either species and if it is Lesser Treble Bar as I suspect it's a good two weeks earlier than previous earliest.
I headed up the coast in the afternoon, the adult Black-tailed Godwit still on Cresswell Pond though I spent more time searching through the hirundines for non-existent Red-rumped Swallows. A couple of birders at the entrance to Druridge turned out to be watching a spanking male Black Redstart. Sadly I didn't take the camera with me as it was raining when I went back out so I had to improvise with a bit of Iphone-scoping.
After a quick look from the Budge screen, 2 Pintails still and a small number of Wigeon, I moved on to East Chevington chasing the earlier shower and that Red-rumped Swallow or perhaps a Black Tern. In the event I settled for some outstanding views of a flock of 15 Whimbrel feeding in a field south of the north pool. Parking in a gateway, using the car as a hide and simultaneously holding scope and phone produced perhaps the best result I've ever had digiscoping as they fed close to the gate until flushed by a calling Crow.