Friday brought little more than a couple of Chiffchaffs along the Ash Lagoons while Beacon Point held two Purple Sandpipers and two Wheatears. I headed for the Woodhorn hedge as much to get out the wind as anything else. I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye while grazing on blackberries and looked up to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker flick off the dead tree above me and fly across into the big garden opposite.
Today seemed even more uninspiring but the dog needed to be walked so I headed back to the Ash Lagoons. The new fence around the former football pitch that has sprang up in recent days presumably to keep the horses in one area, has come on apace; plenty of new shrike perches for the Masked when it turns up.
By the time I had reached the gorse, the grand total of one Robin, one Dunnock and lazy group of Goldfinches seemed to confirm that the fence was probably the only new addition on the patch today. Then I heard it, that three note buzzy call 'zzz zzz zzz' from the broom and gorse along the main fence, half-expecting a Great Tit to stick its head up I was more than happy when a belting buffy Willow Tit whirred across the path just in front of me into a dog rose.
Only my second record since 1989 at Newbiggin, the last in August 2001 in almost exactly the same spot. Presumably a bit of post-breeding dispersal from local breeding sites a few miles inland. Just rewards for a bit of effort and brings up a respectable 140 for Newbiggin this year.
Four Wheatears and two Med Gulls around the north bay and a dark looking Meadow Pipit on the path were the meagre pickings from the reminder of the circuit.