Monday, 6 January 2014

Grey skies, grey seas and a grey phalarope

Whilst most people were going back to work, I had to take a bit more time off to look after the kids.  A stroll along Bamburgh beach is a traditional 'teacher's training day' activity.  On the way to Bamburgh, there were 80+ wigeon in a flooded field close to Bradford Kame.

Stag Rock car park produced good views of great northern diver (1-2 one bird flew south), red throated diver (12+), black throated diver (1 flew south), long tailed duck (9+), red breasted merganser (3) and good numbers of auks and gulls.  There was a flock 30+ purple sandpipers, 10 turnstones, 3 knot and a party of twite (12).

A walk towards Budle Point produce good views of long-tailed ducks, common scoter (at least 300 in three different flocks), velvet scoter (5+ - four males and at least one female) and a good number of kittiwakes offshore.

Back at the car, we met Winnie, who had been looking for divers and grebes.  After a discussion, we decided to part - Winnie headed for the Golf course.  We were just about to leave, when a 'sanderling type' wader came into view and suddenly land in the sea, just offshore.  This was no sanderling but one of the grey phalaropes that had been lingering in the area.  The bird was watched for 5 minutes - landing in the sea and onshore.  Needless to say I went to find Winnie and we came back to search for this marine wader but the wind had picked up and viewing conditions were poor.

There were 7 purple sandpipers and 120+ lapwing on the rock to the north of Seahouses harbour.

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