Just two days later I found a Green-winged Teal at Druridge Pools and a Black-necked Grebe at East Chevington.
On the 18th a first-winter Rose-coloured Starling was in Prudhoe.
A weekend's twitching was very successful with a superb Laughing Gull at New Brighton in Cheshire along with 3 Iceland Gulls and a Caspian Gull in Yorkshire.
A week in Devon in early April produced 2 stupidly confiding Penduline Tits, plenty of Cirl Buntings among lots of other commoner birds.
An American Wigeon was at Holywell Pond on the 22nd of April was the first of two seen this year with another at Grindon Lough in September.
Spring highlights on the patch included Great White Egret, Little Stint, Wood Sandpipers, Garganey, good numbers of Ruff and Black-tailed Godwits and a flock of 4 brilliant Temminck's Stints.
On the 10th of May a stunning male Red-throated Pipit was at Seaton Common, Cleveland.
The Black-winged Pratincole returned to Northumberland for the second year running and I caught up with it at Bothal Pond on the 30th. A Black-necked Grebe was also here a month later.
The 5th of August was the first great day of a highly enjoyable month, with a county-tick in the form of a Hobby at East Chevington and a self-found Pectoral Sandpiper at Bothal Pond. This site also held Spotted Redshanks, Little Stint, Green Sandpipers, Wood Sandpipers, Ruff and Black-tailed Godwits during the month.
A week in Norfolk from the 8th produced up to 5 Caspian Gulls, plenty of Yellow-legged Gulls, Red-veined Darters, impressive numbers of waders and an Icterine Warbler.
The 20th of August was our first of three visits to Holy Island in four days...
20/8 - Icterine Warbler, Wryneck (self-found)
23/8 - Wryneck (self-found)
24/8 - Greenish Warbler, 2 Icterine Warblers (one self-found), 2 Wrynecks (one self-found),
Barred Warbler (self-found), Red-backed Shrike, Wood Warbler!
On the 2nd of September we visited the Cumbrian quarry which a pair of Bee-eaters had decided to nest in. We were provided with some great views of the two adults and a youngster briefly in the nest hole.
Two seawatches at Newbiggin two days later were productive, with an Osprey, good numbers of Sooties and a Great Shearwater! A great bird, though made slightly less exciting due to the astounding views we got of one there last year!
The patch highlight of the year was a first-summer male Red-footed Falcon which turned up at Hemscott Hill on the 10th. We had also seen it in Lincolnshire the month before.
Point blank views of a Lapland Bunting were had at St. Mary's Island in October...
The late autumn/winter period was very productive on the patch with highlights including Long-billed Dowitcher, 3 Water Pipits, Iceland Gull, Merlin and Greenland White-fronted Geese.