Sunday, 23 October 2016

A visit from the King...

We were on driving through Ashington this morning on our way to check the bushes at Lynemouth when news came through of a King Eider passing Whitburn. Ten minutes later we had arrived in the car park at Newbiggin. After running down to the end of Church Point, it was another ten minutes before my dad picked up the drake King Eider flying north close inshore (at around 09:02). For a change, given last week, we seemed to be in exactly the right place at the right time, and I was happy to add Northumberland's first King Eider for 19 years to my county list. We did not feel the bird was a full adult drake as we thought the head markings were a bit subdued and the upperwings were mostly dark, however this was hard to judge as we were largely looking into the sun. We were also pleased to hear that the bird was tracked flying further up the Northumberland coast being seen at Cullernose Point, Beadnell, The Farnes and then Holy Island.

Cresswell Pond was a lot less exciting with a Greenshank, Water Rail, Red-breasted Merganser, a Dark-bellied Brent Goose and 2 Little Egrets. A Great White Egret was on the Budge Fields and was our third sighting of one of on the patch this year. A Greenshank and Little Egret were also present.

At Chevington the obvious highlight was a female Velvet Scoter on the north pool which was my first on freshwater. Nice to get a chance to view one at relatively close quarters. Continuing the duck theme to the day, the pool also held a Pintail and a Red-breasted Merganser, and Bothal Pond played host to a couple of Scaup.

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