A walk along the beach and to the hide at Chevington this afternoon was quite productive with 8+ Twite allowing a close approach on the beach and a Lapland Bunting which flew over calling (my first since 2011!). The redhead Smew was still on the north pool with a Little Egret.
When we left this morning we weren't expecting anything too special, but we decided to start at Bamburgh. At Budle Bay there were plenty of Gulls and Wigeons as well as a few Grey Plovers and 2 Little Egrets. When we reached Fenham Flats the number of Wigeon on the flats was impressive. There must have been at least 1500. 6 Little Egrets, 4 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pintail were also there.
As we were leaving news came through of a Hume's Warbler showing well at Briar Dene so we decided to have a look. Straight away we were onto the Hume's Warbler in the top of a sycamore. Not long after it flew across the Dene and into a sycamore where it showed really well and was very vocal, and it provided me a great chance to use my new microphone. Scroll down for a recording.
News of a Richard's Pipit at Low Newton had me heading north, to be greeted by great views of the bird just inland from the compound on Newton Point. Shortly after I got onto the Richard's Pipit, it was flushed by fishermen and flew a bit further away and continued to show. Eventually it walked into the long grass and disappeared. By the time I got round to digiscoping it, it was a bit distant, so my photos aren't very good...
A single calling Common Chiffchaff was behind the Tin Church.
Yesterday I finally got to see a Rough-legged Buzzard during this autumn's influx. When we arrived the hill tops were shrouded in fog, so we weren't very hopeful. Eventually the fog started to clear, and we reached a suitable place to scan the moors. Straight away we were on to a typical juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard. We got some great views of it, before it flew over a hill and out of sight. Shortly after a darker-looking bird appeared and continued to show over the next couple of hours. Unfortunately it never came close enough for decent photos.
We also saw another 4 species of raptor in the area, which rounded off a great day's birding.
Another trip around the bay this morning and the highlight was a single Little Auk flying north past Snab Point, along with 8+ Little Gulls offshore and a Mediterranean Gull. 3 Snow Buntings flew south over Newbiggin golf course.
A quick trip to Druridge this afternoon was surprisingly good given the horrendous weather. Immediately 3 Snow Bunting were visible at Chevington burn mouth and an adult Little Gull was offshore. On the way to the north pool we flushed a Woodcock from beside the track, and 2 Whooper Swans, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, Pintail, Water Rail, Little Egret and Stoat were on the pool.
Finally at Cresswell Pond a Peregrine chased the Lapwings, also there were a Water Rail, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Common Chiffchaff.