On the 4th January 2016….
Druridge Pools, Northumberland.
As I was walking along the muddy path to the budge screen hide, I was rewarded with close views of a my first Siskin of the year, which was feeding with some Tree Sparrows, Reed Buntings and Blue and Great Tits on the plastic bottle bird feeders. I also admired a pair of Stonechats, which calmly sat nearby watching the rain. A pair of Pintail were on the pools, with no sign this morning of the second male I noted on the weekend. The pools were alive with 70 Wigeon, a dozen Shoveler and over 25 Teal. I closely checked through the Teal to see if there were any Green-winged Teals (as there is a few in the north at the moment and Druridge Bay has been good for them over the past few years) ;there was no sign of any today. The only waders I could find were over 100 Lapwing, but there may have been more hiding.
Next, I was startled by a Redpoll, which landed on the fence in front of budge screen. Nice Surprise and it was so close. I guess it came to say hello. As the sun came out, a flock of Goldfinches came into a view. Amongst them I discovered a lonesome single Twite. After almost an hour, I was finally rewarded with a visit from one of the Water Pipits. I spotted it to the right at first, however it soon landed in front of the hide. It didn’t stay for very long, but it was very welcome.
Cresswell Pond, Northumberland.
The Long-billed Dowitcher was showing really well from the hide at Cresswell and I was very pleased to enjoy the closest views I’d experienced so far of this rare wader.