A message from Paul D this morning that a Mandarin was in front of the hide at Shibdon dragged me out of bed and through the traffic. By the time I got there the Mandarin had moved off, but I did manage to pick up a Knot circling high over the pond. Eventually it dropped and landed on a small island on the west side of the pond. The last wader that I had on this island was the Black-winged Stilt back in May 2012. Knot are surprisingly rare in Gateshead with the last in 2011 and only a handful of records.
A trip up to Northumberland on the 27th gave distant views of the adult Bonaparte's Gull at Bamburgh, where there was also 2 Water Pipit, a flyby Snow Bunting and a Fieldfare that came in off the sea and landed on the seaweed.
At Buston Links the four Shore Lark took a bit of effort to find before eventually giving good views, until they were flushed by a dog walker.