Friday, 1 January 2016

A very happy new year!

An excellent day from the start. First bird of the day was a Barn Owl over the road at Lamesley. Seen a few days ago by Gary S, this was a bird I hadn't seen in Gateshead for a couple of years.

With light winds I wasn't expecting seawatching at Whitburn to be any good, but was pleasantly surprised. With Bonxie, Little Auk, Great Northern Diver, Little Gull and Mediterranean Gull all passing the seawatching list was off to a bumper start. A White-fronted Goose on the firing range was an obs tick for me.

Off to the SAFC academy car park where the Water Pipit was feeding with Rock and Meadow Pipits. Very flighty, but eventually gave decent, though distant, views. A good bird to get so early.

Less luck at Boldon Flats where the Green-winged Teal had decided to disappear just before I got there.

Back in Gateshead I picked up Chiffchaff at Far Pasture, Short-eared Owl at Burdon Moor and Shoveler, all good birds for the first. The best was left till last when sitting at Lamesley I got a tweet from Lee H. A blast up the hill and a sprint down to the pond got me to Watergate just in time to get the Little Gull before the light went. A Gateshead lifer for me, so a cracking start to the year.

Little Gull at Watergate

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