It's been a quiet week down Westport, which is lucky for me as I've been on early's all week, the Red-breasted Merganser was last seen last Sunday and very little else new has arrived.
Nick as usual made the afternoon visits all of which can be found on Twitter @WestportLake1.
I met up with Nick and George for a look around on Friday but it was all quiet, around 7 Collared Doves were roosting near the visitor centre, on the main lake 3 Great Crested Grebes, 58 Tufted Duck, 4 Mute Swans and a single Pochard, a Sparrowhawk flew through and a Mistle Thrush was near the visitor centre.
Yesterday we had already made plans for a day out, all week the Greater Yellowlegs had remained in Northumberland and had been our main priority however a Veery turned up in Scotland to make us think twice but we settled for the Yellowlegs, and so at 03.30 Nick and George picked me up and we headed off for Northumberland.
First stop was Durridge Country Park were the Yellowlegs had last been seen, we were one of the first on site arriving at 07.30, the main lake held a few Scaup and Red-breasted Mergansers but no sign of the Yellowlegs, after around 10mins someone shouted over that it was at Hauxley and we rushed off a bit further up the coast, we had been told it was showing well at Eric's hide and on arriving here found just one person present, he quickly informed us the Yellowlegs and everyone else had left to the hide we'd just past and so it was a quick walk down to the previous hide, everyone was in the bottom corner of the hide but the Greater Yellowlegs was tucked away and out of sight, slowly it made it's way along the edge and eventually right along the front edge of the hide providing us all with excellent views of this superb bird and a new tick for all 3 of us.
Just as we got back to the car Nick received a call from Jeff Jones to say that 2 Little Egrets were flying around the main lake at Westport, these are the first to be seen at Westport this year and still remains a Westport tick for myself.
Next stop was Holy Island and we made our way along the coast passing several castles along the way including Warkworth Castle below, this area of the country really is stunning in parts and well worth a visit.
As we arrived at holy Island the tide was nearly out and we only had to wait a few minutes before it was safe to cross, along the edge there were good numbers of Brent Geese and we saw both Pale-bellied and Dark-bellied during our visit here. as we crossed the causeway we picked up a Merlin carrying food which it dropped and within seconds it was picked up by a male Peregrine.
Arriving at the car park near the village we made our way past the school for our next target bird, the Eastern Black Redstart, only the second British record following on from the one in Kent this last week. We hadn't been here long when I picked it up along the edge of the black seaweed, and what a stunning bird it was, my photo below is rather distant and doesn't do it justice but who'll find some much better ones on Nick's blog.
Leaving Holy Island we'd decided to head for the Lesser Scaup near Newcastle upon Tyne but along the way news of the Ross's Geese came through at Dunston Hill and so we decided to head for here instead, eventually we found a few birders at the end of a farm track but views were rather obscured as the Geese were feeding on a back field so we drove along the road to obtain better views, there were good numbers of Geese in the field and flying over and as well as the very noticeable Ross's Geese we also saw Pink-footed Geese, Barnacle Geese, Tundra Bean Geese and White-fronted Geese, a farmer put the Geese up and they flew low over us before heading back to the field.
And finally to today at Westport, as usual after a full day out I didn't make it down so as usual it was left to Nick, unfortunately it was rather foggy, not good esp on duck count day but he did manage 3 Pochard, 51 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe.
Lunt rung him with a unusual sighting on the top pool, with his description of a pigeon size bird but blue with a red bill and big feet the imagination was running wild, but on arriving it turned out to be a rather unusual turquoise pigeon, I'm not sure if someone had dyed it or what but it's rather strange either way!