Myself, Dougie and Steve started the day with a meeting with Mick from the National Trust to go over a few plans for future Coastal Group projects. For obvious reasons I cant go into details but needless to say its extremely exciting times ahead for the Group! Now, how to get those vitals funds.........!
After the meeting was finished we decided to head north to Morpeth to see if we could find the SQUACCO HERON that had been there for the last few days. We parked just opposite the river Wansbeck and walked for about ten minutes along the riverbank towards a small group of birders. We were told the bird was on the near bank just below us but was deep in the foliage. Within seconds I noticed some movement and put everybody on it, and before long the bird came out into the open. Its fantastic when that happens!!! As the bird was just yards away we enjoyed exceptional views for about half an hour before it flew over to the far bank. I was particularly pleased as this was the first Squacco I'd seen in this country, having previously seen them in Cyprus, Mallorca and Gambia. While watching the Heron on the far bank a superb flash of blue whizzed past - easily identified as a Kingfisher. After Dougie and Steve had had their photographic fill we decided to move on.
Having somehow missed out on all of the recent big arrival of WAXWINGS, we headed to Ashington to see if we could catch up with them. Once again we hit lucky! We had literally arrived in the area when I saw a small flock in a tree outside the police station. We quickly parked up and went over to get a closer look. There were 9 birds in total, not a big flock but nice to see regardless.
On the way back home we popped into Cresswell Pond for half an hour. A couple of Whooper Swans were on the far side, a small flock of Pink Footed Geese flew overhead and a female Long Tailed Duck on the pond provided Steve with a year tick. An excellent day out!