Northumberland Weekend

18 of us had a wonderful trip to Northumberland over the weekend. The weather was fantastic and the birding excellent.

Not everybody saw everything, but the cumulative list reached 119 once Monday’s sightings were included.

The rarest bird was the Red-breasted goose in with literally 1000s of Barnacle geese at Budle Bay. It was very elusive in the vast flock, but most of us got at least a few seconds look at it. It was seen better on Monday morning. But even without seeing it, the huge¬† ‘carrier flock’ of Barnies was an amazing sight.

Other good birds were Snow buntings just north of Bamburgh, glorious small groups of Whooper Swans flying in a cloudless blue sky, and down on the water, and a Golden Plover flock ‘flashing’ in the sun on Holy Island. On the pool at Low Newton we had the very unusual ‘pairing’ of a female Red-breasted Merganser with a female Goosander, allowing ‘side-by-side’ comparisons.

My thanks to Peter Watson for his help with the organisation (and local knowledge).