Although it seems like I haven't done much birding since the start of the year, what I have done has been pretty action packed including the 2015 Northumberland Bird Race. Disappointingly we finished third but it was still a canny day. Highlights for me were an urban Little Owl in the centre of Shiremoor, the WH Great Grey Shrike hovering, Black-necked Grebe in Seahouses harbour, a brief Hen Harrier, a moonlit Long eared Owl and a flock of Whooper swans and six Little Egrets flying together over Fenham Flats.
On the first we spent the morning out and got excellent views of both Iceland Gull and Glacous Gull at North Shields Fish Quay.A trip out one morning with SH provided excellent views of Tundra Bean Geese at Warkworth Lane the same place where some very obliging Greenland White Fronted Geese had been on the bird race.
The highlights of a few trips to WH have been an undisturbed Great Grey Shrike showing along the hedgerow where it was originally before being the focus of what seemed like every photographer in the north east. Also a Fox skulking through the long grass with a dead Teal in its jaws was pretty amazing to witness. Thinking about it I have seen a few Foxes already this year at both WH and in Blyth and one which crossed the length of Budle Bay at low tide on the bird race before sitting down on the sand!
Another personal highlight has been seeing at least one Little Egret nearly every morning on the way to work on the Horton Burn. Even in the early morning darkness they stick out, one morning two birds were joined by a third which dropped down from a willow tree where it looked like it had been roosting!