Flew back from Bermuda on Thursday evening, arriving London on Friday morning - a couple of train journeys, a ride on the metro to pick the car up - home for a couple of cups of coffee then up the road for an evening visit to Amble.
Greater Black-backed Gull, Black headed Gull and Herring Gull, along with Starlings and Jackdaw very much enjoyed the slightly stale croissant (courtesy of British Airways) and cheesy wotsit crisps... Caspian Gull did not.
Frustrating views as the Casp sat on top of a telegraph pole watching the feeding melee - assumed to already be content with chips throughout the day.
Still, a County tick and only my second in the UK - so a happy, if somewhat jet-lagged, chap.
Hopefully, as others have already stated, it'll hang round and complete its moult. Raggy could certainly be a term to describe this bird!
A casual week or so in Bermuda is resulting in few birds - while white-tailed tropic birds cruise the coast like black-headed gulls, there isn't much else of note so far! Lesser and greater yellowlegs and a semi p sand on the hotel golf course have been nice and the great kiskidee are very entertaining - noisy, inquisitive and colourful to boot.
With Mark missing out on the Bridled Tern in 2013, this weekend seemed good enough to right the wrong - so with a 12:15 departure we were off on the tourist trip round the Farnes, eventually landing on Inner Farne for the final hour.
Result in the form of said tern being present and viewable from the boat upon landing, then frustration as it flew off for 45 minutes. Its return timed nicely (?) with the arrival of our boat back to Seahouses mean't brief, not as close as I'd like views. And it was freezing!
Great Reed Warbler - dipped on the flowing morning
Black-winged Pratincole - like many, arrived in the Bay to late.
Highlights? Few and far between - The Great White Egret at Hauxley was nice (along with the weird goose assemblage), local Bearded Tit, Spoonbills, Little Egrets, Barn Owls and Little Gulls all nice.
Strangely the "biggie" was a "little-y" - after the fluke trip to Manchester last month coinciding with the Elton Reservoir Little Bittern, this morning saw me on vigil at Gosforth Park, a few mere miles from home watching, albeit brief, another fine male Little Bittern flying access the lake.
No smell of roses at Byker, I failed to locate the rose-coloured starling mid morning... perhaps it will be re-located.
After the relative excitement of Yank waders yesterday, Sunday was a more relaxed affair, with pedal power utilised rather than petrol. West Hartford - Arcot - West Hartford via a few urban stops produced a couple of year ticks - both at Arcot.
First up, Garden Warbler - a surprise omission in 2013 for me, so good to get this out of the way while still singing.
Second up, and initially looking like a dip was Cuckoo. GM had the bird in the SE field but it was lost to view as it made its way along the hedges. Some damp feet later (lots of water in them there fields today) and a venture back to the main pond revealed the Cuckoo perched on the perimeter fence, bingo.
Lots of other migrants apparent today - lesser and common whitethroat, willow warbler, chiff chaff, blackcap, swallow, house and sand Martin, swift and common tern. Hopefully still a surprise or two left in this spring passage...