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Grand Tour

24 Mar

Took the chance of a day without parental responsibility to take a good drive out, despite the unpromising fog that started the day.

The A697 heading up towards Wooler was buzzard-central with regular birds along the way and up to three at once in places.

My first stop was Happy Valley looking for dipper and I didn’t even have chance to park the car before I had added it to my year list. Two birds were prominent dashing up and down the river and a pair of grey wagtails added a splash of colour.

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From there I cut across to the coast as the fog was burning off and I picked up my second year tick of the day with red-legged partridge in the fields near Doddington. I also managed three mammal species – stoat, weasel and hare all within a few miles.

I arrived at Holy Island with only an hour before the causeway was due to close so I just had a quick drive across the causeway and back in the mist that was still lingering at the coast. A few curlew and gulls were all that I could make out in the murk.

From there down to Budle Bay and a quick scan of the sands – hundreds of gulls – black heads, greater black-backs and herring gulls, plus shelduck and a few redshank.

On down to Stag Rocks hoping for a lingering grebe or diver but the sea was fairly empty – a few eider flew past but only gulls on the sea and no sign of any waders on the rocks which were rapidy disappearing under the incoming tide.

On further down to druridge bay and cresswell was shrouded in mist – I could barely see the pools from the road. Water levels looked very high and no sign of avocets in my brief stop.

I covered a fair few miles today but not a lot to show for it because of the mist. Maybe tomorrow will bring a bit more luck!

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