Plans for a spot of birding on Sunday looked glum weather wise but we persevered and started along the shore at Beal whilst waiting for the tide to recede.Large flocks of Curlew were feeding along the water's edge whilst on the low marshy grassland huge flocks of Goldfinch were feeding on seedheads whilst 3 Canada Geese passed overhead.A chilly looking ,but handsome Reed Bunting peered out from a Hawthorn Bush.
The tide still being up,we decided to pop down to Fenham Flats for a better view of the large flocks of Geese,swans and ducks we could just about see through the murky haze with the scope.From the hide there we saw Shelduck,Wigeon,Mute Swan,Eider and Brent Geese near Fenham Mill,and right in front of the hide , Bar Tailed Godwit, Curlew,Redshank,Knot,Dunlin,Ringed Plover ,Grey Plover and Turnstone - a great way to brush up one's waders!The highlight however was the noisy arrival of about two thousand Light Bellied Brent Geese which after a brief fly past settled just outside the hide- a magnificent sight!
After a brief spell of sunshine ,the visibility deteriorated so we decided to head for the island to see if there was anything interesting about.On the Straight Lonnen,the first sighting was of two Goldcrest
and at least two Chiff Chaff.A couple of seasoned birders alerted us to Yellow Browed Warblers,Great Grey Shrike and Mealy Redpoll so we set off hopes raised!
On the Crooked Lonnen,we spotted a distant and motionless Peregrine on a wall,a flock of Redwing,magnificent in some sudden and unexpected sunshine and finally 4 Mealy Redpoll.
Next it was off to the school in pursuit of Yellow Browed Warbler,but no luck there apart from 4 Swallows overhead.Next it was the Vicarage Garden where we spotted a female Blackcap,A Great Spotted Woodpecker,more Goldcrests and a small active flock of Chiffchaff.
The Great Grey Shrike and the Yellow Browed Warbler were unfortunately elusive but it otherwise it was a great day out!