Once again this year Branton Ponds turned up trumps, we were getting ready to go out with the dog when we got a phone call from Alan Hall to say that he and Stevie Rippon had a 1st winter Iceland Gull on Branton Ponds, quick change of plan and we were on site in less than 5 minutes, only to find it had flown off. After checking other local sites we decided it was gone forever, not so, whilst checking Branton later I suddenly saw it sitting on the water, which was astounding as 2 minutes earlier it had not been there. After swimming around for a while it eventually took off and headed to the east , hopefully in the next few days it may return.
Saturday, 5 March 2016
We decided to have a morning at the coast and so with that in mind headed off to Stag Rocks which was very quiet only birds of note being 6 Common Scoter along with several Common Eider, there was no sign of the Black Scoter reported earlier in the week. Our next destination was Harpers Heugh which proved to be the most productive of the day, in the field next to the road were a number of geese which were mainly made up of Greylags(60) and Pink-feet(110). On searching carefully through the flock we were pleased to find a single Tundra Bean Goose(rossicus) hiding amongst the Pink-feet, further scanning produced 3 White-fronted Geese of the Greenland race(flavirostis) along with 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 18 Barnacle Geese, not a bad selection for such a small flock. Our final destination was Fenham le Moor where we encountered a dozen more Brents plus Redshanks, Knot, Turnstones and a respectable flock of some 30 Pintails.