Happy Christmas to all those who have posted comments here. Thank you.
Well I'm now back from my 753 mile Christmas trip and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely, even the drive back last night, over night. Roads were ghostly quiet and did the 320 miles door to door in a modest, erhhum just over 4 hours.
And now on Sunday I awoke to glorious sunshine.... bit dull in the north east yesterday, more depressing than having second helpings of turkey on Boxing Day just to use it up. Didn't get much chance for proper birding and for the first time in living memory didn't make it to friends in Northumberland during a visit, time just didn't allow. I have though begun the birding challenge for work, so far 65 species have hit the log book, 45 on Christmas Day, not bad for all of these being seen within a 5 mile radius of my parents house and all within the Tyneside conurbation. Full report next weekend.
Now I'm back in the, I have to say, absolutely freezing South West, I hope to hurtle this figure onto at least 66..... mate from work is already on 79 - eeek!!
Few highlights, a very obliging Treecreeper feeding off the fat spread
Cousin and wife stayed with my parents for Christmas, I've got her interested in birding, much to his dismay and she spent half an hour photographing stuff in my parents garden!!
and another obliging bird, Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Highlights so far have been 38 Turnstones, single Red Throated Diver, 9 male Tree Sparrows, Mediterranean Gull and possible?? Ring Bill Gull at Boldon Flats NR. The latter I'm not counting as it was a juvenile and these are deadly to id properly, but everything right. However too far away for a photo, so just a dream, though I did see one at Portland in January....Bit of a discussion with another birder, I know a Glaucous Gull when I see one, we'll leave that discussion there I think.
Right, sun is shining, Sand Bay here I come........ keep twitching 4 days to go!!
POSTSCRIPT AT 4.30PM - RETURN FROM SAND BAY AND MIDDLEHOPE
Somebody once said to me it was warmer in the South West. Well it may be sometimes, but this afternoon there was a wind blowing up the Bristol Channel which would have cut a Polar Bear in two. Glorious sunshine though, after yesterdays dark all day weather. So some photos to lighten the soul.
Wader paradise in the Bristol Channel at low tide - can't see it here but about 2000 Dunlin out there on the waterline, plus assorted waders, including 2 Greenshank.
This very pale Buzzard has been about for years, fools many in the summer who think its an Osprey. There are a lot of pale Buzzards around here.
An Arty shot on the way home.............