A brief walk to Churchpoint at Newbiggin on Saturday resulted in me acting like a total nutter whilst trying to identify a group of birds. I immediately spotted a group of Oystercatchers and while watching these lovely birds I spotted something odd amongst the small gathering and immediately went into stealth mode and crept forward hiding amongst the rocks. Mike just shook his head in despair at my efforts at being a wildlife photographer. There was a small group of Turnstones and Redshanks amongst the group and I could see these small grey/white birds running to and fro. I got into a good spot, got out my bird book and tried to get a photo...I got what I thought was a cracker but once home I realised the little blighters had ducked between the rocks and I was left with 2 Redshank. Nice but no good to ID my mystery birds. In my not so scientific deduction I think they may of been Dunlin as they had a white belly and grey upper parts but despite my deductions I am probably wrong as in my book it stresses they are waders and these were amongst the rocks acting a bit like Turnstones. So the Mystery is destined to stay a mystery.
Other sightings were Heron, Gulls, Cormorant and some cracking male Eider Ducks. I was amazed to get a good shot of 2 different birds one the first one I think is a first winter male as the colours are not quite as sharp and it is a sooty colour, I first thought the bird was an eclipse male but then noticed the white chest and ruled it out. The second one is what I think is a winter male, it is much more brightly coloured with the white head but the green on the head is still a bit shabby looking. I may be totally wrong about most things related to birding but one thing I do know is that it is awfully good fun. Off to the Lake District at the weekend for a few days holiday with some birding and photography thrown in for good measure.
The birds I can ID now are still a challenge as I am wanting to learn more such as - are they 1st winter, mature or eclipse. Fascinating stuff.