I was trapped in County Hall, so couldn't get to the pools, so I went to one of my favorite sites in the whole county, Scotch Gill Woods LNR in Morpeth, down by the River Wansbeck. If you haven't been there check it out, good place for woodland birds and especially flowers, the site is on a line of springs, so you get nice wet flushes throughout the wood. I am a bit biased as I used to help look after it in my last job.
Anyhoo, plenty of chiffies singing (10+) at lunch time, also dipper and grey wag on the river and marsh tit and at least 6 nuthatches in the wood, also a comma butterfly, my first of the year. The woodland floor was a carpet of wood anenome's (wind flowers) in places, with a nice show of marsh marigolds in one of the flushes and butterbur ( a much under-rated flower I reckon) in flower.
I got some shots, but really just playing with it at the moment - but am impressed so far. The zoom can be extended to 28X if you go down to 3 mega-pixel and the macro seems quite good too, sure I will need to get to grips with it before we go to China.