Anyway, at 06:50 this morning it was nice to be stood on the dune at Druridge looking out to sea. It started quietly, other than the strings of gannets and large auks (95% guillemot I suspect) heading mostly north. The odd puffin and a few sandwich terns and fulmars for something a bit different.
Four manx shearwaters went through and then at about 07.20 it livened up with a close-in summer plumaged great northern diver headed north - a stunning bird, especially as the light had improved. A couple more manx through and a tight flock of 30ish small waders went north, quite far out. Some were darker above and white below, other darker over all but I think they were all the same species - sanderlings - in a range of breeding and non-breeding plumages.
And then something dark flew through my scope, close-in. With the bins, I got onto it - a very dark Arctic skua which almost sauntered along for a while before landing on the sea - nice! A few common scoters went through later and three red-throated divers went north together but far out.
Seawatch eBird list
I called it a day after an hour and had a quick check of the Budge fields but before I did I stopped to take a few pics of a reeling grasshopper warbler in a lone hawthorn.
|Grasshopper warbler 'reeling' in the bushes|
Budge and bushes list here