A second consecutive Druridge Bay mini-safari was our activity on Friday morning and I arrived at Church Point to meet Gavin, Mark, Cindy and Esther for morning’s birdwatching around the NEWT ‘local patch’. My main concern was how the previous afternoon’s torrential downpour would have affected ground conditions at the sites we visit. As it was, the ground wasn’t too wet and everywhere we went was easily accessible.
Late June and early July is always a good time to start to search for passage waders, with the earliest returning adult birds often still in their breeding garb. Two Dunlin, still with solid black bellies, dropped in, a Common Sandpiper was sitting motionless, before setting off along the water’s edge with that characteristic bobbing motion and 5 Black-tailed Godwits flew low over the water before dropping out of sight in a dip in a nearby field. Two Avocets arrived and at least 7 Little Gulls were roosting. As we continued up the coast a Marsh Harrier rose from, and dropped back in to, a reedbed, Great Crested Grebes cruised around serenely and Common, Arctic and Sandwich Terns were all splashing about as they bathed. Is there a better place than the southeast Northumberland coast at this time of the year?