11th & 18th October 2019 - Barns Ness (we swapped the planned October and November outings because of the closure of the Chain Bridge)
On the 11th, twelve of us visited Barns Ness on a bright and mild but distinctly blustery morning. The total number of species noted came to 25, about average for our outings. Although there were no particular rarities spotted, there was a good variety with the accent on waders (Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Ringed Plover) and smaller shore birds (Starling, Rock Pipit and Pied Wagtail). It was good to hear a Skylark still singing at this time of year although not many were quick enough to spot it. Likewise the Kestrel that flew over quickly and was gone. Many of the smaller birds were keeping a low profile in the wind, but we did see Linnet, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. The old quarry at Whitesands had a variety of ducks and geese, but they were all very distant and with the sun reflecting on the water identification was almost impossible.
Our repeat visit on the 18th was very wet, but much less windy. The different conditions probably accounted for being able to spot Stonechat and Reed Bunting on the grassland, with a particularly good view of the latter. We also added Turnstone to the list of waders and saw Goldeneye on the quarry.
8th & 15th November 2019 - River Tweed at the Chain Bridge
A dozen of us enjoyed bright, dry weather (if not ideal conditions underfoot!) on the 8th for a walk along the riverbank from the Chain Bridge to below Paxton House. The selection of birds wasn't spectacular, but the final total was a reasonable 22 species. Highlights were several Little Grebes and Goosander on the river and three Nuthatches, a few Redwing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the woods.
On the return visit on the 15th we saw 25 species, but only 16 were the same as last time. Just goes to show it's always worth visiting more than once! Highlights that we didn't see first time included Bullfinch, Buzzard, Goldeneye, Jay, Treecreeper and Whooper Swan; however the Woodpecker and Redwing didn't show up.
13th December - Druridge Bay
Eight of us put our faith in the BBC weather forecast that said it would be better further south and drove through the rain to a bright and sunny (but bitingly cold!) Druridge Bay where we spent most of the day visiting Cresswell Pond, the Druridge Pools and the beach. We saw an impressive 42 different species of birds. There were three birds we have never seen before on our outings: Jack Snipe, Long Tailed Duck and Scaup, all at Cresswell Pond. Other good sightings included Kingfisher (at Druridge Pools) and both Red Throated Diver and a winter-plumage Guillemot off the beach.
10th January - Berwick Beach
We'd a good turnout on a bright chilly morning at Berwick Beach where we saw a total of 28 species. Prize sighting was probably the Sparrowhawk that flew through scattering the Redshanks and the leucistic Blackbird seen around the car park was also a bit different. While we didn't see any unusual waders, Redshank, Turnstone and Oystercatcher were present in good numbers, along with a few Curlew, not to mention several Grey Heron and a few Rock Pipit. Otherwise the absence of ducks was notable, with only a pair of Eider offshore and some very distant Mallard on the estuary.