With reports coming in of seawatching found a meeting in my diary later this week that possibly required some pictures of a building in Cullercoats, No further excuse required off I headed to St Mary's Island where surprisingly no one seemed to be gazing seaward so I set up using the toilets as wind break and started. Loads of Gannets and three small birds passed one of which was an Little Auk the others probably Puffin. I must admit to very limited seawatching skills. Manx Shearwater and Arctic Skua no bother but then the problems begin mainly due to scale reference so was glad when another chap joined me who put me onto three Sooty Shearwaters along with another eight Manx. Three Red throated divers fed offshore and a heavy bellied Skua chased a gull in the bay but no positive ID.
On leaving the birder mentioned that the yellow buoy was much closer from the island so with half an hour remaining on my parking ticket I headed on over. As I entered the hide the gentleman already set up announced 'there's a Cory's passing' and after a fumble with the scope I got a brief view as the large shearwater banked round and disappeared north..............dead jammy. Continued watching while more Manx shearwaters passed and got excited about a Kittiwake that I thought was a Sabines. Thanks to the man in the hide I didn't fancy donating another £25 to North Tyneside for the pleasure of being there so headed back to do my work.
Having read Whitley Birders blog the other day checked the car park at Briar Dene and got these pictures of the wintering Med Gull. Was driving round it trying to get a shot without white lines and the two ladies in an adjacent car were a bit baffled by my actions but wherever I parked the bird seemed to move nearer to a line. Eventually some old geazer drove through the flock of Black headed gulls and it flew off west into the estate.
Interesting that the Cory's was followed right up the coast. Modern communications eh....helped by whoever lives in the hide at Whitburn!