I was at home yesterday completeing bird records for August as heavy rain was forecast but it was mid morning and the sun was peaking through the clouds so once again I swore at the weather forecasters. If the bimbos that broadcast it lost an item of clothing every time they got it wrong we'd have the return of topless weather girls within a fortnight!
I headed up the coast and found a nice quiet Ponteland hide at Hauxley. Not much doing and unusually no Geese but I could always wait for a Kingfisher whilst watching a pair of Little Grebe and their youngster. After about an hour a movement to my right caught my attention and as I turned there was a Cuckoo flying just feet from the hide. As it passed in front below the window I tried to get to my feet for a shot banging three pieces of equipment in turn on the leaning shelf. The first two (optical) were needed at that moment but the third (semenal) wasn't and hasn't been for a while.
The bird fortunately flew into a small bush and the obligatory record shots were snapped. It stayed a minute and was gone. Africa seems an awful long way from Hauxley.
Just five minutes later a 'chuit' call came from above and a bird flew twice round the larger pool demonstrating a nice white cigar on the back and confirming the call of Spotted Redshank. There being no mud I don't think it landed and probably headed south with the Cuckoo. I checked at Druridge of which more later and Cresswell where the water level is just ridiculous so nothing doing there.